The Gift-Part 7-Final Touches

The Gift-Part 7-Final Touches

“Be careful with the tinsel, said Morty. “Hang each strand carefully. I don’t want Connie to look like the nest in the top branches.”

Morty placed a shiny gold ornament into the nest. As Red, Chick, and Spare hung the tinsel they chirped Silent Night. When the last strand was in place, they landed on Morty’s curl and admired their creation. Connie was an outstanding gift to the Baby Jesus on His birthday. Morty turned on the lights, and Connie came to life.

“I feel so wonderful,” said Connie, “you made me look beautiful. I hope Baby Jesus likes me.”

Morty handed the rabbit a bright red cloth, “put this around the tree stand to add the final touch.” Rabbit dragged the red cloth under Connie’s boughs where he had spent so many nights out of harms way, and worked the cover around the base.

“We have to put up the nativity next.” Morty pulled a small table to the tree. He wanted the nativity to be next to Connie where all of his friends would see it. Rabbit wiped the table clean, and covered it with Morty’s best tablecloth. The birds waited nearby. Each had a figure, ready to place. Morty set the stable in place.

“Okay, now you can finish by putting the figures down.”

Each bird hovered gently with a figure in its beak, and lowered it to the table. They handled each Mary, Joseph, and Jesus and all of the characters of the scene with special care and gentleness.

Morty put the last tiny white lamb down, “here you are little Shepard.” The nativity was complete.

To be continued . . .

The Gift-Part 6-Transformation

The Gift-Part 6-Transformation

Early the next morning, Morty got up, brushed his teeth, combed his curl, and ate breakfast. It was time. He found the tree stand and placed it in the corner of his tiny room.

“Stand straight Connie,” he said as he filled the bowl with sugar water to give Connie strength.

“You have an important duty ahead.”

“I have to play Christmas tunes while we decorate.” Morty tuned in to the Choir of Heavenly Angels over his boom box to play carols.

Morty sang with the music. He strung the lights onto each branch, making sure that the spacing was even.

The rabbit and the birds helped by hanging the popcorn garland. The Sparrow held one end of the garland while the Cardinal held it farther down the string. The Chickadee held a third spot. They flew in unison carrying the garland. Gently, they lowered the popcorn garland onto the branches. The beads came next.

“I wish Brad were here to help,” said Morty. “His muscles would be a great help with these heavy beads. They are too heavy for the birds. I have to drape them carefully to make them look pretty.”

As he worked, he hummed Silent Night, his favorite Christmas carol.

“Sing with me Connie.”

“Si – lent night, Ho – ly night,

All is calm. All is bright.

Round yon Vir – gin Moth – er and child!

Ho – ly in – fant so ten – der and mild,

Sleep in heav – en – ly peace,

Sleep in heav – en – ly peace.”

They sang together as they worked.

“After we finish with Connie, we can prepare for the party tonight.”

What a happy group they were. The Cardinals, Chickadee, Rabbit and Morty were all decorating the tree for Jesus.

“Almost finished,” said Morty. “Birds, please carry the crystal star and place it on Connie’s top stem.”

“Now, for the final touch, we have to hang the tinsel. It is a great job for birds,” he said.

All three birds began immediately, and carried tinsel like they carried grass to build a nest. They hovered above a branch and carefully lowered the silver strands down.

“You can be proud Connie. You are beautiful and will make Jesus happy on his birthday.

To be continued . . ..

The Gift-Part 5-Reminiscing

The Gift-Part 5-Reminiscing

The scoot home took a long time, and Morty deliberately kept Skye out of hyper-drive. He drove slowly to keep the little tree from tearing off. They talked as he drove.

“The farmer planted me as a seed eight years ago. I became a sapling quickly, and was transplanted into a new field.”

Connie jabbered away as Morty drove.

“Farmer Jim re-planted me again when I reached sapling stage. He put me into the field where his great, great, great, great-grandfather grew up. I went thirsty during the drought, and the hot summer nearly fried my needles. I liked winter best. I loved when the snow covered my boughs and they drooped to the ground.”

“I’ve been a Guardian Angel since the beginning of time,” said Morty. “My duty is to watch over Brad. I love watching kids the best.”

“My favorite job is to take care of birds. The cardinals and chickadees picked me this year. They built their nests deep in my boughs to hide it from predators.  I couldn’t believe how many trips they made with string, and twigs from all over the farm. Red Cardinal and his wife Rosy brought the pieces one by one. Rosy wove them into place, and pasted it all together with mud from the pond.”

“I loved to watch the Cardinals fly back and forth to feed their babies. They slept between meals, but made a lot of noise when they woke up. The kids chirped loudly until a parent came with food. One day, a cat came into my field. Rosy covered the nest with her body, and spread her wings to hide them. Red buzzed the cats’ ears to get his attention away from the babies. I dropped my boughs over the nest to give them more protection. Everything became very still while the cat was there. All the trees around me watched him stalk; his head was low, and his shoulders in a crouch. After what seemed like an eternity of stillness, the cat finally wandered off.”

Morty arrived home after dark. He untied Connie’s branches and set him upright into a bucket of water.

“Tomorrow,” he said, “I will place you into a tree stand, and dress you for the birthday party. Now it is time for all of us to rest.”

To be continued . . .

THE GIFT-PART 4-Getting Home

THE GIFT-Part 4-Getting Home

“This won’t hurt a bit,” said Morty. He pushed and pulled the saw back and forth through Connie’s sap filled trunk in rapid motions. Seconds later, Connie fell onto the spot where the rabbit huddled at night to stay warm. The empty birds’ nest clung to his branches.

Morty saw the rabbit hiding under a nearby tree, “Well, Mr. Rabbit, come home with me. I’ll keep you warm.”

The rabbit jumped out. “Will you take care of me the way Connie did?”

“Yes,” said Morty, “come with me.” Morty hadn’t finished talking to the rabbit when the cardinal, the sparrow, and the chickadee appeared from nowhere and circled around his head.

“Will you take care of us too?”

“Sure,” he said. “Come with me. We will have a great time.”

“Hold on tight, Connie, I have to drag you to the wagon.” They left a track through the needles on the ground as Morty pulled Connie behind him. They stopped in front of the tall Balsam for a rest.
“I can see that you found the perfect tree,” said the Balsam.

“Yes,” said Morty, “thank you very much. I couldn’t have done it without your expert directions.”

“Have a very Merry Christmas,” replied Balsam, “I wish I could be going with you.”

Farmer Jim came and found them. He helped Morty lift Connie onto the hay wagon.

“I never thought about how I would bring a tree home on my scooter,” he said.

“Don’t worry,” said Farmer Jim, “I will help you get the tree onto your scooter. I have to help everyone who comes here.  I have lots of experience with that.”

The tractor stopped in front of the shed next to the barn. Farmer Jim slid Connie into the wrapping machine, and pushed the button. A big wheel started circling around Connie. The noisy machine pulled cord around the branches, and squeezed them tightly into Connie’s trunk. When the noise stopped, Connie was much thinner than before.

Morty carried Connie to his scooter, and just stared. He could not see how to load him. The compartment was only big enough to hold a picnic lunch and some tools. The scooter was smooth all over. It didn’t have anything sticking out to tie a rope around.

“What am I going to do?”  Morty placed the tree against the side of the scooter. “Nope, that won’t work,” he said. Next, he laid Connie onto the seat. He fit nicely along the top and hanging over the end, but Morty would have to sit on top of him to drive.

“I don’t like that either. I know, I’ll sit and hold him between my legs.” He held Connie upright between his arms. “That is worse because I can not see to drive with Connie in my face.”

Farmer Jim finally came out and tied Connie to the seat.

“You will have to sit on him,” he told Morty.”

“Okay, but I don’t like it, come on kids hop on.”

The bunny jumped on and huddled by his feet, and the birds found secret openings in the branches to hide in.

“I’ll go slow,” said Morty.

“Good, I don’t want you to lose me after all that fuss.”

Morty drove Sky-scooter slowly and silently. The only sound came from Connie. He was singing Happy Birthday.

To be continued , , , ,

Frankfort, IL Invaded By Indians

On Saturday, September 15, 2012 Indians invaded Frankfort and held the Breidert Green hostage during the 20th Annual Ta Tonka Society Native American Educational Event. The Green came alive with the beat of tom-toms, chants, and Native American dances.

The cyclists had nothing to do with the Ta Tonka event. Many are my friends and I thought they deserved some attention too.

Almost Sucked In Again

I received an e-mail from a dear friend today and I thought it was a great piece of wisdom claimed to be written by a ninety year old. I have a soft spot for old people since I among of them. My parents lived to 88 and 92, my wife Barb’s Aunt Marie lived to 93. They had a terrific influence on me throughout life. Their wisdom was amazing. I love listening to old people tell stories about their past and the people they knew. When this e-mail arrived, and claimed 45 lessons from 90-year-old Regina Brett, I was ready to repost immediately. Since falsehoods bite me too many times, I thought why not Google the author Regina Brett. Happily, I found that Regina actually wrote the piece, but was mildly disappointed to learn that she is nowhere near ninety. The photo that accompanied the e-mail does not resemble the real Regina in the least.

I am going to post the piece because it has wisdom about living to the fullest. I condone the forty-five lessons. Having lost loved ones who never got the opportunity to follow the rules, I understand what they mean.

***********************************************************************************************

Written by a 90 year old

 

This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio …

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. 

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything which isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to be happy. But its all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t

save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will

this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don’t forget. 

29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d

grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Photo of Regina Brett passed in the e-mail.

The real Regina Brett below

The Real Regina Brett

Why do people do what they do? Why was it necessary to give the credit of these 45 life lessons to a ninety year old? Is it too hard to believe that they could come from someone as young as the real Regina? I like the lessons regardless of the age of the writer. They are sound, wise lessons on how to live your life. Visit her website by clicking on the link and learn more about this wise young woman.

I thought I had an edge posting this commentary, but when I viewed the links to similar articles about Regina’s lessons I realized I am again a dollar short and a day late.

Frankfort Loaded with Abandoned Homes

Walking the streets of Frankfort, Illinois makes one wonder what is going on. Everywhere, abandoned houses prevail. What is it about my town that causes alien residents to leave perfectly good homes to decay? In the coming weeks the aliens will return to feed off the area. No doubt, they will need new homes. Will they rebuild those abandoned last fall? Not likely. They will scrounge more material and hastily construct new ones. Some will look trashy while others will be neat and trim. Some will decorate the interiors with soft materials for lounging. Most will be under heavy cover and concealed from view.

The aliens arrive from places like Mexico, Costa Rica, Florida,, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia. They come for the great conditions provided them by our Creator. They breed several families during the time they are here, and forage Frankfort to feed them. While they tend to their young, they stay solitary and territorial. When it is time for them to leave they crave socialization in large numbers.

One day, as if by rigid schedule the aliens disappear leaving Frankfort scattered with abandoned homes.

On Charrington Drive

On Old Plank Road Trail

On Pfeiffer Road

A skyscraper on Ginger Lane

This one came stocked with food.

The first alien of spring, freezing his butt off.

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