The Love of My Life


“What do you want for Christmas?”
She asks with anticipation
“I will buy you what you want,
Search all of creation.”

I don’t need to ponder, think
Or make her wait.
The answer to her request is simple
And easy to state.

“Of all the things around,
That can be bought, bartered or found,
I cannot accept the ones
With price tags
Or that come from packages
That are bound.”

“You’ve given me your heart,
Body and soul,
A life that is diamonds
Where before you, it was coal.”

“You’ve given me the things
I never thought I would receive
Love, home, family
And a chance to believe.”

“If given every star in the sky
Or a dollar for each grain of sand,
It wouldn’t come close to the value
Of you taking my hand”

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“What do I want for Christmas?
I will give you the answer, not just a clue.
Of everything I will ever need…
All I want for Christmas is you.”

Merry Christmas, Baby.

A

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Reindeer Revenge


I was awakened at 6 am by a loud clatter,
I jumped from my bed to see what was the matter.

At first I thought the reindeer had come to deliver holiday glee,
But the racket was so loud…I really didn’t know what it could be.

My daughter came into the room with a frown and she said,
“I can’t sleep in my room..part of the ceiling just fell on my head.”

My wife she awoke and looked at me in fright,
“Maybe the Mayans were right, they just chose the wrong night….”

I waved that comment off and threw on my pajamas, to check my gut feeling,
That there was a “Drunken Reindeer Riverdance” occurring on top of our ceiling.

I could picture 8 animals paw in paw on our roof,
But because of too much spiked egg nog, their rhythm came across quite aloof.

I threw open my front door and what did I see?
The Christmas hail was pouncing, “Oh Santa….why me?”

Most people hope for a white Christmas when they awake,
Not marbles falling from the sky, for goodness sake.

It is now almost 7, the reindeer had quite the bash,
I hope the insurance is paid up…..I don’t want to pay cash.

I sip on my coffee and look at the tree,
The day hasn’t even started…how will the rest of it be?

The truth is, it is Christmas, and the freak storm it has passed,
Every day creates memories….I pretty sure this one will last.

(Orna)Mental Peace


He looked at the Christmas tree from the comfort of his recliner and got lost in thought while the lights randomly blinked….

Strand 1 and 3-ON
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The clock read 2 am. The house was quiet. He just watched the lights blink and shimmer off the ornaments that hung off the branches.

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They never bought ornaments. Always homemade. Each year was a family event to hang the newest of the family collection along side the ones from years past.

Some the kids made in school with their pictures from that school year. Each year they would go on the tree. And each year comments would be made of the changes each child was going through and how big they were getting.

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Some were from the grandparents. Each year a new set would arrive the week before Christmas. Always a coupled ornament for Mom and Dad and an individual for each child. On Christmas eve those packages would be opened and the ornaments inside would be hung on the tree with smiles from all.

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One year, they even carved their own ornaments out of wood. The local hardware store had family oriented do it yourself classes on the weekends. They all went and participated and brought their creations home and hung them on the tree. He looked at these ornaments in particular and laughed to himself and said quietly,

“Those have zero resemblance to snowflakes or snowmen…but what a time we had.”

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He looked around the den and watched the small different colored lights illuminate the various family pictures that hung in frames throughout the room.

Six Flags from the summer of his sons 8th birthday. Cinderella on Ice for his daughters 6th.

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The second honeymoon he and his wife took the Bahamas. He fell asleep in the sun and got so sunburned they spent the last 4 days in the hotel room. She stayed right there with him the entire time.

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A tear began to run down his cheek. He was brought back to the present by a nudge from his constant companion that got his attention.

“What’s up, girl…you need to go outside?”

BARK BARK

He got up from his recliner and let the dog out to do his business. After shutting the door he stopped and walked back to look at the tree.

He let out a sigh and said,

“It’s been 3 years since the car crash that took you all away from me….and still….I do all this in hopes you will be coming home. One day we will be together again….one day. Until then, Merry Christmas.”

He walks over to the table and picks up 3 ornaments. The first is 2 angels arm in arm. The other 2 are single angels. He hangs each on a branch on the tree.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
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Revision of a Classic 2


Here is my version of another Christmas classic.

Please feel free to song along….

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

I come to you to save my plight, but the crowds give me a fright

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, your smiley face it taunts me.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, your smiley face it taunts me.

Your customers shop in pajamas and the spandex its appalling.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, your smiley face it taunts me.

You lure me in with sales delight, but distract me with the redneck sights

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

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Revision of a Classic


It was a few nights before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except me using my mouse.

eBay had screwed up….my wife’s gift was not here,
My hope was that “Santa” might find it somewhere.

The children were crashed…all sprawled out on their beds,
With visions of iThings dancing through their heads.

My wife chilling in her pajamas, the chihuahua sleeping in my lap,
If this dog pees on me again, I think I might snap.

From out in the front, a motor, I did hear,
I sprang from the desk with a powerful cheer.

The dog bumped it’s head on the table and fell,
She whined for a second then yapped at me with a yell.

I ran to the door with unprecedented glee
I tripped on some Legos….I think I busted my knee.

I opened the door with a curse and a frown
On the other side was a man all dressed up in brown.

I said, “I hope you are here to save Christmas, or my butt will be toast”,
He replied, “I’m sorry sir, but your package was shipped to the east coast.”

“So why are you here, is this supposed to make me feel better?”
“Just doing my job, sir…I’m sure there is something you could get her.”

I shut the door in his face and looked at my wife with a frown.
Always the optimist she said, “Don’t let it get you down.”

I sat on the couch and released a pitiful sigh
The dog bit my ankle which, in turn, made me cry.

I went to bed shortly after…feeling like a failure,
I wouldn’t have guessed that in my dreams there would be sent a savior.

The bearded man in red dropped by in my mind for a visit,
He reminded me that it is not the gifts that bring Christmas spirit.

Look around your home…you have boxes of photos around.
Place them in frames and watch the family past memories astound.

The personal touch means more than the gift that is bought
Those will soon be forgotten, and in the closet they will rot.

Take it from me young father, I have been doing this quite some time,
To pass along joy that is not store bought is surely not a crime.

Rest now, my son, and awake with new vigor,
Your nerves will be calmer, and your heart will be much bigger.

Enjoy the blessings of the season and the family that is around.
It will be over before you know it and much joy can be found.

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One Sting Leads 2 Another


One

“I hate Christmas.” I said to my stepdaughter on the way to school.

She stared at me….open mouthed….with shock…unable to speak…..And yet she did.

“WHY?” She asked at almost a fearful yell.

“What is there to like about it.” I replied.

“Opening presents.” She confidently stated.

“Ughh..That’s the best you got? So Christmas is about getting stuff, huh?…And that’s why I hate..”

She quickly interjected,” And it’s Jesus’s birthday.”

“But getting gifts is more important right? Because for his birthday he would want everyone to get iPods, touchscreen phones, and tablet computers. He was all about getting cool stuff for his birthday, huh?” I sharply answered.

“You don’t know….maybe that IS what he wants.”

Sting.

And that short poignant conversation with a 14 year old got me thinking…

Leads to another

My ideas and thoughts on the whole God and Jesus deal are limited at best.

About 7 years before I got sober, I had said a total of 1 prayer to “God”….and it wasn’t a nice one.

Prior to that I was never a church goer or a Bible reader or anything of the sort. Call it atheist, agnostic or whatever you like. I just did not have an opinion or a care about it either way. I was too busy drinking to care. It worked for me.

Then came the day of the prayer.

My Father passed away from Prostate cancer in 2000. I was there for his last breathe. Moments after his passing I went outside to have a word with this God character…..and I was pissed.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I went outside and knelt on the ground, looked up at the sky and said,

“You are the one who allowed my Father to get sober for 14 years and be the Dad we wanted and then you take him away with this? I don’t care if you are real or not, I would prefer that you leave me out of your plans. I got this. I will do what I want, when I want…period. Go f$&k with someone else’s life. Stay out of mine.”

And with that I got up, spat in the ground and went inside to help my Mother.

Needless to say, the next 6 years were the beginning of the end. My drinking and drug use escalated to monumental heights while the people who chose to hang out with me were of the monumentally low.

The last year of my debacle of my life before sobriety is detailed in my pages section under-The Chronicles of the Frame.

I have been sober for over 6 years now. My ideas and thought on the “God deal” have changed quite a bit.

My commitment to the program of AA has led me to believe.

It is because of this belief that I am sober.

It is because of this that I don’t have to pray to God…I can talk to God

It is because of this belief that I am willing to use my past experiences to attempt to help others that are afflicted with the same dependency issues that I have.

It is because of this belief that I have researched and sought out different spiritual avenues to help me understand the power of faith.

It is because of this belief….that I don’t believe that Christmas is about getting cool stuff.

I believe that Christmas is just another day when we should be finding ways to help our fellow man.

And buying electronics is not the way.

Sting

The Attempted Surrender


Last night I was awoken from my slumber by a fat man in a red velvet pimp suit and a ZZ Top beard.

He just sat there….all sullen looking…sitting in the rocking chair I made myself for Christmas last year.

I sat up in my bed, rubbed my eyes, turned the lamp on that sat on my nightstand and looked at him with a concerned but not quite awake look.

I thought carefully before I spoke. Then I said,

“Those midgets of yours aren’t raiding my fridge like they did last year are they?”

“No,” he said with a sigh,” I left them at the work shop…..and for the last time they are elves not midgets.”

“Potato, potatoe….whatever. I was cleaning mini puke out of my sofa until Easter last year when they cleaned me out of salsa. What brings you back to my solitary neck of the woods this time. Nick?”

He smoothed over his long beard with his palm, hunched over and rested his forearms on his knees and explained….

“First off, I come to talk to you because you knew me way before I was “a holiday icon”, before the fables and lore…..I worked very hard to make people believe in the power of Christmas and to bring good cheer and happiness throughout the world. Even if only for a short time of the year….my presence sparked positive attitudes around the globe……”

“So why the long face…your always enormous ego seems to be in great shape…..and hey your dogs aren’t gonna poo on my roof are they? Those creatures have no manners.” I interrupted.

“REINDEER NOT DOGS!…and no I brought the copter. May I finish? Thank you. Ever since I beat you out for this job, so long ago, I have come to visit you to garner advice. Your insight into the realities of the realm of Earth go way beyond my lists of naughty and nice.”

“And each year I keep telling you, you are getting too big for your britches…and I keep telling you the more they want, the thinner your state of happiness will become. Look at you now, fatter than ever and not a glimpse of happiness to be seen..what gives El Tubbo from the North?” I asked.

“I just can’t do it anymore. No one…and I mean no one wants hand made crafts or toys that need an imagination to bring them alive. I don’t have the resources to produce touchscreen phones, virtual reality video games. LCD flat screen 3D televisions. The world has become spoiled, I can’t keep up with demand the parents or the youths I used to have influence over. They just go out and buy them anything and everything they want…whether they are good or bad!” St. Nick frantically replied.

“So….you are here this time because you think I might be looking for a room mate?….look, I like being alone. I am perfectly happy….all year round….being here, building things and sending them to random people around the world. It works for me. The only glory I receive is inner peace. Once I lost the North Pole gig to you, I was devastated. I didn’t think I would ever recover. Your name got bigger and mine was forgotten. But as time went on. I did recover. You were meant for that job, but once you franchised your image out to marketing companies you lost your edge. Your image became about sales and not about good cheer. That’s why you can’t keep up. But if you think I am going to jump on your sad train…I am not.”

“I don’t know what to do.” Nick pleaded with tears in his eyes.

I exhaled loudly and got out of bed. I Walked over to the desk and pulled that chair over and sat in front of my old nemisis and said,

“Awww….poor Santa is feeling sorry for himself. Don’t you realize the world is no longer about good will toward all men…it’s good stuff for all men. Once you quit trying to fulfill their needs and began to fuel their wants you lost who you were. You have to get that back. I can’t tell you how. But you can start by getting rid of that helicopter. Your image should be about wealth of hope not wealth of power.”

Santa sat up straight looked me in the eye and confidently replied,

“You’re right. I’m going to rediscover myself after this Christmas. Thanks for the pep talk, Ralph. I only have 22 more days to go…I had better get back.”

With that Santa got up,straightened his suit and walked back out to his awaiting helicopter.

Ralph watched as the copter soared off toward the north, shook his head and said to no one in particular,

“Until next year my old friend.”

He then went back to his desk to check the short list of names who would be receiving the anonymous gifts that he made from his small work shop.

And smiled.

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