The streets of Thief River were quiet the morning of Christmas Eve. I was wasting a little time before my morning work-out and considering that most people kind of “hunker-down” for Christmas. I like to be out because even rudimentary things seem special at Christmas. I got my coffee at Pennington Main, wished a Merry Christmas to the clerk with the Santa hat and went to my work-out.
We work-out at the old hospital, Dave. Katie is our instructor and we chatted about Christmas plans while we waited for Chris to arrive. Chris brought both of us a card and a bag of cinnamon pecans. Chris is very generous and knows how to delay our work-out with good conversation-a prized talent. Chris and I both love coffee but Katie hasn’t discovered the joy of the bean. Anyway, the first toast of Christmas Eve in Pennington County occurred post-work-out, Wednesday morning at 0730 between three work-out buds over a light breakfast of cinnamon pecans, some Douwe Egbert coffee and a work-out bottle filled with hotdog water.
I am home now, Dave. Lisa never knows what to get me for Christmas as I regularly and vigorously gift myself through-out the year. Our cat, Magoo, has pretty severe diabetes and has been slowly recovering with insulin and special food. I thought about what I really wanted for Christmas and decided I would prize nothing more than a healthy Magoo. Lisa paid a veterinarian bill for me and Magoo has steadily improved, I couldn’t be happier with my gift.
This will be our first Christmas without our brother, Steve. I don’t know that daily life is so different without Steve but certain moments are way more intense now as the loss of a family member always floats just below the surface of your emotions. I always think that he can now celebrate Christmas dinner with mom and dad and maybe Robin Williams will stop by their table.
I tried a gingerbread house a few years ago. It went fine but I thought maybe I would make something more themed to agriculture this year. I’ve seen gingerbread formed to create farm machinery however I decided to make a gingerbread Ritchie cattle waterer. I built it but commissioned Lisa to decorate it. She included a hay bale with cats sitting on it. I wanted to pipe some blue frosting to represent the water that pools around a waterer after the heater goes bad and the water pipe freezes and cracks but that might strike too close to home for a lot of cattle folks. Anyway, I included a picture complete with a plastic horse to increase the realism. I would have made it a cow but the store was out of cows; ‘must be a big demand for plastic replacement cows this year as the real ones are too expensive.
Finally Dave, if Christmas is to include some reflection, then here is mine. Law Enforcement is like the Sheep dog that watches over God’s flock and protects them from the wolf. The sheep do not trust the Sheepdog as he may gently correct them when they break their barriers. The wolf hates the Sheepdog as he wishes to prey on the sheep. The Sheepdog leads a lonely life but takes comfort in the fact he is the ultimate protector and is the reason the flock thrives. As we remember Jesus who came to save us from our sins everlasting let us also remember and support the men and women who keep us safe in our earthly lives.
Tell everyone Merry Christmas
you’re little bro’