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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GOODBY 2014; HELLO 2015 !!!

     Here we are, at the end of another year. Today being Wednesday, it is also time for another Hodgepodge of questions from our friend Joyce. I hope that you enjoy this year end edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.
     Actually this occurred on the day after Christmas. SWMBO and I cooked a turkey breast, my famous meat stuffing, mashed potatoes, mixed steamed veggies and toasted the occasion with sparkling apple cider. We had a wonderful meal with wonderful conversation in the quiet of our home. It was magical!

2. What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far?
     As I reflect upon the past I remember the assassinations of the 60's, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. I remember the TET Offensive of 1968 in Vietnam. I remember the first manned moon landing and the "Giant leap for all mankind" made by Neil Armstrong. In the more recent past, the attacks of 9/11/2001. I think that the terrorist attack on 9/11 was the biggest news event of my lifetime. Yeah, I'm going with that!

3. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala. What say you-like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either? 
     My "Man" genes will not let me comment on this question. Men have lost their "man card" for much less.

4. Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great grandchildren? Explain why.
     The historian in me wants me to meet my ancestors. However, my curiosity urges me to see how my progeny makes out. It's a tough call! I think I'm going into the future to see my great grandchildren. I'm curious to see if the future is as wondrous and exciting a place as my hopeful vision anticipates it will be or is it a return to a futuristic form of the Dark Ages?

5. Share one life lesson learned in 2014?
     "Don't sweat the small stuff and most of it is small stuff!" I have a keener view of what really is important. Most of the stuff that we get our tails wrapped around the axle over is amazingly unimportant and not worth the investment of emotion or time!

6. What was your best or favorite purchase made in 2014?
     I really don't know. I don't have need of anything. I don't really want anything. I am very much content with what I have...I don't want for anything. I can't think of anything I bought that fits the premise of this question.

7. What is one thing you're looking forward to in the new year?
    Becoming better...I want to be a better Christian man, I want to be a better Christian husband, I want to be a better Christian father and grandfather and I want to be a better church leader. When I look back on the year 2015, I want to be able to honestly say that I have made progress in all of these areas and more. I want to be the man that God created me to be!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
     Last Sunday morning I was given the opportunity to preach the sermon during the worship service. My theme was that the one thing that we all can count on for the future is change. Everyone of us will experience change to some extent in the coming months. So, how might we mitigate the impact of those changes. I describe three things that will go a long way to doing that...DAILY PRAYER...DAILY BIBLE READING...DAILY CHRISTLIKE LIVING. 
     I described what prayer is, namely talking to God. I then shared a couple of Biblical teachings on how we ought to pray. Finally I suggested what we should pray for. Simply stated, we should pray for everything. I did cite some specific items we ought to pray for.
     I next discussed the importance of Daily Bible Reading. If prayer is us talking to God then Bible Reading is God talking to us. Both Prayer and daily Bible Reading are essential disciplines for the spiritual health of all of God's people. Doing so daily will lead to the ability to consistently live a Christlike life.
     Reading the Bible is instructive to us as to how a Child of God ought to conduct himself. The Sermon on the Mount as preached by Jesus Himself, the Apostle Paul's Letter to the Ephesians and the Apostle Peter's Letters to the church are just three places replete with teaching on Christlike living. There are many more!
     So as the New Year dawns upon us all,  I urge all of you to consider doing those three things, especially if you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian there are many like me who would be all too happy to show you how. You have but to ask.
     I sincerely wish that all of you are lavishly blessed by God with all the best of health, prosperity and happiness that the New Year has to offer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


     As many of you know I am the founder of the Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society. I so dislike the vulgar commercialism that has become the traditional manner in which the holiday is observed in these modern times. However, every year around the two week before Christmas mark somehow my Christmas Spirit gets resurrected. Today is that day!
     Today is also Wednesday and that means it's time for another Hodgepodge of questions.

1. Time magazine has selected The Ebola Fighters as their person of the year for 2014. Do you agree, and if so who would you say is a close second? If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen? 
     I'm okay with the Times selection. These people risk their lives for people they don't know under less than ideal conditions. A close second would be the Aghan girl, Mullala. This girl was shot by the barbarian Taliban for having the audacity to want to learn. She was almost killed and yet still speaks out against the ignorance and the intolerance that is the Taliban. May they all burn in hell!

2. This question comes to you courtesy of Susan who blogs over at Stew Mama Says. She knows we have a wedding happening any minute now, and she asks, 'What's your favorite-something old? something new? something borrowed? something blue in your home?  Be sure you hop over and say hi to Susan today! 
      My favorite something old is SWMBO! Just kidding, she's not old...she is refined! My favorite something old is an acoustic guitar that I've had for over thirty years. My favorite something new is an Apple Airport Extreme wireless WiFi router. This was a gift from a very dear friend. My favorite borrowed item is "time." I am on borrowed time after my "SWMBO" comment above. My favorite something blue is the blue candle that I place in a window every Christmas Season to honor those law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
3. Fudge-yay or nay? Your favorite flavor? Do you make it yourself? With nuts or without?  
     Definitely YAY! My favorite is either peanut butter or caramel. Definitely with nuts! I do not make my own!

4. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly? Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the North Carolina Outer Banks? 
     My first flight was when I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18. I flew to Boston and then to San Antonio, TX, for basic training. I love to fly! I have been to North Carolina before but never to Kitty Hawk or the Outer Banks. Maybe someday!

5. Do the people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path?
     No we don't. We have all taken different career paths.

6. What is one thing you absolutely, positively must accomplish today?
     I must make it to church for the mid-week devotion and Bible study.

7. This Christmas I hope___________________________________.
     ...everyone takes time to reflect upon and appreciate the real meaning of Christmas. The God who created everything that was created enterred into time and space and walked the earth as a man for the purpose of sacrificing Himself on a cross for all of us because He loves us that much!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Next Wednesday is Christmas Eve. I don't know if there will be a Hodgepodge so I will take this opportunity to wish all of my fellow bloggers a very Merry Christmas and all the best that comes with it. Furthermore I wish everyone a healthful and prosperous New Year. May you receive an abundance of God's lavish blessings throughout the coming year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


     We are in the midst of another Nor'easter. Fortunately for my location in the Granite State it has been mostly a rain event. Had it been snow we would be shoveling out of twelve to eighteen inches of snow. There is a truism we say in NH...."You don't shovel rain!" 
     Now on to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions.
1. What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?
     A few years ago, SWMBO and I decided that we would agree to limit our gift purchases for each other to a defined dollar amount, always less than $100 dollars each. We decided by taking the "I love you more because I spent more on you" competition out of the mix we can better focus on the TRUE meaning of the Christmas Holiday while still acknowledging each other with a modest gift or gifts. 
     I really don't need, or want, much. I have everything I really need and then some. I really have a difficult time answering the question "What do you want for Christmas?" So I value our tradition.

2. It's the second week of December. Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month? Wrapped a gift? Opened a gift? Kissed someone under the mistletoe? Lit a candle? Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person? Watched a Christmas movie or special? Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?
     Yes! No! No! No! Yes! Yes! No! Yes! and No, but I am certain to do so!

3. Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime? Explain.
     I'm going with a child on this one. Children have a wide-eyed innocence and excitement during this time of year that many adults, including yours truly, are lacking. There is nothing like a smile on a child's face when they open that special gift from Santa, believing that it actually came from Santa. 

4. It's often said, 'Good things come to those who wait'...agree or disagree? Why?
     I definitely agree. Immediate gratification, as pleasurable as immediate gratification may be, is so inferior to receiving good things in their own good time.

5. What's the last sweet thing you baked? Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?
     I have NEVER baked anything!

6.  This question comes to us courtesy of Jhona who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane. Everyone hop over and say hi to Jhona this week!  Here is her question... "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse. Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together? Why or why not?"
     Depends on the context and upon how I size up the stranger. I have looked at people with a "threat analysis" view for all of my law enforcement life which is most of my adult life.  If I perceive someone as a threat I probably will not engage them in conversation. However, if no threat is perceived I might make a jocular comment to break the ice and depending on the reaction engage in further conversation.

7. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? What put you there?
     Yes, absolutely! I think I qualify for both lists. On the nice list because I always hold doors open for people. I anticipate and allow other cars to merge in front of me. I no longer shoot at people who cut me off in traffic. I spoil SWMBO because she so deserves to be spoiled.
     On the naughty list, well let's just say I qualify. The statute of limitations has not yet expired so I can't be more specific.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Yesterday we had our granddaughter over for a visit. We seized upon the additional labor pool and began decorating the house for Christmas. It was fun watching the girls, five and three years respectively, going around the house looking for places to put the various Christmas swag that Granny handed them. 
     The girls always make SWMBO, the fur babies and me very tired after they leave. It's not long until the dogs and SWMBO are safely ensconced in the land of Nod.
     Being a grandfather is one of the great joys of my life. Watching SWMBO being a Granny is another. She really is a wonderful Granny. I am a lavishly blessed man! THANK YOU, LORD!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014



      How was your Thanksgiving Day. SWMBO and I lost electric power around 2:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. We were supposed to host some friends at our house for Thanksgiving dinner. It did not happen as planned. Well, I'll let you know what happened another time. Today is Wednesday Hodgepodge time so on to this weeks questions.

1. What is something in your life right now that feels a little 'hodgepodge'?
     Recovering from the recent power outage. There's putting fuel stabilizer in the power generator and the gas cans to keep the fuel fresh for the next time. Putting the power extension cords away. There is, of course, removing the snow from paths and beginning the clean up of all the debris from the trees that fell during the storm. It seems to get harder and harder to do that the older that I get.

2. What does 'peace on earth, goodwill to men' mean to you?
     The Apostle Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." More often than not if you extend peace (goodwill) to others, you will find peace on earth.  
     It is God's desire that there be peace on earth and that we be people of good will. It is an ideal worth working long as it depends on you!

3. Which edible treat you are most looking forward to sampling this December?
     I love Italian Nut Cookies. I also like the variety packs of Christmas Cookies. Taken with a glass of ice cold eggnog they are absolutely scrumptious.

4. It's that most wonderful time of the you agree, and if so why is it so wonderful?  If not, what would you say is the most wonderful time of the year?
     I suppose it depends on the year. Some years it is the absolute best. Other years there are other ties of the year that are best. The thing that diminishes the enjoyment of the Christmas Season for me is the vulgar commercialism that is "Black Friday." 
     However, when I remember that God became man, Immanuel-God with us, and walked the earth living as one of us because He so loves us, My heart soars with gratitude and all manner of positive emotions and feelings. That is what Christmas is all about to me.

5. What was the last word you looked up in a dictionary (actual or online) and why?
     "Stabilizer" because I could not remember how to spell it for my response to question #1.

6. Besides a Christmas tree, what is your favorite thing to decorate this time of year?
     We have a blue spruce tree that I put lights on. I also have three lighted deer that I arrange in front of the spruce tree. I guess that would be my favorite. This year my granddaughters helped me place the deer in front of the tree. That was special!

7. Share one thing you've learned (about yourself, people, or anything at all) in the Wednesday Hodgepodge, or through blogging in general. 
     One thing I've learned is that there are many, bright and articulate people out there with well reasoned and well stated opinions whether I agree with them or not. I also learned that there aren't many men who are comfortable with sharing their thoughts via the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Personally I enjoy the weekly exercise in self expression.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Last Wednesday, New Hampshire was blanketed by heavy wet snow that caused tree branches to break taking down power lines as they fell to the ground. A widespread power outage ensued. We lost our power sometime around 2:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The storm plunged about 200,000 other customers into the dark. 
     It is times like these that SWMBO is glad that I am retired. I can stay home and focus on taking care of her rather than having to go to work to take care of other people.
     We celebrated Thanksgiving by transferring our dinner to a friends house who did not lose power. We cooked and ate the meal there. We had a wonderful time and a wonderful meal with special friends. It was a Thanksgiving we will always remember. I am thankful for the people that God has placed in our life.
     I hope that you all had a memorable Thanksgiving Day.