Today Christians celebrate the unlikely beginning of the life of Jesus. The story is well known.
Mary and Joseph had taken shelter in a stable for farm animals, because all the places for lodging were full. Mary bore her baby amongst the chickens and sheep and oxen and donkey. Very humble beginning indeed.

Yet you can imagine, especially if you’re a parent, the manner in which all else fell away when the child came into this world. Humbling, speechless, JOY. One can only be in the moment. Imagine that moment.

Today we went to Mass at a packed church in my wife’s home town. Even those believers who are not church-goers show up on Christmas Eve.  

We got there late. I had to park four blocks away. I hustled in as the service began.

There was little open space even in the crying room. We ended up on the back corner. All good. 

With five little kids between my sister-in-law’s and our family, that space suited us fine. That’s where noisy, distracted families belong, in my humble opinion. Folks up front are there to fully participate.

Front or back of the house though, I find myself feeling humbled when I contemplate God become human in that newborn baby in swaddling clothes that stable. If I give it just a little focus, and can get my mind and soul far enough inward to feel the awe. I feel the joy. 

I have to listen above the din of the kids and people gathered together, much the way the animals in the stable might have distracted the new parents of Jesus. But the joy is there. 

The main thing is the moment, the devine inserted into this world some two thousand years. And still present today among us. JOY.

Emmanuel. “God With Us.



Our Family Just Now

Yes indeed, the picture and read explain things about our family pretty well.

Props to my lovely wife for the piece. She’s a good one. She’s a fine writer, too. [Biased noted on both counts.]


Deep Day Tuesday

Sick Bay Log, 20171219

One of the kids has been sick for a few days. She soldiered through school last week, had a better weekend, then hit the wall yesterday.

So I planned to stay home with her today. Then our son with sniffly nose went over the edge overnight, so he stayed home too. 

It was a whiny, runny nose, tissue-heavy, screen-filled day thru Noon. Naps ensued around one this afternoon.  

I’ve gotten a little Lions work done (for the service club I belong to). Read more news than usual. Ate kid leftovers for breakfast. 

Several pots of tea later, it’s mid-afternoon, naps continue for the moment, and the afternoon sun is slowly falling, making the living room darker, the Christmas lights on the tree and mantle brighter. 

The Count of Monte Cristo calls, so I must go. A little pleasure reading on a day deep in the blah of kids home with illness.




What is a gunslinger?

The dictionary offers this simple definition:

Noun: gunslinger (plural gunslingers)

In the Old West: a person who carried a gun and was an expert at the quick draw.

In modern usage: a person who behaves with the bravado expected of someone who would duel with guns.

We’re getting toward the end of the calendar year at work, and that means fscal year-end too at my company.

There’s a guy who I saw this morning that hasn’t been around for a while — it was said he’d retired.

But apparently now he’s back on a contract basis to help our finance team close the books on 2017.

He’s a great guy. Friendly, no BS, smart. We worked together for about a year before he left. I never saw him with
anything other than a smart phone.

He knows what he’s doing. He asks good questions. He separates the wheat from the chaff with deadly practical
efficiency. He executes according to plan. That’s it. Like I said, no BS.

When I saw him this morning I thought, “The [fiscal] gunslinger is back.”




Way Station

There are countless things you could be doing at any particular time. On this particular Sunday afternoon some of the options include might include watching football — from the couch or the stands — doing laundry, paying bills, taking a nap, chatting with neighbors, or visiting the park. 

On this side? 

We opted for a park run after an earlier arts session with mom at home. Quite a variety of activities followed as the breeze swayed the branche and the sun moved down on the horizon.  Some swing, some sliding, lots of imagination. 

My take away? After an up and down week that stretched into today, I needed some perspective to balance out. This particular way station did the trick. 




Gotta have it. Makes the world go around a bit more smoothly.

Want another cookie? Restraint.

Want another glass of wine? Restraint.

Want to snap back at a hurtful comment? Restraint.

Drive on the carpool lane as a single driver? Restraint.

Blow off the meeting? Restraint.

Watch another hour of screen? Restraint.

Fall into temptation? Restraint.

The result?




It was quite a morning. It was kind of a brawl.

Was ready to go on the usual schedule for a work-day. Then the kids started waking up. Things went a little sideways from there.

There was a little nurture for number one kid, who was feeling sick, to build her up for the school day.

Then it was a ninja wrestle with the three year old to get her in the car seat.

And finally, I had to negotiate with the third kid to get him out of the house when it was time to go.

What was the result? I felt like I’d been through a bit of a brawl. Like a street fight. Before eight o’clock in the morning.


Another great lesson from parenthood. Be ready. More like a series of lessons. Lots to learn, everyday. All GOOD.