Showing posts from December, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I am sitting here in my office at school with Pandora Radio streaming The Carol of the Bells through my computer speakers. Mr. Colby has arrived to do some work in the peace and quiet of his student-less classroom and Mr. Schunck has dropped in to check that he has not left on Christmas lights and computers in his lab downstairs. Mrs. Lange is down the hallway from me working away on school stuff, and I am counting the hours and minutes until my flight leaves the tarmac at BWI airport and whisks me away to Maine to spend Christmas with my family.

I called the WBAL and WRBS radio stations to ask them to announce that GGCA would be closed today. The WRBS, I mean, SHINE FM deejay asked me when our Christmas break begins and when I told him that it was to begin tomorrow, he quipped, "So, it really began last Friday," and I smiled and answered, "Yes." I was not expecting to be closed these last two days of school before the break. The weather reports at this time last we…

A thrill of hope...

I like those lyrics from "O Holy Night" my favorite Christmas carol: "A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!" For those of you who do not know me very well, allow me to confess that I am not an excitable person. I don't get giddy or effervesce with enthusiasm, except perhaps in my writing or when I am playing a role in a play that calls for me to be bubbly. I haven't been little-kid excited about Christmas for years, but this year I am, and I don't rightly know why.

I think that part of the reason is the Christmas music I've been hearing and singing in church. I have such great anticipation for the elementary Christmas play tonight and the GGCA band's offering songs. I have been hearing about what a blessing the singers and musicians have been in the nursing and retirement homes where they have been performing. I am so proud of our kids! I am pleased with Mrs. Janssen's and Mr. Smith's work …


I don't understand why people don't like to read. It is a mystery to me. I feel sad when a child says that reading is not interesting and that the only reason he says he ever reads is "I have to for school." It makes me want to whisk that child off to a library or bookstore to find and buy the one perfect book that will change his mind and help him see that reading can be an enjoyable and beneficial pastime. I hate watching students struggle through school because they have poor reading skills through lack of practice. The thing is, with reading, practice can be fun. There are so many good books out there to be read, but they have to be found. Looking for a good book is not as convenient as clicking through the TV channels with a remote control...

The Meek and the Mighty

And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the LORD,
In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth Micah 5:4 (The Message)

In this verse, our Savior is both a shepherd feeding His flock and a great, majestic king. I am amazed me that Jesus can be a humble, lowly shepherd and also a regal, exalted king. Jesus' story reminds me of all the tales where a simple servant is somehow the rightful king, the difference being that Jesus knew all along that he was the king and yet lived his life as a servant among the common people. He had his moments of glory, like on the mount of transfiguration, but he set aside that glory and splendor to gird himself with a towel and wash the dirty feet of his disciples. Instead of living in a palace with courtesans fawning over him and supplicants groveling at his feet, he lived the life of an itinerant preacher, traveling from village to village, healing the sick, disease…

New Mittens

When I was a little boy, every winter I looked forward to getting new mittens. My mother bought skeins of yarn at the store, took out her knitting needles and the pattern, and asked each of us kids which two colors we wanted. The mittens were special double knit mittens that combined our two chosen colors in a tweedy looking way that made them thick and toasty warm. As she knit, she would call one of us over, from time to time, to measure a mitten against one of our hands to be sure the cuff was long enough or that the thumb was in the right place. When she finished the mittens, she started making us matching knit caps with pom poms on top. There was nothing quite like fresh mittens and caps to get me ready for winter and outdoor play.

Do moms knit mittens and caps with pom poms any more?