Friday, December 20, 2013
Christmas is a joyful time for most, but there are people, for various reasons, who experience sadness during the Christmas season. I hope this column brings laughter to those who suffer during Christmas.
I've written before about the Christmas play at Johnson Chapel Baptist Church when I was a child. I just knew I would be chosen to play the role of Mary. I knew it.
Instead, little Patsy Russell with her hair in golden ringlets was chosen. She didn't look a lick like Mary. She looked more like Shirley Temple.
One night at rehearsal I saw Patsy, in her starched crinoline slip, backing up to the open-faced gas heater to get warm. I made a wish to Santa, telling him that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was for Patsy's slip to catch on fire and that she would be slightly injured, just enough to have to give up her role as Mary.
Oh my Lord! Her slip started smoking and everyone rushed to her aid. The show did go on with Patsy as Mary and me as a donkey or sheep or something. I learned to be careful what I wished for. And to this day, I have never been chosen to play the role of Mary.
Last year I shared a story told to me by Dr. Jerry Crosby. If you missed it, keep reading and be prepared to laugh out loud.
Some years ago, an unexpected blooper took place during the children's annual Christmas pageant at Indiantown Presbyterian Church. The children, all dressed in Biblical attire, waited patiently for the 'Star in the East' to slowly rise over the stage.
The star was attached with fishing line to a very long, cane fishing pole. On cue, the operator of the cane pole began to lift the star. Unfortunately, it became snagged on something and would not budge.
The operator pulled and tugged until the star finally popped free and went bouncing all over the stage, one side to the other, dancing in the air. No one could contain their laughter. I wish I had been there.
Do you receive Christmas letters from family and friends? You know, the kind that catches you up on the family's accomplishments and activities throughout the year. I most enjoy the letters which are honest and real.
I believe my favorite Christmas letter is the one sent this year by a close friend who shall remain nameless. I'll just refer to her as Jane Doe, her husband as John Doe, and their children and grandchildren as the little Does. The names are fictitious, but the letter is real.
Jane's letter this year begins with the news that John had a mini-stroke which led to surgery for a blocked carotid artery. Jane says, “I had hoped with improved blood flow to the brain there would be improvement to hearing and memory, since he is constantly saying, 'I can't hear you' or 'you moved it, now I can't find it.'”
Jane also writes, “John is also a back and front seat driver and a royal pain in the rear. He went from driving a '64 speed shift Corvette to a 2000 Silverado doing 35 in a 45 mph zone.”
She also makes fun of herself. “I did join the YMCA. I learned two interesting facts while trying to lose weight. You can gain weight by building muscles, and fat floats. If you ever hear I have drowned, call the police because the only way that would happen is to hook a concrete block to my feet. Otherwise I pop to the top like a cork.”
In talking about her 20-month-old grandson, Jane says he is 34 inches tall and weighs 34 lbs. She says “I need to find the fountain of youth or a personal trainer to keep up. Option #3 is margaritas and lipo suction. #3 looks good to me.”
It seems that grandson Doe had his first experience with potty training when he was with John in the yard. Jane said it was a case of monkey see, monkey do. “Big monkey (John) had the call of nature in the yard, little monkey sees and drops his diaper. Big Monkey's fountain works, little monkey not sure how to turn on the fountain, but he gives it his all. A Kodak moment for sure.”
To Patsy Russell, Dr. Crosby, and Jane Doe . . . thanks for the memories.
I may be reached at (843) 446-4777 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.