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No New Year’s Predictions

18 Dec

2015 Should Be Good, Unless There Is A Real Estate Meltdown

Ed, my neighbor next door, always holds a New Year’s Eve party where he makes his famous predictions for the coming year. Ed and Ruby will still be hosting their annual New Year’s Eve party this year, but Ed isn’t doing any predictions. My neighbor has decided that the world has gone totally crazy, and anything can happen in the coming year. Ed has pointed out that 2014 was as unpredictable as it gets. Ed still has some sandbags from Melville’s unbelievable summer flood. The killing of a ceremonial soldier/reservist and gunfire in the parliament at Ottawa was shocking. Then there was ISIS proudly beheading captives for the world to see so that Ed has given up making his predictions. Well almost, as Ed has made one prediction for himself; “I’m predicting that my neighbor next door will sell his house and move away. The only thing that could destroy my hopes is if there is a real estate meltdown.”

2015 has a great potential for joy for Ed, as long as, his neighbor moves away. When the beginning of the New Year rolls around, we do consider, like Ed, what might be a potential source of joy for us in the coming year. What will we do with our lives beyond our work and responsibilities in the year ahead? In a very real sense, everything is permissible for us, but not everything we might do is to our benefit. In fact, what we enjoy doing may be harmful, in that, it may master us. It is hard to eat one potato chip and stop at one. There is a thin line between enough and too much food.  

Classic Christmas Hits

17 Dec

Don’t Get Run Over By A Reindeer On Christmas Eve

Ed, my neighbor next door, is not home for Christmas this year. He and Ruby are celebrating Christmas in Edmonton. My neighbor had told me before they left that I should be careful because I could get run over by a reindeer on Christmas Eve. He loves to sing, “(How) Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”

Ed delights in telling me that he would come out to a Christmas Eve Church service if we cut out the Christmas carols and had some good classic Christmas music. I asked him if he was referring to something like, “Handel’s Messiah,” as some classic music. He answered, “No the good old classic Christmas music like, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland, or I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is what I’m talking about.” I said that they might be familiar songs, but not usually used in church on Christmas Eve. “That’s too bad!” Ed said to have the last word. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

16 Dec


Watch Out For the Red- Nosed Neighbor, Maybe He’s Contagious!

Ed, my neighbor next door, had trouble dealing with me last week after he saw my red nose. Of course, he wanted to know if I was competing with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He asked, “What is wrong with the end of your nose? It looks like you have a flesh eating disease. You’ll scare the kids and make adults cross the street.” If his cell phone hadn’t interrupted him who knows how much more he would have said. Once Ed gets worked up on some topic, it can seem like a week before he runs dry of words.

My neighbor’s greatest concern was that I had some contagious thing on my nose that looked worse than ringworm. He told me that these days a person cannot be too careful, maybe I have some new thing like Ebola only on my skin. He also offered that since I have spent a lifetime with my nose in books, maybe it’s a kind of mold from reading limitless, musty books.

What I’ve Got

8 Dec

Ask For What You Want For Christmas, But Don’t Expect To Get It!

Ed, my neighbor next door, has decided that there is a big problem with Christmas today. According to my neighbor, when he was a kid you never knew what you would get as a Christmas gift. Yes, he did make a list of what he wanted for Christmas, but he knew that what he wanted didn’t mean he would get it. There was no sense of entitlement that he would get what he requested. His parents decided what gifts were too expensive, and what presents he should or shouldn’t have. In spite of these circumstances, Christmas never failed to bring great excitement and joy. Christmas presents were truly a surprise and a celebration of what you got, rather than, caring about what you wanted to get. He claims that they didn’t often get what they asked to get as a gift. It saddened Ed that his grandchildren only know of getting the gifts they have requested.


25 Nov

Asking For Volunteers Can Result In A Disaster

Ed, my neighbor next door, has lots to say to me privately because we live next door to each other, but he makes it a steadfast rule to avoid me in public. Ed and Ruby were seated at OSAC Concert Series when we arrived last Saturday night. We were far enough away that Ed could completely ignore me. Almost at the end of his performance, Norman Foote asked for a couple of men volunteers.  He had done so well with audience participation until that point. The first volunteer from the audience was a bright, confident four-year-old little girl who sang the ABC song like a professional child-star. The second time a lady volunteer sang wonderfully, “You Are My Sunshine.”  The performer struck gold again the third time with an older girl volunteer who became a puppet that did movements to his song. If only he had left well enough alone.

In the second half the concert I was a bit distracted trying to discretely eat the bowl of party mix on our table. Then out of the blue performer Foote asked for men volunteers and picked a guy at back. Unfortunately, he also asked me to come up as a volunteer. I should have refused. We men volunteers had to put a flower petal affair on our heads and were to dance as flowers. The other fellow was a good dancer and performer.  I am not a good dancer, never have been, and the whole idea of dancing like a flower was pretty hard for my rusty old mind to assimilate. I know my attempts were pretty lame, and the performer had a look in his eyes like there is always one dud volunteer in every show.


25 Nov

You Will Not Have a Weight Problem If You Keep Off The Scales!

Ed, my neighbor next door, was told that I have been gaining weight. My neighbor keeps telling me that my walking at the walking track is a failure. He has offered to be my weight-loss manager for a small fee of five dollars for every pound that comes off my weight.

He wants me to consider smoking. “Every time you are about to pop food in your mouth have a cigarette instead,” Ed said. “You have to have bacon and eggs for breakfast with toast and jam, for lunch have three cigarettes and three coffees, and supper can be a full meal but no desserts except for a cigarette. All snacks during the day or at night are to be one or two cigarettes,” was the outline of my weight-loss plan. Ed is sure after a month I will have lost twenty pounds, and I will owe him one hundred dollars. I told him that I couldn’t afford bacon every breakfast or the cost of cigarettes. My neighbor was disappointed that I passed up on his weight reduction plan for me, but he had one last bit of advice for me which was to avoid scales, mirrors and being photographed.