Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
I saw this Tweet from the folks at Five Thirty Eight. 538 does a lot of surveying and prognosticating on topics currently before us. They're big during election years. But this morning their survey results were all about Christmas-who likes it, who shops, what we do and on and on. This is the Tweet:
Only 10 percent of Americans say they look forward to attending religious activities during the holiday season.
I thought to myself, "wow, this can't be right. Who on earth did they survey?" So I read the entire article and the info on Christmas church going was near the end and in reality, the headline is totally misleading. They made it sound as if this 10 percent was 10 percent of everyone. It wasn't. It was 10 percent of those Americans who do not normally attend religious services. Not nearly 10 percent of all Americans.
And here's one more throw away headline, this time from the Clayton Richmond Heights Patch who's reporters must be having trouble coming up with stories right now.
Dale and I drove from St Louis to the Washington DC area to spend Christmas with our younger daughter Katie and her family. We made a stop in Paris....Illinois...to visit Dale's mother and then endured the long drive in pretty good shape. No weather issues or traffic issues...a miracle of sorts. The only point of contention is Dale's habit of having to regulary share the number of miles or time in hours we have remaining on the drive. I kind of prefer to guage trips' end by where we are, for instance, we're in Wheeling WV. Ok, my mind says, we're more than halfway and it's only 10:30 in the morning so I feel good about things.
Anyhow, here's a bit of what the boys are doing so far other than a crazy mess of a trip to a Wegman's grocery story. This was my idea since Wegman's is the best best best and I didn't want to miss a chance. But two days before Christmas everyone else in the DC region who loves Wegman's went this morning too. With Katie and I each pushing a cart holding one boy, we manuvered through the crowds and didn't hit too many harried shoppers. I have no idea exactly what we bought, though, we were just tossing stuff in and bypassing our list because stopping to list check would have brought the crowd to a standsill as much as an accident at rush hour.
They look pretty happy and congenial here don't they?
Shopping makes Jake hungry
Katie is somehow able to read mail and not notice Jake stuffing his face with Gorilla Nuggets.
Drew was doing the same while watching cartoons.
This afternoon we're all going over to visit one of their former neighbors.
Here's a short look at some of the work our students and staff put themselves through to get all the campus Christmas lights hung. Not everything was a ground level.
Hanging lights around Luther's neck was the hardest and it was so cold, but these students kept at it until it was done.
Up in a tree in the most precarious way, never sure the branches would hold.
Up on the roof of Luther Tower, one of the highest points in the entire area.
And on the ground the week before Thanksgiving when the temperatures never got above the teens. These guys stayed out all day for 5 days to get everything finished. Proud of them all. The campus is now something of a destination for Clayton neighborhood people to walk through at night to see the lights.
This is the time of year when it's very obvious that all wrapping paper is not created equal and it's impossible to determine how flimsy or workable each roll is due to the shrink wrap plastic packaging.
I am a fan of wrapping paper rolls which come with a grid on the backside which is a brilliant invention for people like me who can't cut straight. Too bad all wrapping paper companies don't do this.
Also, the thickness or foldability is different in each roll. Some end up being so thick-ish folding is messy and others turn out to be so thin you can almost see right through it.
The best roll of paper I got this week came from World Market. It wraps perfectly although minus a back grid.
We had Black Friday. We had Cyber Monday which actually last all week. Now it's Green Monday, at least on Amazon. Keep shopping folks, the colors keep changing but there are still deals to be had. Next week we'll probably wake up to the news that it's Code Red Monday, time is running out.
Dogs we have had over the years are always shocked and kind of overwhelmed when the real Christmas comes into the house. Most of the time they stay way away for a few hours, maybe because to us humans, the fragance of the tree smells like Christmas but to a dog's smeller, it carries the scent of every creature who ever walked by it in the woods. But his dog below is happy.
We had the official lighting ceremony last evening with students and staff walking from one area to another and turning on the lights accompanied by readings of the Biblical Christmas story and carols. It was a damp and foggy night, but it was still fun.