A Christmas miracle


Chicago hadn’t had any measurable snowfall for months. As Christmas drew near this year, it looked like everyone was going to have to do without the white stuff. Bah, humbug.

But I had a plan. Yesterday, at the last possible minute, I removed the tangled mass of fake red berries that passes for our Christmas wreath from the front door, and replaced it with an old piece of craftwork that usually remains hidden in our holiday closet. It usually snows well enough around here, without any extra encouragement. But drastic times call for drastic measures.

I won’t say that it did the trick overnight, because there was no snow on the ground when we woke up this morning, to see what Santa had brought for everyone. But it started to snow a couple of hours later, and now there’s just enough snow on the ground to qualify as an officially White Christmas.

Chicago, you’re welcome. And a Merry Christmas to all!


Quarterly report #3

When I wrote my last quarterly report back in December of 2011, I pointed out that the end of this quarter comes right before the start of the baseball season. I’m a baseball guy at heart, and have been since I was a little kid, so the thought of baseball season starting up again helped me to get through the winter.  

The weather this winter wasn’t bad at all, but I still wrote a piece that came to me as I was shovelling snow one day. I think there were only two measurable snowfalls last winter, and I’ll take that any time.

I wrote over 100 pieces this quarter, averaging more than one per day. If I ever would average two pieces a day, that would be a whole lot of writing, and I’m not sure how that would be possible. But I’ve also learned that you can never say never.

I wrote some baseball pieces, of course, but some of my writing in this realm is being posted on Through the Fence Baseball and on the Cubs page on Fanified. So check those periodically, if you’re so inclined. There may be others, and I’ll post them here in case there are.

I also used this space to write a couple of Lincoln pieces, which have always been a part of this blog that I enjoy writing. Lincoln follows me through life, and I try to reflect on that when my time allows for it. As long as this blog is here, similar posts will keep on appearing.

I also wrote a few pieces about the Trayvon Martin case. It’s a story that picks off the scab of race relations in this country, and reminds me that we still have so far to travel on that score. I want to be a part of that discussion, somehow, and that’s why I’ve waded into this as I have. I’ll continue to do that in the quarters ahead, too. It’s too important an issue to just ignore it.

But the most rewarding pieces that I wrote in the past three months were birthday tributes to my mother and my father, on the occasions of their birthdays. I didn’t want to just send them a card, or an email, with the same old birthday wishes. So I opened up my heart, put it on here for the world to read, and sent them the links. It meant more to me that way, and hopefully to them, as well.

This blog gives me a way of  addressing the world, on any topic that interests me enough to compose a blog post. And I’ve learned how much of the world actually sees this, and it’s enormously heartening. I have no illusions that the posts in this space are any more that small sea shells in the vast ocean that is the World Wide Web. But at the same time, putting my shells out into that ocean is really the most that I can do. And I’m more than willing to keep at it for the forseeable future.

I wish a Happy Spring to all who may see this as it is being written, at the end of March, 2012. And now for the all-important phrase that I’ve waited a long time to hear:

Play ball!