Monday, November 14, 2016

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

So we used to listen to the Platters a lot.  I think it all started out with that movie "Always," which wasn't a bad movie now that I think of it.  I'm actually thinking of looking for it now, considering the theme of fire fighters battling forest fires.  That and "Planes:  Fire and Rescue."  Anyway, the Platters song is called "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," and that's easily - easily - the theme song for today.  The weather service said this was a red alert situation.  Kids stay indoors, as do folks with lung problems.  Heck, everyone should stay indoors today - the smoke is everywhere.  Just north of here are several forest fires, some intentionally set.  The weather has been so dry lately that there's not much that can be done.  Firefighters are hiking really long distances to get to the places where the fires are, and it's been an ongoing story that you usually only hear about in California or elsewhere in the west.  The smoke makes it impossible to think of anything else.  There's this super moon, so huge and full - and it should be perfectly clear out there.  It's just the smoke.  And the sunrise and sunset are so basic, without cloud cover at all.  Yet you can see the sun without any trouble as it sets, the haze diffusing all the harsh light and casting the landscape in a deep red color.  We all stay indoors, and treat the garage like an airlock.  We really pity everyone working outside on a day like today.

We did drive around a bit today:  Madison had ballet and jazz.  While she was dancing, we were out looking for a Christmas tree stand, probably a bit too early.  We stopped at two places before we found success at Lowe's.  We also found some of the biggest Christmas inflatables I've ever seen.  A few are easily bigger than our car - one's a Reindeer and Sleigh Craft Carrier, which is basically an air craft carrier with a ginormous Santa and his reindeer on it.  The jumbo jet is ridiculous.  It's even bigger.  I'm seriously not sure if that thing would even fit in our yard.  It's amazing.  It would eclipse many houses, making decorating those houses irrelevant.

We always like walking through Lowe's to see some of the decorations and ideas.  But they did have that tree stand, which we snagged.  We're using it for the last tree to go up, which we'll finish up with this week.  The trees are looking nice at night, and this new one will look nice from outside.  Mommy always wanted that tree you can see in the front window.

It was a long day for Madison, but we did manage to watch our Tribes Christmas before bed.  Daddy was working a lot, writing for the upcoming Cowboy Christmas series.  One idea was to take an old Johnny Cash song (Reba did it too).  The song is called "The Christmas Guest."  But rather than write the lyrics to that song, Daddy took the premise of the whole thing and rewrote it using a few of our cowboy characters.  As Christmas approaches, we'll leave you with this unusual poetry:

One Christmas Eve, a Cowboy stood,
inside his cabin made of wood
Though all alone, his heart had cheer:
a precious holiday was near!
When suddenly, a blinding light
shone brightly through the silent night.
It was an angel here to share: 
a Christmas guest would soon be there.
Yes, Jesus would be on his way. 
The Cowboy shouted, “Yippee-kay-ay!”
He did a boot-scoot, which looked silly. 
He also made some Christmas chili.
He decorated his whole place,
a look of joy all on his face.
Right there and then, Black Bart rode up. 
The Cowboy said, “Hey Bart.  What’s up?”
“I ain’t too good,” Black Bart replied. 
“If I don’t eat, I just might die.”
“This chili here, it’s for God,”
the Cowboy said.  It sounded odd.
“But you can have some, sure enough. 
‘Cause going hungry can be tough.”
Soon Black Bart left, upon his horse. 
He sure was grateful now, of course!
But the Cowboy had another visit. 
A knock upon on the door – who is it?
Not Jesus, no.  He’d have to wait. 
For the visitor was Calamity Kate.
She was riding through the country,
smelled that chili, and got real hungry!
“Sure, go on and eat you some,”
the Cowboy said.  Soon she was done!
“Merry Christmas,” she exclaimed,
as she rode out there on the range.
The Cowboy looked deep in his pot,
but the chili there was not a lot.
But just enough, he thought, for one. 
He could not wait to see God’s Son.
A then a knock came on the door. 
Let it be Him, he hoped once more.
Sadly not, for just outside
was a little kid who cried and cried.
This may be hard to believe:
‘twas a lost child on Christmas Eve!
The Cowboy had to help right then:
“Here take this chili, little friend!”
Then through the night, they both did roam,
until they found this poor child’s home.
The Cowboy went back to his cabin,
wondering at all that had happened
His Christmas chili was all gone. 
And where was Jesus?  What’s going on?
Suddenly a light appeared. 
The Cowboy said, “Now hey, that’s weird!”
The light shone like a fiery torch,
then Jesus showed up on his porch!
“Thank you very much Cowboy. 
For that chili I did enjoy!”
“But there ain’t no more,” the Cowboy said. 
He looked puzzled, and scratched his head.
Then Jesus grinned.  And the Cowboy knew. 
Jesus was there.  It all was true!
When the Cowboy helped that little child,
Jesus looked down and yes he smiled.
“For what’s been done for the least of these,
that very thing… you did it for me.”

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