Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Christmas wreath

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Christmas wreath


CHRISTMAS MYSTERY. Sometime soon after Thanksgiving, I reached blindly under the guest bedroom bed to bring out the Absolutely Perfect Artificial Christmas Wreath which had resided in that very place since the day after New Year’s Day of 2017. I was grateful, as usual, that nothing bit my grasping hand.

As always, the wreath was ready to hang. It was already on the hook that goes over the top of the front door. It already had an extension cord held raggedly to the right length by a leftover trashbag cinch. The extension cord was already plugged into a timer which could be plugged into an outlet. The timer was already set for “on” between the hours of 4:30-10:30 p.m (I am a tightwad and it is my sincere belief that there’s no use running up the electric bill when only passing stray dogs will see the lighted Absolutely Perfect Artificial Christmas Wreath).

I hung the wreath, set the thingy to the correct time of day, and plugged the timer into the overhead electrical outlet.

And I waited until 4:30 to go to the front yard to bask in the glow of my lighted front door wreath.

But at 4:33 the wreath was still dark.

I checked again several times over the next few nights, but the wreath was always dark and I was too lazy to go out and check the thingy to see why it wasn’t working. Probably some complicated electrical problem, I said, congratulating myself upon giving myself an excellent excuse for not trying to fix the wreath.

I even looked at the wreath during the daytime, just to make sure I didn’t have AM and PM mixed up on the timer. I will admit to being a geezer, and that means sometimes AM and PM get mixed up.

Well, I muttered quietly to myself lest Santa hear, I’ll just wait until I get home in two days and throw the danged thing away.

Late on Christmas Day when I rolled in from my stay at daughter’s house, I was stunned to see that the wreath was lit.

I even went outside two hours later (but before 10:30) just to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks.

No, the wreath was still wonderfully illuminated by about a hundred teeny white bulbs.

What fixed it, I wondered.

The only thing I could think of was how my late wife could fix things just by glaring. Jane could fix electric thingys, flashlights, tv remote controls and a lazy husband just by glaring. No words needed. She didn’t need printed instructions, either.

So, I reasoned, some similarly talented and goodhearted woman must have driven past and glared at that wreath.

There was just one problem. Next morning when I drove to work I noted that the wreath was still on, needlessly wasting pennies worth of electricity. I shuddered to think how much higher my electric bill was gonna be if the wreath had worked every night while I was gone. Ten or eleven cents for sure.

Since it will be the day after New Years Day before I can take down the wreath, I’d sincerely appreciate if that woman would bless my household with another drive-by glaring.

Otherwise, my electric bill might be 16 or 18 cents higher.

Or, I could just throw the wreath away. I could use the extra space under the bed.

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OUR TRADITION. Going back a decade or so, I’ve gone to midnight church services on Christmas Eve with my daughter and granddaughter. In that time we’ve celebrated at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Maumelle. Some years at various Catholic churches in Little Rock. We went once to a small, old Catholic church in Marche, a community founded by Polish railroad workers just outside of North Little Rock. Some of the Christmas Carols were sung in Polish.

We went once to a Latin Rite mass at a Catholic church somewhere in North Little Rock.

Yep. Even the carols were sung in Latin. I tried my best.

This year we went to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, downtown Little Rock. It was the first time for granddaughter to see that place.

The grand old church smelled heavily of incense and there were banks and banks of red poinsettias. The flowers were from Sunshine Acres Nursery in Nashville, Ark. The service was an unforgettable celebration of the birth of the Christ child.

Because there were so many people, I thought I’d see someone I knew.

Sure enough, I spotted Steve Harrelson, grandson of one of Nashville’s iconic former citizens, Boyd Tackett. Boyd was a US Congressman, candidate for governor, and noted criminal defense attorney. Steve is a former state senator now practicing law in LR. He tried to act like he didn’t know me.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email:  There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver.

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WORD GAMES. The twins: Bound and Determined. Don’t get between the twins and their objective or you could be run over.

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HE SAID: “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” Goran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden

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SHE SAID: “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence … We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Mother Theresa

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