‘Twas the night after Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone. The gifts are opened, the meals enjoyed, the dishes done (or mostly done), and for many of us, our travels are completed…until the stores open for after Christmas bargain shopping, returns, and preparing for the New Year’s party. I tip my hat to those of you in retail that made it through the day today. I also hope that everyone had a happy and safe Christmas.

I spent Christmas Eve at my brother’s place in Goodhue. My parents also made the trip from southwestern Minnesota. John and Nina hosted a very nice gathering. There were new foods to enjoy and a lot of laughter to share.

My nephew Jake was there and introduced us to his girlfriend. It’s hard to believe he’s old enough to date someone much less having a driver’s license. I also found out my friend Kelleen’s daughter Amanda is engaged. In both cases, the Romans would have shaken their heads and muttered “tempus fugit” which roughly translates to “time flees”. Albert Einstein once explained the theory of relativity by saying “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.” The happy times seem to fly by so quickly while the unhappy times drag on for an eternity.

Christmas Day was my day of solitude. It wasn’t a long, sad day and I got through it. I visited Lucy at the cemetery and saw there were very few human tracks besides mine in the whole cemetery. Dawn Valley is only about 30 acres so I can see just about the whole area from the roads through the cemetery. There were deer tracks at nearly every grave that had a wreath or flowers placed. It was also one of the few times I have been there when there has been no breeze. That was a blessing since the temperature was only about 10°F at 4:00 in the afternoon. Suzy called last night to chat, which I appreciated. It was so different without Lucy actually being with me.

I met my cousin Julie for breakfast today. We went to Jensen’s Cafe in Burnsville. It was my first time there, and I was surprised at how huge the servings are and how steady the business was, although parking sucks. I haven’t had a chance to see her since Lucy’s funeral so it was nice getting almost caught up. I have a couple of friends I hope to catch up with next month.

Technology has allowed us to stay connected to loved ones, at least when the technology works. There was quite the uproar over Netflix having a several hour outage on Christmas Eve. Working technology has allowed us to reconnect with friends and family living thousands of miles away. I am quite grateful for those advances. Email is nice, but seeing a live smile is better. Phone calls are more personal, but a face-to-face conversation is still so much better. Skype and other video communication services come close, but can’t transmit a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. There is something intangible about human contact that technology will never match.

Take a few minutes to set aside the shiny new Christmas present device (or the not-so-new device) and hug a loved one. In my area of the world, it is cold enough where a hug warms a person on the outside, too. That’s why someone invented the pause button!

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