(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 12/13/2013)
Ever since the calendar flipped into December, there has been a singular goal on my spouse’s mind.
Selecting our Christmas conifer from offerings of the “40 and 8” – a club associated with the American Legion – was a tradition born many years ago, when my not-yet spouse, a Registered Nurse, discovered the club used its profits to fund scholarships for student nurses.
Alas, the “40 and 8” begins selling on the first weekend in December. The first day of the month fell on Sunday, so that weekend didn’t count. The following Saturday morning came the quiet query: “Papa John (a title bestowed by a granddaughter some years ago), can I have a Christmas tree?”
Well, the weather outside is … two inches and still coming down as I write this. The son showed up with his two-year-old. I picked up some snow and threw it at the little guy. He handed Dad his piece of pizza, and started firing snowballs back at me. A ferocious battle ensued, which I lost, I believe because my antagonist was closer to the ground and therefore better able to quickly grab, pack and fire his snowy spheres.