Monday, December 24, 2007


According to Aleita, you'd better not pout, you'd better not cry. . . or else Santa Claus will leave you rocks and rubberbands in your stocking. I am not sure where she came up with the idea that rocks and rubberbands are the gift of choice for the world's naughty, but perhaps she is simply precocious and aware that coal is a non-renewable resource and simply could be better used to provide heat for the poor than as a lesson in a bad kid's stocking. Or, it may simply be that she has no concept of what "coal" is, so rocks and rubberbands it is. A few mornings ago, as she got up and made her way to the table for breakfast, she was a little freaked out to find a rubberband setting on the table in front of her seat. Truth was, Chris had just set it there after taking if off the morning paper, but he decided to use the moment to his advantage, and said, "hmm. . . looks as though Santa is trying to send you a warning."

Also in the world of Santa lore according to Aleita, Santa has hidden cameras all over that help him in watching for naughty behavior. This theory was instigated by her very smart preschool teacher who now only has to point at the heating vent on the ceiling when one of kids begins to throw a tantrum and say, "you know who is watching!" and the kid immediately ceases the fit. I am not sure what trick she'll pull out of her sleeve after Christmas, but she is pretty savy, so I am sure she'll come up with something.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I remember as a child, looking so forward to Christmas break - - - having two weeks off from school was a treat in itself, let alone knowing that I would be able to sleep in, as well as that I would have lots of new toys to play with once Christmas morning came. Aleita is looking forward to something slightly different.

This morning, as Chris was getting Aleita dressed, she asked her customary question, "Can I have toast for breakfast?" to which Chris gave his customary answer, "On Saturday you can, but this morning, you can have Cheerios or oatmeal." Aleita loves having toast for breakfast, but she takes too long to eat it. She savors each and every bite, which doesn't work well on a time-crunched weekday morning. Therefore, toast consumption for her part must be limited to weekends. However, Chris then added, "You know what though? Next week, we'll be on vacation, then you can have toast every morning for breakfast if you want to."

You would have thought that someone had just told the kid she was going to Disneyworld. Her eyes lit up and she ran (half clothed) around her bedroom yelling, "I get toast EVERYDAY next week! Hooray!" She was so excited, she even had to come in the bathroom to tell me. Yes, Christmas vacation means different things to different people. To Aleita, the best part may just be toast with strawberry jelly on her plate every morning.


all around the country coast to coast,
people always say what do you like most,
I don't wanna brag i don't wanna boast,
I always tell 'em I like toast.
yeah TOAST yeah TOAST

i get up in the mornin' bout six AM,
have a little jelly have a little jam,
take a piece of bread put it in the slot,
push down the lever and the wires gets hot,
i get toast.
yeah TOAST yeah TOAST

now there's no secret to toasting perfection,
there's a dial on the side and you make your selection,
push to the dark or the light and then,
if it pops too soon press down again,
make toast.
yeah TOAST yeah TOAST

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


In case you are not familiar with me and my family, we are THE NEW PEOPLE IN TOWN. We moved to our new home in October, but I have the feeling that we will have the distinction of “THE NEW PEOPLE IN TOWN” for perhaps months, even years to come This is how we are often introduced to others, "This is Chris and Becky - - they are THE NEW PEOPLE IN TOWN." The mobility rate for Blue Mound is not exactly staggering, so we may indeed keep this title for awhile.

Growing up in Mt. Auburn, I have practically doubled the population count from my old stomping grounds through my move to Blue Mound. And joy of joys, I will once again get to wear that hideous kelly green color once Maggie begins 2nd grade at Meridian (Meridian's, as well as Mt. Auburn's school color.) I will also trade an Eagle (Mt. Auburn's mascot) for a hawk (Meridian's mascot.) I seem to have something going here with the green and the birds of prey theme.

Chris also started off life in a small town (Cerro Gordo,) but has lived in Decatur for the past 25 years, and I for the past 14, so we are a little slow to adjust back to small town living. Maggie and Aleita have never known anything but living in a bigger city, so they are only beginning to discover the anomalies of small town life as compared to life in an area with several thousand people. We are constantly getting the question of “who is that?” every time we wave at someone. When we answer that we don’t know, they say, “then why did you wave at them?” Our answer? Because that is what you do in a small town, of course.

It is also an adjustment to rediscover what it is like to live in a community where everybody knows everybody else's business. Someone once said, "The nicest part of living in a small town is that even if I don't know what I'm doing, someone else does." We are finding that to be very true. I am astounded when I meet someone new for the first time, and they know things about me that maybe just happened to me a day or two before. Holy smokes! I never thought I would be the topic of discussion over morning coffee or an afternoon walk. I imagine being "THE NEW PEOPLE IN TOWN" is probably the closest I will ever get to being famous, so I should try to enjoy it while it lasts!