I hate to have the Christmas season end. The lull is unbearable, and this zero weather makes life even more drudged. The Christmas cards are lonely in their basket. The Christmas tree tries to look fresh and cheery. There is no nutmeg left for the eggnog. The excitement is over. Everyone is supposed to relax again. We could get over the lull by taking a walk, but it’s way too cold. Post-Christmas lull strikes all of us, the butcher, the baker and fruitcake maker. I suppose we all will have to survive at least until St. Valentine’s Day.
There is nothing more to say. I hate to have the Christmas season end.
One more memory
Michael Biel, who once lived in Bettendorf but now is warmly comfortable in Fort Myers, Florida, liked to write Christmas messages. Before we erase them from the holiday blackboard, here is one of his best that Phil Caldwell sends along:
Christmas is somewhere, a place and time
Where my parents and my children are young again.
Where I can rock my children asleep in my arms
And fall asleep in my mother’s arms at the same time.
Our granddaughter, Ashley McGowan, teaches at a private school in Houston, Texas. The other day they had a holiday breakfast for the kids and staff. It just happens that Ashley is “expecting.” One little lad, pointing to her tummy, said, “Mrs. McGowan, I think you ate too many pancakes this morning.”
In the mailbag
“THE MENTION of walnuts in the shell in your Christmas column (Dec. 10) brought me a memory of my dad and I sitting at the kitchen table cracking open walnuts, filberts and the ever-daunting Brazil nuts,” writes Tom McGuire of Davenport. “We’d use the nutcracker and pick that was tucked away the rest of the year in a velveteen pack. I wondered at my father’s easy strength while cracking open the nuts.”
FOUND — The dynamic radio duo of Dwyer and Michaels and I relentlessly search for old signs that most folks still remember. Writes Sonja: “Wasn’t there an old Shamrock Restaurant on the way to Cordova outside of Port Byron? I just saw its sign the other day — still pretty bedraggled, faded.”
SIGN LANGUAGE — Steve Trainor spotted this holiday sign on the lawn of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hampton: “Long ago, in a Galilee far, far away."
“STILL LOVE HIM” — One of Bob Gaston’s old band members at Mid-Prairie, Wellman, Iowa, writes, “Tell him we still love him.” Cathy Greiner Conway, M-P Class of ’67: “It was the most fun and memorable experience of my schooling.” Gaston, 86, of Bettendorf, retired Dec. 10 after directing the 60-piece CASI New Horizons Band for 22 years.
UMMM — "Your story on rum cake was especially interesting,” says Tillie Savala. “Ummm, I can’t wait to try it.” Well, Tillie if you try it, I hope you survive.
Send in the cows
“It must have been our homemade chocolate syrup,” says Tom Lagomarcino. On the Friday of Christmas in the Village, Lago’s used 15 gallons of milk for hot chocolate. Next night, 29 gallons of milk, were downed for hot chocolate in the confectionary. “We ran out of milk and had to send an employee to a quick-stop to buy four more gallons of milk,” says Tom.