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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

billybob 02 Feb 10 - 09:26 AM
maeve 01 Feb 10 - 10:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Feb 10 - 10:20 PM
Waddon Pete 01 Feb 10 - 05:00 PM
billybob 27 Jan 10 - 09:51 AM
Waddon Pete 23 Jan 10 - 05:09 PM
billybob 19 Jan 10 - 09:15 AM
Waddon Pete 16 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Jan 10 - 05:05 PM
Ron Davies 11 Jan 10 - 08:05 AM
Ron Davies 11 Jan 10 - 08:01 AM
Waddon Pete 09 Jan 10 - 04:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Jan 10 - 04:10 PM
maeve 09 Jan 10 - 02:30 PM
Waddon Pete 09 Jan 10 - 02:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Jan 10 - 12:36 PM
maeve 06 Jan 10 - 04:35 PM
billybob 06 Jan 10 - 05:26 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Jan 10 - 07:50 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Jan 10 - 03:46 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Jan 10 - 09:36 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Jan 10 - 06:12 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 31 Dec 09 - 07:40 PM
Waddon Pete 31 Dec 09 - 01:52 PM
billybob 31 Dec 09 - 09:13 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Dec 09 - 11:22 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Dec 09 - 12:59 PM
Waddon Pete 24 Dec 09 - 11:42 AM
billybob 24 Dec 09 - 06:47 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Dec 09 - 06:38 PM
Waddon Pete 20 Dec 09 - 02:56 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Dec 09 - 06:05 PM
maeve 18 Dec 09 - 12:58 PM
billybob 18 Dec 09 - 11:14 AM
Waddon Pete 17 Dec 09 - 02:47 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Dec 09 - 02:43 PM
maeve 17 Dec 09 - 12:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Dec 09 - 12:52 PM
maeve 16 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM
frogprince 16 Dec 09 - 04:04 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Dec 09 - 10:22 PM
olddude 13 Dec 09 - 09:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Dec 09 - 09:13 PM
Waddon Pete 13 Dec 09 - 03:14 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Dec 09 - 07:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Dec 09 - 07:02 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Dec 09 - 08:19 PM
maeve 11 Dec 09 - 07:23 PM
olddude 11 Dec 09 - 11:44 AM
olddude 11 Dec 09 - 11:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 09:26 AM

Jerry, the only time I sing is when we have a house concert( in the garden) trouble is when you do not sing that often you start to forget the words,and after all these years the nerves start to kick in. Thirty years ago I sang on auto pilot and actually enjoyed being in front of an audience but the less I do the less confident I have become.
Tiny slice of cake left
Wendy
    Jerry Rasmussen has started a new thread, Son of Kitchen Table, so I'm going to close this thread to attempt to avoid confusion. Also, I'm going to move both threads into the non-music section because I've seen very little music in them. I've received a few personal messages that asked why this thread wasn't in the non-music section. I guess I have to say they were right in asking.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 10:40 PM

Jerry- I only have one place to try out new songs most of the time; the South Portland/Scarborough Maine house concert series. Sometimes it's a new one of my own making. Other times it's a traditional song, or one by another songmaker.

I'm nearly always scared though, because I have just that one chance to sing; maybe six times a year, and only one song on most of those nights. For me, the chance to see how one of my own songs works when sung to a live audience as opposed to a flock of bantams outweighs my desire to not make a fool of myself.

I'm not doing any baking for the forseeable future, so I'll wash these dessert plates instead of offering baked goods.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 10:20 PM

Hey, all: I'm kinda outta touch with the folk club scene so I don't know what goes anymore. Not that I ever did. I think that's due in great part to the difference between folk clubs in the U.K. and the diminished coffee house circuit over here. The coffee houses (they should be renamed church basement houses) that have an open sing are swamped with young kids, mostly. They want to try out their two new songs they wrote on the way over to the coffee house. I never understood that. When I started performing I did stuff I'd done a million times. I was scared enough to begin with, without doing brand new songs. I still see that happening on occasion and I'm still puzzled. Why do a song where you're messing up the chords and forgetting the words?

We had lasagna that I made for supper. There's still some left...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 05:00 PM

That was lovely soup,Wendy. Thanks.

I was intrigued with the thread on what to sing and what not to sing in a folk club.

It reminded me of this little ditty that I wrote more years ago than I care to remember!

"Who's the lad who gets there first and starts the singer's list?
Who is it who, when called to sing, is always Brahms and Liszt?*
Who is it sings 70 verses...and never a one is missed?
The Phantom Floorsinger!

Who is it who plays a guitar that never is in tune?
Who is it, when some-one's singing, crashes in and out the room?
Who is it says, 'This song's been sung, but this is how it should be done?'
The Phantom Floorsinger."

There's some fresh-baked shortbread on the table. Enjoy.

*rhyming Slang   :0)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 09:51 AM

Looking forward to the new CD Peter,
rather cold here today, hot soup on the stove.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 05:09 PM

Wendy, that birthday cake was delicious! Do you think Jerry would notice if I cut another small piece?

I've just spent some time recording some tracks for a new CD. I'm nowhere near finished yet, but it's good to get started! I'll let you folks know when it's done.

Jerry, I hope you don't mind, but I did some of the washing up for you! I left you the saucepans!

Best as ever,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 09:15 AM

I have just kicked off my shoes and put my feet up in the armchair by the fire, what a weekend we have had! My father celebrated his 90th birthday on the 15th (also my grandaughters 1st birthday) so I arranged a family party for them on Saturday.Twenty seven adults and seven little ones. It was a wonderful day, and Dad really enjoyed seeing everyone, One of his old RAF friends , also nearly 90 came with his wife and it was lovely to see them talking about old times. I was worried that there was not enough food( always do!) but there was too much and the wine flowed freely but we did not run out!
It was great to sit back and listen to the chatter , you know that lovely hum of so many people all talking at once.Sunday we loaded up the car with all the presents and took them round to my parents house Dad said he was really shattered but had enjoyed himself so much.Billy took me down to the local Marina and we had a restful Sunday lunch and watched the boats then back home to clean up the house.
Some birthday cake on the table.Enjoy!
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM

Ron, I loved the words of that song! We have just come out the other side of a period of snow that they are headlining as the severest for many years.

The song reminded me of the time I left work early as the weather was closing in. I was commuting by train at that time and as the train rumbled north, the snow was getting thicker and thicker. I wondered if we would make it all the way, but we did. I was one of the only people to get off at my station and when I saw the car park I had a real puzzle on my hands. Instead of rows of shining metal, there were only white humps! Which car was mine? Could I remember where I parked it in my rush to catch the train that morning? Luckily I knew which row I had used. The only way I could recognise my car was by the towing hitch sticking out of the snow at the back. Single track back along the four lane home afterwards and three days off!

Glad all the concerts went well.

Jerry's got a new web-site and he's a cyber-personality now!

There's a bottle of Beaujolais left on the table and some rather nice hand-fried smokey bacon crisps. Enjoy!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 05:05 PM

Hey, Ron: Always good to see you at the kitchen table. I posted this on my blog http://jerryrasmussen.blogspot.com/ and thought it was worth posting here.

Choosing To Be Happy

I was standing in the Express checkout line for 10 Items or less when he got in line behind me. There was a man directly in front of me with three or four items and Kathy who works behind the counter was just finishing with a customer who was checking out. I didn't even notice the elderly woman when I got in line because she was so short, she could hardly see over the handle of the shopping cart. It looked as if shopping was a major chore for her, and she had a cart full of plastic bags nearly spilling over onto the floor. The thought briefly crossed my mind that she had gotten in the wrong line. Clearly, she had more than ten items. She probably had more than ten bags. When I looked over and saw her she smiled at me and I returned the smile.
The man who'd just gotten in line behind me said to me "She never should have been in this line," his voice overflowing with belligerence. At first I didn't respond. "They do it all the time," he said. He must have been talking about the mysterious, omnipresent "they" my first wife loved to refer to. H continued complaining to me and finally I turned to him and said, "We may not know the whole story. The other day there was an elderly woman in this line with a whole cart of groceries and by the time she realized she was in the wrong line, Kathy had already started checking her out. She offered to put the rest of her items in her cart and get out of line, but everyone said, "No, that's alright, just go on with your checkout." She was very apologetic to me and the people behind me in line, but everyone was very gracious to her." I could see that wasn't going to be the case today.
"Yeah, they all say that," the man grumbled. "It's all a scam. They know what they're doing. And then they say, Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't notice that I was in the wrong line," imitating an elderly woman, his voice dripping with sarcasm. I was getting fed up, and could hardly wait until I checked out." "Hey, what's to complain about? She's already checked out. It's not slowing us down," I said.
By then, the woman had finished checking out and was busily arranging the bags in her cart and putting her receipt in her purse. She must have heard our conversation because she looked over at me and smiled weakly. She didn't look like a professional con-artist to me. I think she was just confused and got in the wrong line. The store wasn't busy, and the checkout clerk is very warm and understanding so I think she didn't see any reason to turn her away. At the time, there was no one else in line.
But, the man behind me wouldn't let it go. He kept on grousing, and doing little old lady voices until I finally turned to him and said, "It's your choice if you want to be cynical. Whatever makes you unhappy." As far as I was concerned, that was the end of the conversation, although he continued to complain to my back.
After I left the supermarket, I stopped by Heavenly Doughnuts and bought a dozen doughnuts. On the way home, I swung by Staples and there was Dan standing outside talking with someone. He smiled warmly and said hello, and I went into the store. Dan followed close on my heels and caught up to me. "I want to know how you spell your last name, Dan." "It's Borrelli with two r's and two l's." he answered. I'm writing about two Dans in the chapter I'm writing and I need to keep the two of you straight," I said. And then I handed him the box of a dozen doughnuts. The Staples store is closing at the end of this week, and I thought there should be a Staff Appreciation celebration. "These doughnuts are for you and the rest of the people who work here. I just want everyone to know how much they are appreciated," I said. "Really?" Dan said, with a smile. "Yeah, I bought a dozen doughnuts for the guys at the dump when it closed, and I just wanted to let everyone know how much their help meant to me."
Every day we can choose what our life will be. The man in the Express Checkout line made his choice. I made mine.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 08:05 AM

By the way, loved that joke about the 2 signs at the garage.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 08:01 AM

Well, I can finally breathe.   The high season chorally is now over.

My concert with the Renaissance and Baroque went well (from the audience perspective, at least--they seemed to like it)   But it sure waren't perfect.   It seems they liked especially the first half-- entirely a cappella.   And that was indeed a true white-knuckle affair.   We also went dramatically flat.   But we did it all together.   So probably quite a few in the audience didn't notice--we hope.

The SATB caroling party went real well too.   But good thing a real tenor lives in my town. All my others tenors begged off for various reasons.   It became much more of a local affair this year.   So one thing we did, since we were picking up kids left and right, and I had brought 6 bracelets of jingle bells, was to try to sing all the songs we could think of that mention bells--Jingle Bells, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Carol of the Bells, etc---so the kids could shake their jingle bells as much as they wanted.   We even picked up 3 kids and the mother from the family that just moved into the house where the people who wanted to take the bump out of the road--since it rattled their windows--used to live.

And by the way, I suppose if anybody needs a scapegoat for the big snow of 18-19 December, it might be us---we sang, among other things:   "Let It Snow".   The power of suggestion, I suppose.   Somebody at work suggested that we maybe should just sing:"   Let It Drizzle"   next year. Actually the snow, which was just starting as we were singing, was perfect.   And anyway, it ain't easy to fine-tune these things.

Then I had 3 concerts on 20 December.   Good thing they weren't cancelled. Audiences were down.   But they were up for 24 December--when I had two singing events.   Almost didn't make the last one--found I had actually forgotten everything I used to know about Alexandria VA streets, and missed most of the--only--rehearsal.   So I had to learn the pieces mostly during the sermon. That was interesting. But at least they had decided to do hymns I'd been practicing on the piano. So I mostly knew the bass parts.   Also good--because one of their other basses had no clue.   They had one guy who sang bass, tenor, and sometimes alto, did the solos-and read Scripture--and a bunch of other things, it seems. If they had cloned him, the rest of us could have stayed home.



Anyway, more about the snow--sorry if this is old news.

Old Dude's postings made me think of a song which is one of Jan's and my all-time favorite winter songs:

To be done in a very heavy Norwegian accent. It's a parody of Jim Reeves' Drifting Whistling Sands.   This one is The Drifting Whistling Snow.

"I found the valley of the drifting, whistling snow, between 2 great big snowbanks when I opened my door yesterday morning.

And for endless hours I wandered aimlessly through the snow, seeking answers to the many questions that was racing through my fevered brain:

Where was every-ting?   Where was the sidewalk? Where was my driveway?

My old yalopy.

All of a sudden I realized I was a prisoner, here in the valley of the Drifting Whistling Snow.

Then my wife she whispered to me
I got to go to Ladies' Aid
Shovel out that old yalopy
And she handed me the spade
Now the settlers and the miners
Fought those crazy Navahoessss
But I tell you that was nothing
Like the drifting whistling snows

Then there's something about

Then I took my scoop and started
Where that old yalopy stood
And after endless hours of shoveling snow
All I saw was yust the hood.




Got to go to work now.   Hope to get back to this soon.   Hope everybody is well.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 04:34 PM

I guess you've been spoilt! We haven't had service pumps here for ages! In fact there is a garage near us that hasn't even got any staff!

Reminds me of the old joke about the chap who arrives at a garage and sees two notices: "Self Service" and "Help wanted". So he hires himself, pumps gas into his own car, pays himself the requisite cost, gives himself the sack and then drives off!

Yes Maeve, thinking of you over here as well.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 04:10 PM

Hey, Maeve: I was so upset to hear about your misfortune! We're sending up prayers down this way.

Hey, Peter: It's more a matter of emphasis over here, not a complete lack of friendly service. Part of it is the effort to cut expenses, leading to most gas stations being "Self-serve" now. When my mother was in her 90's she was still driving but found it challenging to pump her own gas. She managed to find a couple of gas stations that had a full-serve pump.

I've almost completed a chapter titled The Graciousness of Strangers that talks about three people who work in stores who have been generous to me (and others, I'm sure) beyond measure. I could add another half a dozen. I've posted part of the chapter on here, I think, but if you want to keep up with my writings, think about following my blog: Thoughts on Faith at http://jerryrasmussen.blogspot.com/ I have a link on my blog bringing people over to mudcat.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 02:30 PM

I'll try to respond to your topic when I have regular internet access again, Jery. It may be a while before that happens.We're focused to dealing with our losses from the fire in a way that pleases God.

Best regards to you all.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 02:12 PM

Interesting post, Jerry. Pour me a cup of coffee please. It's been hard work walking through the snow to your door.

Over here on the other side of the pond we still call our soldiers sailors and airmen the services, and people involved are service families. We also have a large number of people in what we call the service industries. They are the ones like transportation, catering, entertainment etc. I think the idea of 'good service' is still alive and well over here, but I dare say it depends on one's personal experience. Personal service in shops and companies is also alive and well. In times of recession, if your business doesn't make itself attractive to the customer, then the customer will go elsewhere, where they are appreciated! Your Wal-Mart contact comes to mind here. She gives good service and so people seek her out.

Now, what's all this about things being slow round the kitchen table?

Perhaps this bag of unused party poppers, tooters and funny hats will help matters!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 12:36 PM

Things have been slow around the kitchen table, but they're hopping on my blog: http://jerryrasmussen.blogspot.com/ I've been posting daily, and when I think the post would be comfortably accepted around the kitchen table I'll copy and past them on here. Generally, I try not to insert my faith too heavily on here, although it is such a strong part of myself I can never exclude it (or wish to.) Maybe you can relate to my observations on serving others, and add you own. Drop by the blog sometime, too. There is a space for comments there as well. This is what I posted today:

        When I was growing up, I was taught that service was an honorable act. During the Second World War, young men went into the Service. They were called Servicemen. Uncle Sam glared at you from all the posters with finger pointed and the call was clear. Uncle Sam Wants You!   When you needed gas you went to the Service Station, and they cleaned your windshield and checked your oil. Signs proclaimed that businesses offered "Service with a smile." No one wanted to be called self-serving.
        Now, Service Stations are gas stations and they don't clean your windshield or check your oil. Now the motto is Self-serve. The only place you'll see a Service with a smile sign is in an antique store or junk shop. Today we talk about our Armed Forces. We've substituted the word Force for Service. The Army's motto is "Be all you can be," not Serve all you can serve. We seem to have forgotten President Kennedy's memorable call to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." People are encouraged to join the Army because they can get something out of it, although many still join to serve their country. Christ came not to be served, but to serve.
"But I am among you as he who serveth." Luke 22:27"
Christ measured greatness by a different standard than we do today.
"But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:11
The reward for service to the Lord is far greater than any man can confer. When we finally stand before the Lord in judgment, it is our ardent wish that he will say to us:
        Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord." Matthew 25:23

I welcome any obsevations or thoughts you have on Whatever Became of Serving?" (I know there is plenty of serving going on today, but the emphasis doesn't seem as prominent.)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 04:35 PM

Greetings from Midcoast Maine, everyone. May your new year be bright with promise, full of hope, and rich with friendship.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:26 AM

Snowing here today,log fire, hot coffee and bacon sandwiches? Help yourselves.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 07:50 PM

Help! I keep falling off the bottom of the screen!!!!!

I started a blog yesterday at http://jerryrasmussen.blogspot.com/ I'll probably post some things on there (I've posted two) that I don't post in here, but if I think it's something that would be of interest around the kitchen table, I'll post it on here as well. It's a good motivation to keep me writing, and it is bring people who aren't Mudcatters and aren't ever likely to be.

But I'll always be sitting here at the kitchen table ready to welcome friends and strangers.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 03:46 PM

Welcome to the twentieth century! You say it's the twentyfirst century? Sorry. I'm a little slow on keeping up with advancements. I did start a blog, though at http://jerryrasmussen.blogspot.com. When it feels right, I'll link my posts back to here. I wanted to have a place where I can write more openly about my faith. Not that I haven't from time to time in here. I've never felt restricted here. After all, this is a kitchen table. But, I have people who've read my book I want to share new writings with. If you have any interest, click on (or I'll do a blue clicky here) and leave a comment. I hope the blog will be as welcoming as this kitchen table.

Jerry

http://jerryrasmussen.blogspot.com/


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 09:36 AM

Hey, Virginia: How nice that you dropped by. You haven't been in here since last year. I'm being uncharacteristically focused today. I'm starting to put my paperwork together to do my income tax. Being this organized is downright un-folkie. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 06:12 AM

I was 7 or 8 when I recognised the Moose Lodge Santa was my father. I was shattered.

My mom consoled me with the Santa helper ploy. That my Dad was one of hundreds of helpers all over the world who collect money on street corners, sit with children for portraits and visit hospitals and give gifts at clubs like the Moose Lodge, because Santa was way too busy supervising the making of toys right up to Christmas Eve.

I fell for it sort of for a couple more years and was quite proud that my Dad was one of the enlisted Santa helpers.

Happy New Year everyone. I put some Almond Toffee bark on the table.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 07:40 PM

And a Happy New Year to all!

An interesting little story of no great consequence.

Last Sunday my wife and I went to my daughter-in-law's church where she is pastor. The church is held in a rented room and the congregation on a typical Sunday numbers about ten or twelve. For a long time, they haven't had a musician, so music is the weakest part of the service. Last Sunday there was a new keyboard player who had answered an advertisement in the papper. Other than myself, the church is all African-American, and the keyboard player is white. It must have been an unfamiliar experience for him. He was asked to provide accompaniment for several hymns during the service, most of which were unfamiliar to him. He'd start out very tentatively, sight-reading the basic melody hesitating here and there, but once he got into it, he smoothed it out reasonably well. After the service I went over to talk to him... mostly to offer encouragement and express my respect for what he was trying to do on such short notice.
We exchanged business cards, and went our way. Since then, we've exchanged several e-mails, and I must admit that I have been pleasantly surprised at the connections we've made. If he liked folk music more, he'd make a good Mudcatter. His interests, like mine, are all over the map. How many people do you know who on the board of directors of an opera and compose soundtracks for silent pictures. He does performances at silent movie showings, playing the piano accompaniment. Talk about esoteric! That makes traditional folk music almost seem mainstream.

The odd thing we've discovered is that he was a Junior Curator on the early New England Farm at the Museum where I worked. I actually taught some of the Junior Curator courses, but not the year he took it. The courses were for 9-12 year olds and taught kids how to care for the animals on the farm and do simple chores. I was Director of Education at the time, so I had a big imput into what was taught. But perhaps my greatest fame was that at the end of the summer for the last class I hypnotized a chicken. The kids were fascinated by it, and even after I became Executive Director the farm staff would often request that I hypnotize a chicken for the Grand Finale.

Opera, silent movie scores, black gospel, folk music and chicken hypnotizing? What's not to like about that?


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 01:52 PM

...and a Happy New Year from a raw, cold part of East Anglia.

Sorry to hear that Billy's been out on the tiles again! (I know...I know...I'll get me coat...)

A sign made me smile today. Driving along the road I saw a large field with a couple of people walking in it. By the side of the road was a car park and a sign that said, "Free Range Eggs"....pass the net, Agnes!

I've left some decorated Gingerbread People and a jug of mulled wine on the table.

See you all in 2010.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:13 AM

Happy New Year from Billy and I.
We were going to have a party this evening but on Tuesday we lost a tile from the roof and had water coming into the drawing room.....so Billy was on the roof in the dark and cold rain putting in a new tile. Woke up yesterday with a cough and temperature, he has anti biotics and we are going to be cosy on our own , bottle of bubbly in
the fridge and log fire going!
Happy 2010 to you all.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 11:22 AM

I've recovered from a wonderful, completely exahusting Christmas and the kitchen table is almost cleared off. There are still a few containers of cookies, and three pies, so help yourself.

I've really been on a roll these last couple of days. I'm gathering my papers together to start working on my Income Tax, have put all my writings toward my next book together including parts of several chapters I started but had no time to finish, and I'm getting ready to start recording a CD of the gospel songs from my book. And paying bills. It feels good to be get back to projects I've willingly set aside for Christmas. We had just over 30 people here for Christmas, starting with breakfast and ending at 11 at night. It took a couple of days to recuperate and clean up, but it was worth it. In addition to all the normal chaos of getting family together (all on Ruth's side, as my family is all in the Midwest and South) I had a chance for a couple of private conversations with family members who are struggling to deal with burdens in their lives. Sometimes listening is the greatest gift you can give someone, so I was thankful I could spend the time with them.

By the way, Deirdre hasn't been able to get in to this thread for almost a month. I have no idea why, but she sends her love and wishes for a great New Year.

I hope Santa was good to all of you, and that the New Year blesses you mightily.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 12:59 PM

Hey, all:

The countdown has begun. You know it's almost Christmas when I pick up in my office and file all the loose CDs kicking around on desks back in the shelves where they should be. I'm listening to Oscar Peterson with Buddy DeFranco guesting on clarinet. Nothing like music to give you energy when you're running on empty.

We're in good shape over here. Here are some of the foods we have prepared and waiting to be eaten:
   Turkey (of course)
   Barbequed meatballs
   Turkey ham for omelets tomorrow morning
   lasagna
   Fried tuna cakes
   Macaroni salad with tuna
   Chili
   Split Pea soup
   Fried chicken
   Tossed salad (waiting until tomorrow to be tossed)
   Potato salad
   collard greens, green beans, corn
   Texas garlic toast ready to heat in the oven for breakfast
   Sour cream dip, nuts and a variety of chips
   Apple cider, cranberry and apple juice and a variety of sodas,
   bottled water, beer, tea and probably some stuff I'm forgetting
   Pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, fruit

Not a traditional Christmas dinner... a combination of Italian, soul and midwest favorites.

No one will go hungry.

Have a wonderful Christmas. I treasure your friendship 365 days of the year.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 11:42 AM

Thanks Wendy,

Just what I needed, a glass of mulled wine and one of your mince pies.

As my Dad was wont to say, "I don't care what your name is! Get those reindeer off my roof!"

I've left some virtual Christmas Cake and a virtual bottle of Scotch for anyone who may drop by...(oh, and a carrot, of course!)

Have a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2010.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 06:47 AM

Thanks for your Christmas memories Jerry, My father would arrive after Christmas lunch at my granmothers , where we would all gather,dressed in a red suit and beard, his cover was almost undone one year when my cousin Michael asked why Father Christmas was wearing Uncle Reg's shoes!The same year dad went off down the steps saying Ho Ho Ho ! and was gone for about an hour. One of the neighbours had seen him in the street and asked him in for a Christmas drink, my mother had a sense of humour failure when he returned.
I have all the family arriving this evening so I hope Father Christmas knows that three little people will be hanging up their stocking on my fireplace. Bill has covered the house with white lights and stocked up on logs, I finish here at the salon about 3 this afternoon, so I will sit by the fire with a mulled wine and think about Christmas pasts, and look forward to making memories for my little grand children.
Happy Christmas to everyone at the table, it has been a lovely place to come and visit, to make new friends, meet old friends, share the happy times and receive comfort in the sad times.
Mulled wine and mince pies on the table.Have a wonderful holiday

Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 06:38 PM

Hey, Pete:

Good to see you dropped by. Here's some Christmas memories I wrote a while back. I might even have posted this a couple of years ago on this thread. Not that anyone would remember, including me.

"T'was the Night Before Christmas"

T'was the night before Christmas and we'd already opened our presents. Forget the dancing sugar plums. If you ever wondered how Santa Clause could deliver presents to all the kids on earth in one night, he got a running start by bringing all the kids in the Midwest their presents early on Christmas Eve. In our house, Christmas Eve started the minute we finished wolfing down our supper. It was the one time of year when I was thankful that we had supper at 4 o'clock.

Before I was school age, Santa came to our house every Christmas Eve.
He didn't come down the chimney. If he had, he'd end up in our coal furnace and it wouldn't just be his suit that was red. He boldly walked through our front door. Not that I'd ever really seen him come into the house. But my Dad had.

After supper, Dad would hide behind the living room davenport, and Mom would herd my sisters and I down onto the basement stairs and then close the door behind us. For some unknown reason, Dad always got to hide behind the davenport, so that he could see Santa Clause when he came in.
As soon as the door was closed, Dad would quietly sidle out from behind the davenport and tiptoe across the room and into the bedroom where our presents were carefully hidden in our one closet. He'd quickly carry them into the living room and place them haphazardly under the Christmas tree. When the presents were all under the tree he would tiptoe across the living room floor and into the dining room and carefully open the front door. With a sigh of relief, he would softly stroll out to the front of the porch and pause for a moment. Coming back into the house Dad was Santa Clause. No need for a suit or cotton-ball beard. The only one who could see him was him. As he came striding across the front porch, he'd stomp the non-existent snow off of his non-existent boots and when he opened the front door he'd call out a "Ho, Ho, Ho!" in his best Santa-voice. Once inside the house, he'd make a lot of fuss in the living room, as if he was unloading presents from his sack. All the time, I was hunched breathlessly behind the basement door, visualizing his every move. When the presents were in place, Santa didn't have to stop and eat a plate full of cookies and drink a glass of milk on the way out. We never left anything for him. We didn't want Santa to stick around, once he'd delivered our presents. Besides, he would have preferred a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon, but that would have blown his cover. As Dad headed noisily out the front door he'd call over his shoulder, "Ho, Ho, Ho, and a Merry Christmas to all!" and stomp his way across the front porch only to pause there once again. Then, it was a matter of sneaking back into the house without our hearing him so that he could hide behind the davenport. Mom always gave him enough time by telling us that we couldn't come out until we were sure he was gone, or we'd scotch the whole thing.

Mom would cautiously open the door, and we'd all burst into the living room. Or, at least I would burst. I'd be full of excitement, and start grilling Dad about what he'd seen.

"Did you see him, dad?"
"Oh yeah: I peeked around the corner of the davenport when he was putting the presents under the tree," he answered.
"Did you see his reindeer?"
"Naw: I couldn't see them from behind the davenport, but I heard their bells when they took off."

That was enough for me. It never occurred to me to ask the really hard questions like :"If he had all that snow on his boots, how come he didn't track any into the house? Mom would have had a fit!" Or, "How come there aren't any tracks in the snow in our front yard?" By then, the only question I had was "Can we open the presents, now?"

When I got older and realized that Santa Clause was my Mom and Dad, and I had been lovingly duped: not just by Mom and Dad, but by my sisters, Christmas took on more meaning. One thing about Mom, though. She always made it clear that Christmas wasn't just about getting presents. The most important thing was that it was a time to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. Those first few years, Santa Clause and the baby Jesus got along real well together, and I loved them both. It wasn't until I was four or five that I realized that only Jesus was real.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 20 Dec 09 - 02:56 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful post, Jerry.

Christmas is many things to many people and, to some, it is a sad time with little joy in it.

I think all of us, as we grow older, experience some melancholy at Christmas Time. There is a lovely book by Joan Walsh Anglund called, "Christmas is a time of giving". Perhaps you know it?

You can't help but think back to Christmas Past and the people who used to share it with you. There were the little touches they brought to the occasion that are not there now. The silver threepenny bits in the Christmas Pudding that you had to give back if you were lucky enough to have one. Then they could be used next year! The smell of cigars. So many different memories.....

A toast!    Absent Friends!

But.....Christmas is a special time.....so lets make some memories for those younger than us to remember!

......let me see now....... :o)


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 06:05 PM

Hey: Despite Burl Ives chirrupy good wishes, Christmas isn't always Holly Jolly. We received two phone calls today within a half hour of each other telling us that someone had just died. The first call was a cousin of Ruth's who I didn't know well, but the little time I spent with him, he was a very warm, intelligent, caring man. He lived in Washington, D.C. and did historic restorations of old buildings there. He took us on a wonderful tour of Washington and then treated us to a memorable dinner and a very up-scale restaurant. He'd been going down slow, so it wasn't a surprise, but it is still upsetting.

Five minutes after we finished talking with Ruth's brother and sister-in-law about their cousin's death we got a call from Ruth's best friend of over forty years telling us that her son had died. I didn't really know Billy. I met him a couple of times, but Ruth knew him well. I knew Billy's father who sang tenor in a wonderful black gospel quartet in Stamford, where I lived for many years. It was another hard blow to take, even though we knew the end was coming.

If it's in you, lift some prayers for all the family members who will have a mournful Christmas.

I'm o.k.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 12:58 PM

Friends at the kitchen table may want to take note of two beloved musicians making a return to North America. Look for threads on Anne Mayo Muir (New cd of her own composing)and Archie Fisher (touring in 2010.)

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 11:14 AM

Snow here in Frinton too Peter.
I have been away from the kitchen with the pleurisy again, getting to be a bad habit each winter, never mind. Had an x ray on Wednesday and strong antibiotics so hope I feel better for the family all arriving on Christmas Eve.
Late night shopping tonight so I will make some mulled wine and enjoy the Christmas cheer.I will leave some on the table ..help yourselves
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 02:47 PM

A lovely, heartwarming story. Good to know there are still some wonderful people in this world.

I feel I can show my face here now that we have snow here as well!

Lintel high in the morning! (some hopes)

Reminds me of the time we moved into this house. Went to bed, tired out after the move and then woke up in the morning and walked out the front door into a snowdrift!

I loved your card Frogprince. Very thoughtful!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 02:43 PM

Hey,SRS: Thanks for the story. It'll be one of the best presents I get this Christmas. You know our friend jimmyT has done free dental work to people who can't pay for many years.

Once we get through the joyfulness of Christmas, I want to get back to writing. I've started a chapter titled The Graciousness of Strangers and whenever I can snatch five minutes, I jot down some notes and put them in the folder to expand as part of the chapter. I am regularly overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers. For starters,

   There's Justin, who works at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Back when he didn't know me from Adam, and we'd hardly spoken two sentences in a row, Justin started giving me his 30% employee discount whenever I stopped in to order take-out. With a large order, it often amounts to a discount of five or six dollars. Don't ask me why he singled me out to do this. I have no idea. I was just friendly to him. I'm that way with everyone. It wasn't long before another guy who works there started to give me his employee discount, too. He always greets me with "Hey, cowboy!" when I come in. Don't ask me why. I don't wear a hat or clothes that make me appear like a cowboy. The other day a young girl who I don't ever remember seeing before waited on me. And she gave me her 30% discount. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

   I had my computer overhauled last week at Staples. When I signed the authorization for the repair, it had a bill of $29.95 for the work. When I picked it up, I asked how much I owed them, and the guy said, "Nothing." I don't even know this guy's name. When I asked him why there was no charge, he said, "Because we like you."

   My dentist gives me a discount every time I have dental work done. I never asked for it. He just does it. Why? I guess, because he likes me.

   It goes on and on.

   The last time I stopped by Kentucky Fried, I was telling Justin about all of this and I said, "There are a lot of good people in this world." And he answered, "Yeah, there are, and there are lot of good people you don't think are good, because they're in a bad situation." That's important to remember. There's even MORE goodness around us than we see. Some of it is in people most of us would think of as being bad.

   Merry Christmas.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 12:56 PM

SRS- Thank you for stopping by and telling that beautiful story again for the friends around the kitchen table. I hope you'll visit again.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 12:52 PM

Hey, all, maeve sent me over to deliver this story from our de-clutter December thread:

I made a wonderful discovery today when I was shopping. I go to a small store called Save A Lot; they don't have every brand, or even every size and flavor of the brands they carry; it is a place to buy the staples, and it gets me through most weeks. There is a clerk there who I first met at another of their stores that closed. She's a beautiful young woman who had one glaring problem--really bad teeth. One in front on top that was clearly rotted more than half through and kind of a snaggletooth. I always wished there was a way the store would get dental insurance because clearly she needed a lot of work.

I was over there today in her checkout line, and I remarked that I hadn't seen her for a while, I've been through on a different shift. And then it hit me, she had a perfect smile. I pointed and asked her when this happened, and she is so pleased to have this work done (and noticed!) that it wasn't an imposition for me to remark. I did also tell her that I thought she was a beautiful woman and had always hoped she'd be able to do this. She needed to hear that.

The story is the remarkable part. She had a customer come through her line in September--she named the day--and he told her he was a dentist and that she needed to make an appointment with him. She held onto his card for a week before calling, and her co-workers urged her to call. When she made the appointment he did the xrays and told her what he proposed--her teeth were in bad enough shape that she needed a full plate on top and would also lose a couple of lower molars. It took a couple of months for the entire process, she said.

I moved from the register with my groceries and began to pack them nearby, and we were talking across the space between us. I asked if SaveALot had put in insurance to help her cover this? She said no, and that was the amazing thing, this dentist offered to do it for free--no cost beyond what her medicaid covers. We both burst into tears right there in the store and I had to give her big hug. That was such a generous thing for him to do--she knew this was a lot more work than normally would be covered.

I took my groceries out to the truck then returned with my camera phone and sent one of my twitpic posts to Twitter. She pulled out his card for the spelling--this man is a member of a family well known for good dental work here in town. His brother is an orthodontist we consulted (it was a long drive to get over there, which is why we ended up going somewhere closer). To go from broken, blackened teeth to a beautiful smile--it isn't just a vanity issue, it is a major health issue and such a huge psychological boost. And I am so happy to be able to share this story with each of you.

Go through the day with a smile!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM

Thanks, Dean...Christmas by ambush, hmmm?

I've spent most of the day fighting the bitter wind that tore off the heavy plastic over the screened-in shed attached to our old cape. It had to be replaced before night, but the wind pulled and snarled, tugging the roll out of my hands.

It's done, now, though. I stapled one end of it around a piece of lathing, took it outside, and nailed that thing up before pulling and stapling the roll along the side of the shed. A couple dozen pre-nailed laths slapped up and nailed, and Voila! All that was left was to haul some of our remaining firewood inside to heat the parlor/bedroom side of the house before night. It's not even January and we're running low.

Tomorrow I must do some baking for a new experience coming up- a cookie swap with my small Frugality group.I don't have any fancy ingredients, but they'll be seasoned with love.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: frogprince
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 04:04 PM

Hmm...don't see anyone around...guess I'll just drop a copy of this on the table for any of the gang who comes by.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 10:22 PM

Hey, Dan: I'll stick a copy of the Gospel Messengers CD in the mail to you tomorrow. I don't know how to send music by e-mails.

I am an old fogey.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 09:17 PM

Jerry
after moving my office, I have boxes everywhere, can't find the gospel CD, can you email me some of the gospel songs you want on your site. Have a version up and running for you alone to look at tomorrow afternoon

Love
Dan


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 09:13 PM

I tracked down my Dump buddy Ralph, tonight. I missed him the last day the dump was open and wanted to wish him a Merry Christmas and see if he'd recovered from Pneumonia. He's feeling a lot better and appreciated that I called to check on him. Everybody likes to be checked on. Now I'll get a Christmas card off in the mail to him.
He's a good man.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 03:14 PM

...I always think going to the dump is a little bit like going to confessional....

...Dan, thanks...

Our local dump is still in the good dump guide, you will be pleased to hear.

What we might need now is either another coffee or a list of songs suitable to sing about dumps! :0)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 07:52 PM

How great to see you in here, Kevin. That's right. Dumps ain't what they used to be. I have a long history of sump diving. Why, the house I was born in was built on the site of a city dump long since abandoned and citified, and I had a good friend whose father was a junk collector, and they lived at a dump. I whiled away many an hours with my buddies, scavenging at the city dump and we found a lot of good stuff. Now, they don't want you to take anything away from the dump. There's no logical reason for that that I can figure out.

My buddies who worked at the dump not only salvaged thigns for themselves, but also to give to people. They gave me an almost full box that held 2,500 sheets of typewriter paper I still haven't worked my way through. They had a sense of humor, too.

A sense of humor is as endangered as city dumps.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 07:02 PM

"Another good dump, dead and gone." With us we've still got our dump, but it's not the same. It used to be much more relaxed - you could spot stuff people had taken in that still had some life in it, and take it home, and there was an old man who used to go there regularly with tins of food for the colony of feral cats who lived there.

Then they smartened it up, and called it a "civic amenity point", and had a bunch of men in overalls with a mission to stop anyone ever taking anything away. Even books.

But it's still a friendly enough place, where you keep on running into people you know. And if not, some stranger always seems to pick up the other end if the bag of stuff you are trying to heave up the steps to lift into a giant skip is too heavy. Without being asked, and likely enough without asking if you need help either.

Great story, Jerry, and a great thread. How come I've never opened it before? I'll have to catch up with it on the run-up to Christmas. Should put me in the right frame of mind.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:19 PM

Here's a little Christmas story I just wrote as a final postscript for my City Dump Chapter. This happened today.

Christmas at the Derby Dump

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the dump
Santa was being played for a chump
So here's my advice, for what it is worth
Don't expect your reward down here on earth.

    Today was the last day for the Derby Dump. I dropped by to wish Ralph and John a Merry Christmas. I came bearing gifts. They were out of incense and myrrh at Heavenly Donuts so I bought a dozen doughnuts for the guys and swung by the dump to pay my proppers.

    When I pulled in through the chain link gates, I could see nothing was the same. The long line of discarded refrigerators and air conditioners that lined the fence across from the check-in shack were gone, as were the leaning wicker benches that were placed invitingly to welcome visitors. The plastic tree that had been planted by the gate had been torn out and had met its doom in one of the large trash bins, all but one of which were no longer to be seen. The only bin remaining was the rusty blood-red container sitting right in the middle of what had been the driveway. One thing hadn't changed. John still called out a welcome from the window as I got out of my car.

    "Hey John, How's it goin'?" I called out. A broad grin spread across his face and he reached out his hand in greeting.
    "You come to pay your last respects?" he asked.
    "I just dropped by to wish you and Ralph a Merry Christmas. Is Ralph around?"
    "Nah, Ralph's got pneumonia. He hasn't been in for a couple of weeks. Today is the last day."
    "Yeah, I know it's your last day, that's why I brought these" I said, handing him the box of doughnuts.
    "Thanks," he said. "I got some buddies around here who can help me eat these."
    I handed him a Christmas card and said, "I brought one for Ralph, too. I guess there's no way of giving it to
    him now."
    "Yeah, I don't know his address, or you could mail it to him" John answered. "He lives in Shelton, but I don't
   know his address." "You know the dump is closing for good today at three o'clock?"
   "No, I didn't," I answered. "So where do I take the rest of my sand?" I asked.
   "You'll have to haul it down to the Shelton dump."
   "Where's that? I asked
   "It's way down by Sikorsky," he answered.
   "Sikorsky? that's a good six or seven miles from here. Do they pay for your mileage?" And I mourned the   
   closing of our dump. Another good dump, dead and gone.

    Santa may know who's been good or bad, but I guess his powers are limited. I shook John's hand again and he said, "See you soon." I drove over to the rusty blood-red dumpster and threw a couple of things into it as a final offering. I half expected to see one of Santa's boots sticking up out of the trash.

    When I was a child I thought as a child, as if I was looking through an old, dark mirror tossed away at the City Dump. But now I see as a man/child of God and I know.

    "One thing I know, and this for certain
      All will be well no matter what the future holds
      He will be there to share our every burden
      And there's a sweet, quiet peace in my soul
                                          Sweet, Quiet Peace by Jerry Rasmussen

    John and Ralph will be allright. Their New Year will be filled with Good News.

Merry Christmas

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 07:23 PM

"So we'd better hop to it, 'cause there's no one else to do it
    And the sky is getting cloudy and it looks like snow"

That's about it, Jerry! I'd love to hear it sung.

Peter- thanks for the invitation to sing with you. Wouldn't that be fun!
Dan- When I learn how to get the most out of the software and how to set up for the best acoustics I'll maybe start getting results worth sharing.

I'm tired. Have a peaceful evening, folks.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 11:44 AM

Pete,
when I finish Jerry's site my friend we need to fix yours up and get you some internet position.

Love Dan


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: olddude
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 11:42 AM

That is a lovely song Jerry. My friend Cathy lives in Wisconsin and she has 4 little boys. Yesterday she said that during their prayers at night they did the usual, please Lord end the wars, and thank you for mom and dad and our brothers, and thank you for Dan cause he sends us stuff, and if you don't mind a snow day would be great because well we need a day off . well guess what, they got their snow day ... !!! Oh the power of childrens prayers ..

Maeve, you are writing such beautiful things, I am so happy that the mic is working good for you ...

Love you all Dan


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