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Sharpwriters' Thoughts

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Sunday, December 19, 2004


It's a scattered thought kind of time, everybody hurrying and bustling. Several totally unrelated images and thoughts hang in my mind, some interesting, others troubling, some soothing, others rocky. I'll share them with you and let you label them and sort them out.

The other day in the grocery store, I saw for the first time a stalk of brussels sprouts. I never had actually contemplated how they grow, but since them seem like little cabbages, I guess I would have described them as looking something like mushrooms, small pieces of matter growing out of the ground. Wrong. What I saw didn't look exactly like this, but to see for yourself how they grow, click here.

I got a package in the mail at the office the other day from the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. It was addressed to me as County Court at Law Judge and contained a book intended for the County Judge. Well, the titles can be confusing, but I think before I sent a mailing to every county level judge in Texas I would check to find out the difference between my court, a statutory county court, and the constitutional County Court. I have no administrative duties regarding county business such as groundwater monitoring. However, they still evidently sent it out to a few hundred extra people. A sheet or two of paper that many times is wasteful when not relevant. A book like they sent is outrageous for conservation minded people!

Mike has enjoyed his Mini Cooper thoroughly, as have others. Notable among those is our niece Rachel who asked when we saw her yesterday before she went home with us what car we were in. Mike indulged himself in a pre-Christmas gift with another mini. Neither Rachel nor the dogs are impressed with it, but it's fun to watch it buzz around the room.

Samantha came over last weekend and helped me decorate. We put up a Christmas tree which is a rarity these years at our house, though I intend that it not be in future years. We also put up lights outside so our house wouldn't be one of the few in the neighborhood undecorated for the season. Jeffrey, arriving after he got off work, described the effect as "minimalist." True. Still, I wasn't unhappy with the effect--until one of the strings went out. We've not turned them on the last several nights. I thought this weekend I'd get the string replaced or repaired, but I haven't. Maybe before Christmas.... I still have four evenings. Oops!

Christmas is such a time of conflicting emotions. This morning in Sunday School we wrapped presents for a single mother with six children. One member was touched by the fact we wrapped the gifts. That made a great deal of difference to her, for in her childhood there were no gifts, much less wrapping. We visited Saturday evening with a dear woman who spoke of her step-mother pouring melted hot wax down her back for a child's tiny carelessness. Another dear friend, a leader of the community, commented that it's amazing she has any self-confidence since her mother always had to tell her how inadequate she was. The holidays bring families together. Sometimes the prayer for peace on earth can be made more local--we should pray for peace among the gathered family members and those who don't gather because of the unpleasant associations of the concept of family.

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