Shuck and Jive

Friday, December 28, 2007

Of Cars and Christmas

I shouldn't play favorites, but if I had to pick a local columnist it would be a toss-up between First Presby's own, Helen Collins, who writes for the Elizabethton Star and James Brooks of the Johnson City Press.

I enjoyed James' column today, The Wild Life. James writes:

As traffic builds up on area roads and I spend more time at traffic lights, there are times when I don’t need to dial calls on my cell phone. That’s when I catch up on my reading.
In traffic that’s pretty well limited to reading bumper stickers. I’ve never been tempted to try making sense of the novels of Marcel Proust at traffic lights, although if they take much longer to cycle through I may be tempted....

....Even stranger than bragging about pets and children are the in memoriums with names and dates of birth and death I see on the back windows of cars. Sometimes when I’m in the midst of traffic I feel like I’m in a moving cemetery.
Folks in Tennessee are not into vanity plates, but we do love bumper stickers. So what is on your car?

Helen's most recent column was about her dangerous journey into her basement and the meaning of Christmas:
Several years ago someone recorded a song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and I concur: It really is. When you plug up your tree, hang wreaths, play your favorite Christmas music, go to the parade, attend the wonderful musical presentations in our community, you catch that specialness of this yearly Celebration.
I even made my yearly foray into The Wal-Mart last week and the thing that struck me most clearly was that most everybody I passed smiled at me, old and young, and they know and I know what that smile means. It's pretty much universal, a sort of collective smile, and it's in the busyness of crowded stores, and on the streets of a town that you see it most often. I like it.

We probably shop and buy and rush and maybe get weary, but as long as we are giving gifts to people, adopting angels from Christmas trees, remembering those who are homebound, visiting nursing homes, baking cookies for the grandchildren -- and smiling at strangers in busy stores, we're probably going to have a Merry Christmas.
Helen always has a smile for me after worship, too.

Happy New Year Helen and James. Thanks for writing about things, that when we notice, bring us a smile.

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