One Insomniac’s Good Fortune

Boy, am I lucky!  It was a bad night for sleep last night.  I finally surrendered to the insomnia, made a cup of tea, and started channel surfing.  First came a Christmas episode of The Love Boat, which was charming enough when viewed through the early morning groggy haze.

That was followed by the most touching Christmas story I have seen in a very long time.

Twilight Zone’s December 23, 1960 episode, “The Night of the Meek,” is magical.  Beyond magical.  Art Carney does a magnificent job playing Henry Corwin, a down-and-out drunk who gets fired from a seasonal job as a department store Santa when he arrives late and drunk on Christmas Eve.

Henry agonizes over the poverty in his neighborhood.  His heart is pained by children who are likely to get little to nothing on Christmas.  By neighbors just trying to survive.  There are some great lines and great moments.  My favorite is Henry talking to his boss, Mr. Dundee, after getting fired:  “I can either drink or I can weep and drinking is so much more subtle . . .  Just on one Christmas, I’d like to see the meek inherit the earth.  And that’s why I drink, Mr. Dundee, and that’s why I weep.”

I don’t want to spoil the story for any who would like to see it, so I won’t describe much more, except to say that watching Henry made me feel like the Grinch (my first reaction was Sheesh, this is cheesy) . . .  My heart grew three sizes by the end of the story.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a free video of this on YouTube.  I found the 1985 remake of it on YouTube (starring Richard Mulligan), which I watched to compare the two.  It’s OK, but it does not possess the magic of the original.  If you have Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix you can likely find it.  Just be sure to get the 1960 original and don’t settle for the remake.  It will be worth the effort.

I will take the liberty of closing with words from the immortal Rod Serling:  “There’s a wondrous magic to Christmas, and there’s a special power reserved for little people.  In short, there’s nothing mightier than the meek.  And a Merry Christmas to each and all.”

Why We Have Wheels . . .

Dawny and I had a great Christmas Explore this year.  This is our new holiday tradition, started last year when we were away from family for the holidays for the first time ever.  Apparently, two years a tradition makes.

We stayed a few nights at Otter Springs Park & Campground near Trenton in north Florida (www.ottersprings.com).  It’s a large campground with lots of space for dog walking, both in the campground and on nature trails.  Perfectly lovely and well-shaded by live oaks, it also boasts a small spring and a heated swimming pool for those who don’t object to the sight of everything above their kneecaps in a bathing suit.  The price was a tad above our budget, but hey, it was Christmas, so we slightly splurged.

A surprise gift arrived via text on the morning after Christmas, as we were preparing to head back south to our winter campground.  My little brother (a term of endearment, not of measurement) was heading to north Florida to visit an old family friend.  So we switched gears and trucked on over to Ocean Pond Campground just east of Lake City, where we all met up and had a great visit over lunch and, of course, a dog walk or two.

What a wonderful thing to be able to quickly shift gears and change directions,  all while carting your kitchen and mess hall, bedroom and den, dog house and bath house along on wheels.  What a wonderful thing to share memories with people we love.  What a wonderful thing to simply hug a loved one, a friend.  Makes me feel all bouncy inside.

Wishing you …

 

Wishing you, and you, and you

a very merry Christmas day

May you find Peace in your soul

Love in your heart

Forgiveness where wanted

May you Celebrate these gifts

with those who are Beloved

May you Receive these gifts

from Surprising places

For the Joy of this Season

surpasses all labels

levels all walls

conquers all fear

if only

we are quiet

and listen