Outside Looking In
For those who have lost loved ones recently, I feel the hurt that you may have during the upcoming holiday season. I lost my parents and my only sibling several years ago and Christmas hasn't quite felt the same since.
My parents went "all out" for the holidays. Each year, the Christmas tree in our living was bathed in twinkling lights even though you couldn't see the bottom half for all the packages stacked up around it.
My parents were not wealthy people, but they made sure there was always a lot of good food on the table, many presents to open, and, more importantly, they wanted to make memories to last a lifetime. Boy, did they ever.
Our home would be decorated inside and out as though it we were running Santa's overseas toy company.
My mom thought by baking only three or four types of cookies for the holidays would not make for a joyous occasion. So, she baked until the oven shouted "Uncle". My dad thought about buying stock in Pillsbury and C&H just from all the flour and sugar that was used in our kitchen.
The meal my mom prepared rivaled a Golden Corral buffet even though we only had four people in our family.
There was always Christmas music playing in the house, or a Christmas program of some sort on television.
We always had a Christmas game or quiz to play that determined who opened the next present.
It's difficult not to reflect on those times whenever I flip the page of the calendar to December. Maybe it's living alone that makes it difficult, maybe it's because time races by more quickly with each passing year.
I've decided to try and enjoy Christmas more than I have in a long time. I have two wonderful daughters and four grandchildren that I adore. When they come here for Christmas, I try to create memories at my home that they will long remember like my parents did for me and my sister. I have a few surprises in store this year.
I normally decorate my house to the hilt, inside and out, make a toy shop in one room of the basement for the grandkids to enjoy, cook a big meal, and have games to play.
There are wonderful people in and around the Minneota area that I have had the pleasure of getting to know well. Some of those have recently lost spouses, parents, grandparents, children, other relatives, friends and even pets. I feel your pain as you try to enjoy the holidays through a difficult period.
All is can give you for advice is that we need to make the best of it while we can. Time goes by too fast for us to feel sadness each day. Remember all the good times you had with those you have lost and enjoy every day, especially Christmas, to the fullest. They would have likely wanted it that way.
If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one, reach out to them during what is likely a difficult time for them. They will appreciate it more than any gift you can give them.
Merry Christmas to all of you.
Because of miserable road conditions, I decided to postpone the announcement of the "Battle of the Bulbs" Christmas Lighting Contest for a week.
Some of the judges were able to venture out despite the ice-covered roads and the blowing and drifting that was going on this past weekend.
I set out for Minneota on Saturday morning to take some photos of Santa Claus at the library, attend the girls' basketball game against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, and then travel around to judge the lighting contest with three other judges in my vehicle. The road conditions were unfavorable, though, and I turned back around feeling it wasn't worth the risk.
The girls' basketball game was postponed and Gail Perrizo, the library director, was kind enough to take photos of Santa Claus and the kids.
"Battle of the Bulbs" judges will travel around all week to view the 23 homes that entered the lighting contest, so we ask those homeowners to keep your lights on beginning at 5 p.m. each night. We will announce the winners in next week's Mascot.
Professional sports are ever evolving. In baseball, the "small ball" era is a thing of the past with teams opting to club home runs over moving runners along via bunting, hit and run or stealing bases.
The NFL evolved from a running league to a passing league. Now, it has changed again and teams want their quarterbacks to be able to run.
Most quarterbacks outside of Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, however, aren't big enough to endure all those hits they take after throwing the ball and while running the ball.
Among the running quarterbacks, Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals tore his ACL on a running play and is out for the season. Josh Fields of the Chicago Bears injured his shoulder on a running play and missed a game, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens has missed several games after injuring his knee. While that injury occurred on a sack, Jackson has missed games due to injuries sustained while running. Even Jimmy Garoppollo of the San Francisco 49ers, normally not a running QB, broke his foot while running the ball.
Do the Philadelphia Eagles want to continue having Jalen Hurts run the ball 10-15 times a game? If he's hurt, it could greatly diminish their chances of reaching the Super Bowl.