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curious one. The roadside has become a parking
lot. Car doors are open, and people are staring
at the sky.
Shoppers are racing out of the grocery store.
The Little League baseball game across the
street has come to a halt. Players and parents
are searching the clouds And what they see,
and what you see, has never before been seen.
As if the sky were a curtain, the drapes of the
atmosphere part. A brilliant light spills onto the
earth. There are no shadows, none, from every
hue ever seen and a million more never seen.
Riding on the flow is an endless fleet of angels.
They pass through the curtains one myriad at a
time, until they occupy every square inch of the
North, South, East, West.
Thousands in silvery white fabric rise and fall in
unison, and over the sound of the trumpets, you
can hear the angels chanting, ¡°Holy, Holy, Holy.¡±
The final flank of angels is followed by twenty-
four silver-bearded elders and a multitude of
souls who join the angels in worship.
Suddenly, the heavens are quiet. All is quiet.
The angels turn, you turn, the entire world turns
The Reading Room 2015 December/January
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Treasures From The Inbox
There is Something About Christmas
There is something about Christmas that sets
it apart from all other holidays. Reverence,
something, that probes the human soul, stir-
ring people in all walks of life, arousing kind
thoughts, kindling good deeds, transgres-
sions made right. The quietude, when across
the cold clear night air, church bells proclaim
Christ¡¯s birth. A season that fills many of us
with nostalgia.
The shiny, black ceramic cat bank, with gold
lined ears, sitting upon the top shelf of my
china cabinet, retrieves a memory imprinted
on my mind, a vision of sorts, of Christmas at
my grandparents¡¯ home.
The flames off the reflector backs of the
kerosene wall lamps, hung on the farmhouse
kitchen/dining room walls, cast a soft glow
as I watched the women taking pots and
pans from the great wood cook stove. They
then covered the large round oak claw legged
table, where I sat, with dishes and platters of
There was a tree in the living room, the room
with the large floor to ceiling windows that
were covered with lace curtains. The tree was
decorated with ribbons and crocheted orna-
ments. The absence of lights was due to the
fact that the farm was far from town and
electric service. Years later my Grandfather
installed a generator.
I remember unwrapping the cat bank. It was
wrapped in calico material. I realized years
later that the material had previously been
a feed sack. Evidently my Grandmother had
taken the sack apart, laundered and ironed
the material, using it to wrap my gift in.
I have decided that our artificial tree, one of
convenience, will stay packed in its brown
cardboard box this Christmas. I am choos-
ing, instead, a trip to the forest to cut a ¡°real
There is no need to pull the boxes of glass
ornaments from storage either. This year will
be a homespun celebration. The tree will be
adorned with humble homemade trimmings,
popcorn and cranberry strung garlands, the
grandchildren¡¯s hand painted wooden orna-
ments, and bubble lights. Bubble lights, I
have recently learned, were developed in
1947 by Carol Otis.
Perhaps I will make up a few tins with home-
baked Christmas cookies to give to friends. I
still have a set of my Mothers old tin cookie
cutters. There are stars, wreaths and Christ-
mas trees.
Leafing through a recipe book of mine I found
a recipe entitled ¡°Mable¡¯s Butter Cookies¡±.
Mable was a neighbor some 48 years ago
when we lived in Leadville, Colorado. We vis-
ited over many cups of coffee during the year
we resided there. Warm memories.
May the warmth of the Christmas Spirit cover
you this December.
Solitary Song
Listening to the sound
Of the bell
As it leaves the bell
Christ¡¯s Birth. -k
(Karen Shafer lives in and writes from Grand
Junction, CO)
If you get email, you
get stuff. Sometimes
it is spam, sometimes
it is a true gem.
Here is one of those
gems worth sharing:
Positively Karen
and there He is...
Through waves of light
you see the silhou-
etted figure of Christ
the King. He is atop a
great stallion, and the
stallion is atop a bil-
lowing cloud. He opens
his mouth, and you
are surrounded by his
¡°I am the Alpha and
the Omega.¡±
The angels bow their
heads. The elders re-
move their crowns.
And before you is a
figure so consuming
that you know, in-
stantly you know, that
nothing else matters.
Forget stock markets
and school reports.
Sales meetings and
football games. Noth-
ing is newsworthy. All
that mattered, matters
no more. For Christ
has come.
The Vision
You are in your car driving home. Thoughts
wander to the game you want to see or meal
you want to eat, when suddenly a sound un-
like any you¡¯ve ever heard fills the air.
The sound is high above you.
A trumpet? A choir?
A choir of trumpets?
You don¡¯t know, but you want to know...
So you pull over, get out of your car, and look
up. As you do, you see you aren¡¯t the only
isn¡¯t about
how big the
tree is,
or what¡¯s
under it.
It¡¯s about
around it!
A young lady was driving in her car, trying to
make her way home from work on a cold and
snowy December evening, when she became
lost in the heavy snowstorm.
She didn¡¯t panic however, because she re-
membered what her dad had once told her.
¡°If you ever get stuck in a snowstorm, just
wait for a snow plow to come by and follow
Sure enough, after waiting a little while, a
snow plow came by, and she started following
She followed the plow for about forty-five
Finally, the driver of the truck got out and
asked her what she was doing.
So she explained to him how when she was
learning to drive, her dad had taught her that
if she ever got stuck in a snow storm that she
should follow a plow.
The driver nodded and said, ¡°Well, I¡¯m done
with the Wal-Mart parking lot, do you want to
follow me over to Best Buy now?¡±
A Winter Laugh