The Day before Christmas

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The day before Christmas,
The shopping’s all done,
The wind’s strongly blowing,
And there is no sun.

No snow is falling,
The roads are all clear.
The house is all cheery
For Santa is near.

The kids may be bored,
But they won’t complain.
“This is more fun than school,”
They’ll gladly explain.

On their computers,
They’ll play and explore,
Hoping that Christmas
Will help them buy more.

And families will gather,
And all will have fun,
Tomorrow, when Christmas
Is here and is done.

The stockings will fill
With candy and treats.
The tables all loaded
With good things to eat.

And will any remember,
Midst comfort and joy,
That this all was started
By the birth of a Boy?

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Ice and Snow

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Well, last Thursday was to have been the last day of school for the kids before Winter Break, and a half-day at that. But before we got up in the morning, the phone rang, and we got a recorded call saying that school was canceled. When we looked out the window, we could see why. There was a lot of snow coming down sideways. Not much was actually building up on the ground, but what there was was rather icy. It probably wouldn’t have been enough to cancel school in Michigan (at least not when I was a kid), but was plenty for Missouri. So, there was no need to get up for quite a while.

That afternoon, we had plans to drive up go to the dentist and eye-doctor, usually about a twenty-minute drive from where we live now. We called both of them to let them know we were still planning on coming (I think they had a lot of cancellations). The snow had stopped by then, but there was still a lot of wind.

Our street was still bad (we had watched a car trying to drive up it, then give up, and turn around in our driveway and drive back down), but we figured that the highway would probably be cleared by then.

It wasn’t.

The highway was backed up, a lot of traffic on it, all going slow. Instead of our usual twenty minutes time, we had allotted an hour, just in case. And it’s a good thing we did, to, since it took us at least forty minutes to drive up there. The road was still slippery in spots, though most of it was clear, and the slippery spots came up unexpectedly, without warning. And all the big trucks were going no more than 40 mph, and we didn’t really want to pass them. The highway on the other side looked much clearer, and there was much less traffic over there. I don’t know what the difference was.

But anyway, we made it to our appointments in plenty of time, which let us get through them faster (since there had been some other cancellations before us). And the trip home was without incident.

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schmitzinthecongo

At about 7:00 am on Christmas Eve morning, we are up and we have taken a hot shower! What an appreciation we have gained for “simple” things in life. We have been so spoiled in the United States even on days with inclement weather, we almost always have hot water with good pressure coming from the tap. Not only that you can brush your teeth and and drink that same water without even boiling it. Thought we would give you something to be thankful for on this our first Christmas Eve in the Congo. The Christmas season has visited us with small gifts from above as we approach Christ’s birthday. We heard our first Christmas Carols (in English!) in the store on December 20, and missionaries from the United Methodist, Baptist, and other denominations gathered at “Restawhile,” the guesthouse of the Church of the Brethren, for a candle light carol…

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