14 December 2009

Christmas cards

I love Christmas! I love the story of the birth of Jesus, the celebration of light coming to the world in the darkest season of the year, a time set aside for the greeting of family and friends. Gifts are not my big focus although I enjoy wrapping gifts a lot. I love the feasts, the gathering around tables and all the seasonal goodies: cookies, spiced cider, egg nog, fruit cakes, gingrbread.... For me, it's not Christmas without a tree--a real one that fills the house with the scent of fir. Maybe most of all, I love the cards. Yes, I even love the infamous Christmas letters. I want to see pictures. (I'm always just a bit miffed when my friends send pics of "the cutest children/grandkids in the world" and don't include one of themselves. They are afterall the friends we know and love.) Pictured are 18 of the cards that David & I have sent through the years.

I used to have one of every card we had sent since our marriage in 1971, but the mice-in-the-attic disaster of a few years ago caused me to lose some of the earliest. I noticed patterns: the earliest cards were cardinals, then we went through a spell of Christmas trees decorated with birds and wild life, then there are all the rabbit cards from the house bunny years. Wise men have been a frequent motif. David always wants blue cards; I want deep red and gold.

A decade or so ago when my arthritis made it difficult to write, we began to order our cards pre-printed and used the computer to print lables. For the past 5 years at least, we have ordered our cards from cardsdirect.com and we get to choose the verse as well as the design. In early September we selected our custom verse, scriptures from Hosea and Isaiah: May you obtain joy and gladness and may sorrow & sighing flee away. Arise! Shine! The Light has come.

Our Christmas letter is written and I've started the mailing process. The average household sends about 30 cards; we ordered 125. We'll have cards left-over if I run out of time or I'll have to send left-overs from previous years if I keep thinking of people to add and find the time to act on my thoughts. No matter how many cards make it into the mailbox, we'll always feel like we missed someone we really want to wish, Merry Christmas & God bless you in the coming year.

03 December 2009

VOTE! Houston Run-Off

Let one of those jingle bells be a reminder of the run-off election. Early voting is underway now. My endorsements in this race go to:

ANISE PARKER for Mayor of Houston because she is the better qualified candidate with the background, experience, and independence to do the job. Hubby said he was voting Locke in the main election but changed his mind and like me voted for Ray Morales. Locke's tax returns raised issues that concern us. As we have learned just how strong the influence of the Houston Sports Authority is with this candidate and because the one thing Houston needs least is yet another stadium burden, it's easy for both of us to go with Anise, a Rice alumna. As her campaign brochure said, "What's wrong with sensible?"

We don't live in District A or F, so I don't get to vote for City Council in those races but I urge those who can to consider Al Hoang in District F because I like his concerns for Southwest Houston and the infrastructure.

Stephen C. Costello, Houston Council at-large position 1, had my vote in the main election and easily retains it for the run-off since he is the qualified candidate in this race. He is a civil engineer with the background to decide Houston's most important issues: infrastructure, flooding, environmental and he also has the experience to handle the business end of the city.

Sue Lovell, Houston Council at-large position 2, is doing a good job. She had my vote in the main election and will have it in the run-off.

Jack Christie, Houston Council at-large position 5, had my vote in the main election and retains it based on his concerns and views regarding recycling, environment, and infrastructure which align well with mine. He gets a boost because the incumbent opponent has sometimes irritated me greatly with ill-considered statements.

M.J. Kahn, City Controller, gets my reluctant vote because he is the only choice left in the race who may be qualified to do the job. If his opponent cannot manage his own finances, I can't trust him with my city.

Anna Eastman, HISD Trustee District I, was my choice in the main and remains so in the runoff. This may be the rare race that has two acceptable candidates.

Early voting continues through Tuesday, December 8. Election Day is Saturday December 12. Early voting locations and election day polling places and other information is available at: http://www.harrisvotes.com/