Seeing Red at Christmas

Posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Even though I don’t have to punch a clock anymore (figuratively speaking, of course,) I’m still not a big fan of Mondays. Especially Mondays like this one; cold, grey and cloudy with snow in the forecast.
What really got me in a grumpy mood, though, was not so much the weather but discovering that the lights in the new Santa Claus figure that I’d hung on the garage have gone out after less than a week.  I still have the receipt but it means having to drag myself over to  Menards, wait in line at the courtesy desk hoping that the lady there isn’t having as bad a day as I. But how can she not be? After all, she has to get up each morning facing the reality of dealing with complaining customers..many of them like me..cranky. I can also pretty much guarantee that the store won’t have anymore of the luminary waving  Santas like the one I got on sale for 15 bucks so I’ll be stuck roaming around that big place trying to find something else from the remaining picked-over Christmas stuff.  I’m thinking it’s not worth the hassle even though I feel like someone just picked my pocket. So, while I was mulling over what to do, I decided to take refuge at my computer and continue with a Christmas blog I’ve been working on. Really not the appropriate mood for it, though, I thought.   That’s when something out the window caught my eye; a splash of scarlet amongst the bare branches of our berry tree.
‘Linda, come here, you gotta see this,” I said.  And together we stared in awe at a beautiful cardinal as he posed for several minutes..long enough to snap a picture, before flying away..presumably to someplace warmer.“I thought cardinals migrated south for the winter," I said. “Me too,” Linda replied. “But he sure brightens up a dreary day doesn’t he?”
Well, it didn’t take much searching on the computer to learn that cardinals, in fact do stay put in the wintertime as long as they’re comfortable and can find enough to eat. We just have never seen them, I guess.
Anyway, I sure appreciated that red bird’s visit. He improved my temperament so much that I think I will go ahead and take bad Santa back to the store and hope for the best.
How about that?  I’ve suddenly became a fan of cardinals. That will come to an end next Sunday, however, if the Arizona Cardinals beat up on my Minnesota Vikings as they do battle in the desert.

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