It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm
By: Doug Lund
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“Are you guys headin’ South for the winter again?”

Linda and I have been answering that question a lot lately and, since we haven’t missed a January in Phoenix for the last 16 years, the answer is yes..but just barely yes. Thanks to some unforeseen and unwarranted issues with Social Security, our annual sojourn to Arizona was in serious jeopardy due to lack of adequate funds. We have managed to weather the storm. So, Ive fixed the leaky seal in Big Red’s rear end (Our 12 year old Lincoln Town Car for those who never read the blog) and even though he’s got over 150 thousand miles racked up on the odometer, we’re gonna trust the old boy to get us there and back one more time.

Big Red waiting out a New Mexico snow storm last February

Big Red waiting out a New Mexico snow storm last February

We had considered flying to Arizona non stop on Allegiant this time..then renting a cheap car for our month’s stay. But, even with high gas prices and motel rentals, it will be more financially feasible to drive. Besides, there’s no way we can cram a month’s provisions, clothing, computers and golf clubs into a couple suitcases if we’d opted to fly. Now, there’s the other concern; weather.  New Mexico, where snow storms have on at least three occasions ground our journey to a stand-still, has already been blasted by a winter storm closing schools and all travel. We’re hoping to dodge that bullet when it’s our turn to pass through in a couple weeks.

Excuse me just a sec:

I had to stop and let the appraisers in the house. No, we’re not selling..just refinancing to take advantage of the cheaper rates and to free up a few bucks so we can maybe put Big Red out to pasture if he starts to act up. I’ve already been in touch with Nordstrom’s which is preparing a place for when it’s time to take that last ride. Like White Lightnin’ before him, Red will be donating his usable body parts so that other needy Lincolns may survive and continue to roll on. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary for a while yet but that newer model Buick Lacrosse sure gets my juices flowing.

Be right back..the appraisers are leaving.

That didn’t take long; less than 15 minutes to take their measurements, a few photographs and they’re gone. $450 bucks.  I guess we can’t redo the mortgage without an official appraisal but that sure seems spendy for what little they had to do.

Albert Pujols certainly won’t ever have to refinance his house to have a little walkin’ around money.

Albert Pujols laughing all the way to the bank

Albert Pujols laughing all the way to the bank

The St. Louis Cardinal’s superstar has decided to leave the team where he rose to legendary status over eleven seasons and collected a couple World Series rings, and go play for the Los Angeles Angels. It turns out that it really IS all about the money. The Cardinals offered the soon-to-be 32 year old Pujols a big fat long term contract to stay but the Angels came up with a few million more and off he hell with the hell with the fans hello ten year contract and 254 million dollars!  Good for him, I suppose but you gotta wonder just how much money is enough money for ball players. If Pujols comes on TV and says he did it to make sure his family would be financially set I think I’ll puke.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yeah, winter travel. We’re counting heads figuring out how many we’ll have for Christmas

Our desert daughter, Christy, won’t be flying or driving home from Phoenix this year nor will grandson, Taylor, the Marine, who remains on duty in California. We still have to worry about daughter Suzan and her family getting here from Nebraska and son, James making sure he catches his flight from Oakland. Everybody else lives pretty close to home. There have been a couple marriage “adjustments” among family members in the past year which is never pleasant and will mean for fewer faces around the dinner table and having to share grandkids more than usual.

scroogeBut it’s still the most wonderful time of the year at least according to the Andy Williams song which is probably my favorite holiday tune and puts me right in the Christmas spirit. I also drifted in that direction earlier this week when I caught myself watching A Christmas Carol on TV. It was the George C. Scott version..the best in my view..and at the end I felt a rush of holiday cheer wash over me when Scrooge awoke on Christmas morning to discover that in spite of a ghastly night of ghost traveling, he hadn’t missed the chance to change and did.

Now, if it would only Christmas mood would be complete.

Wait…what am I saying? We’ve got traveling to do.


  1. Stuart Surma says:

    Doug, Repeat after me- no snow, no snow, and once again- no snow!!! Every day without snow is worth about 10 degrees in the winter- the way I figure? The problem is we already have 4 inches of the white “STUFF” here in Java where I live so, I say “Bah Humbug!!!” Stu- PS- Snow is a 4 letter word!!!

  2. perry says:

    hey….isn’t that picture of sherwin linton?

  3. Sweeps says:

    I DVR’d the George C. Scott version the other night and can’t wait until I have a whole evening to myself to enjoy it. I agree with you, Doug; it’s the best!


    WELL LEAVE THE LIGHT ON FOR YOU!. As always we wish you a safe trip and many more miles before it gets her, Happy Holidays..

  5. grouse says:

    Good one Perry!! Now that’s funny! So Doug, is it Sherwin?

  6. Michael says:

    “Mister Cratchit!” Yes, the George C. Scott version is the best. The one with Patrick Stewart is a close second.

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