Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas 2013


Dear Family and Friends;

As I contemplated the prospect of having my son, Michael, and his family with us during the Christmas Holidays it occurred to me that I might have to address the question of Santa Claus with my grandson, Logan Matthew, who is eight years and 8 months old.

Up to now, Michael and his wife, Neva, have maintained that all Christmas presents come from Santa. Tags on packages are addressed to Logan, or his sister, Erin (3), from Santa. Cookies have been put out on Christmas Eve and only crumbs are left Christmas morning. Will Logan still believe in Santa, or will the word have gotten around the 3rd Grade that Santa isn’t real? Will Logan ask me, “Grandpa Richard, Do you believe in Santa?”

I decided that I’d answer unequivocally, “Yes,” because I do. I believe that Santa, or St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or whomever, instills a spirit of love and generosity in people around the Holidays. I only wish that same spirit could be kept all year through. I suspect that Logan, who is very intelligent, and inquisitive, will look at me askance, but I will maintain my poise and refuse to be further interrogated. You either believe in Santa or you don’t. If it makes you happier not to, be my guest. Otherwise, let’s open the presents!

We’ve already being blessed with many gifts this year; good health, a full larder, good weather, a warm and sturdy home, and the company of family and friends. Having the whole family around us at this holiday time; Stephen, Michael, Neva, Logan, and Erin, is a very special gift. Next year will mark the 50th year of marriage for Patricia and I -- a gift that keeps on giving!

I feel a great sadness for the many people here in America and around the world who live from one day to the next wondering how they will survive, and I hope the spirit of giving encourages all of us, not just now, but always, to help, directly, or by contributing to the worthwhile charities that make it their life’s work to help these people.

May you enjoy your holiday, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, or whatever you celebrate that brings you joy and offers joy to the world. Have fun, love one another, and have a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lubię spotykać nowych ludzi

We have an opening for
An English teacher in Krakow
The opening is small
So teachers taller than 120 cm
Or wider than 60 cm
Need not apply

Although other openings exist for
Very big Polish people willing to learn
Hangul or Chonsongul
Candidates must be
Proficient in Haidong Gumdo
And be willing to travel

To say the least

Which isn't saying much


Pyongyang is a lovely city
Perched prettily on the Taedong River
And welcomes all peoples of the world
With open gulagi
A recent trade mission to Krakow
Came with nothing to trade

(they asked for a Moscow loan)

But small talk
And so left empty handed
Which in Poland is known as
Jumping over the
Moo Goo Gai Pan
With bare feet

In addition to Krakow and Pyongyang
Openings exist in the
Fabric of the Universe
Candidates must own at least
One cat or know
what box the cat is in

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let my people go!

“When Korea is reunified, our country will make its appearance on the world arena with great dignity as a rich and powerful, independent and sovereign state with a 70 million population, and our nation will exalt its pride of being a resourceful, dignified and great nation.”

(Kim Jong-il, “Let Us Carry Out the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung’s Instructions for National Reunification,” Aug. 4, 1997)