• Field Notes 21.12.2011

    Dear Santa,

    Before I ask for anything, let me at least be grateful for the good things from this last year.  I’m thankful to have a good job, that I’ve been able to make a contribution, and that my health is fairly good.  The kids are all doing well, the grandkids are doing great, we’re going to spend Christmas with them at my son’s place in Chicago.  Our sailor, after an eventful cruise through the Mediterranean in the spring (while Libya was the hot topic) and recently in the western Indian Ocean, reports his ship is headed back to the U.S.  Thank God some of the troops are able to come home this year (for good, at least on one battlefront) in time for the holidays.  May the New Year find that they all can come safely home to loved ones.  Lots to be grateful for, it’s been a good year for the Knickerbockers.

    Last year, I asked (and didn’t get, but I am NOT complaining) for the Eagles to win it all against the Cowboys in their home stadium.  Green Bay got the honors; thanks for that.  I couldn’t have stood the heat from my Cowboy-lovin’ relatives if the Blue and Silver had made it.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  And then the Phillies choked despite having arguably the best pitching in baseball.  I’m beginning to have my doubts about how much you, Santa, can really do.  Sometimes I feel like Linus, waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive.  Will the day ever come the Eagles win it all?  Can you just tell me yes or no?  I’m beginning to know what the Red Sox nation went through before 2004.

    This time last year, we were all coming to grips with the economy.  We’d been through two years, 2009 and 2010, trying to figure out if we were smart enough just to hang on.  This year it wasn’t great, but there was no second dip.  Many of us did hang on, and have come to the conclusion that most of the prognosticators appear to be right: it may be 2014 before this all gets sorted out.  Any relief you can bring would be greatly appreciated.  It’s not likely coming from D.C., as those folks inside the Beltway couldn’t add much to stoke the economy.

    The glass industry had some scares this year.  Business consolidations being what they are, it hasn’t been fun to see the sometimes adverse impacts on good people.  CRL taking over US Aluminum, now that was one of the good things, bringing back a lot of the people that showed up for work one Monday to find the doors locked, and finding out they were out of work with a note on the door that the locks might be permanent.  The Arch/Binswanger consolidation also has been interesting to watch.

    The solar energy end of the business took a hit when one company accepted government money then declared bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, all solar players may have taken a hit from that one instance.  Hopefully, that’s not the case.  Despite such problems, the Sages, the Soladigms and the Pleotints of the world keep showing that business can be conducted on the up and up.

    Geez, the storms we saw this year, most notably in Alabama and Missouri.  Want to talk about a way stimulus money could be put to good use?  After all the lessons learned in Florida and Louisiana over the last decade, can we update some older buildings with storm-resistant glazing?  One of the lasting pictures from Joplin was to see a hospital with its windows completely gone, not being able to provide the services to the community in a time of great need.  Can we upgrade these essential facilities before the storms hit, or is it that too much of a drain on the bottom line?  I know it has to be paid for, but…

    And for my blessings, I am grateful.  It simply amazes me that my wife and kids still love me, no matter what.  It’s one of the certainties in my life I’ve never questioned, or had reason to.  I’ve been blessed to be always able to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their backs.  Maybe not the high fashion they expected, but they never went without, either.  I’d sweep the streets to keep that from happening.  I’ve always enjoyed the people I get to work with, too.  They’ve all been a joy to be around. For that I am most grateful.

    Santa, I know your “to do” list is pretty big this time of year.  Thanks for all you do to bring joy and hope to the world, you and all your helpers, wherever they might be.  Please again, bring us all some cheer, that we can smile and laugh and enjoy the comfort of family and friends again this and in the coming years.  And bless us to have charity and a willing heart to help those not as blessed as we are.  Open our eyes and hearts to their plight, and let us be willing to chip in with our hands when necessary to help those in need.  Again, as Tiny Tim said, “God bless us every one.”  After you get back to the NP, hopefully you’ll enjoy time with the Mrs. and your family, too.

    PS:  Just once, can you leave me a note about whether or not you like the candy cane cookies?  They’ve always been my favorites, and I so love teaching the grandkids how to make them…  I’d have better luck getting them to help make them if I could tell them they’re Santa’s favorites, too.

    Posted by Blogger @ 8:33 am

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