Merry Christmas

Our seemingly endless summer terminated this week with the arrival of our first winter storm. Under the cover of endless night the wind and rain hammered the house turning the tin roof into a snare drum at times. Robin and I cuddled under flannel sheets and a four pound quilt. Come morning, we crawled out and greeted a blustery winter day. Cumulus storm clouds ripped across the sky obscuring the suns best intentions.
After black tea with honey, when the fireplace crackled and sputtered a familiar song, we donned long coats and headed for the barn.
“An inch and three quarters,” Robin said, shaking out the rain gauge.
“Two feet of heavy snow would be nice right about now,” I said thinking, how precious the stuff is when we are so plundered by drought.
Max our Golden Retriever smiles, and insists on sticking his nose in my hand as we walked along. Zues our German Shepard is content hoarding his ball, pretending someone will abscond with it if he’s not careful. The horses all nickered when we slide open the breezeway doors. Pocho, Sheriff and Dakota, our new foals stuck their heads through the gates on their stalls, their eyes wide with anticipation, Buddy Love, my appropriately named buckskin, stood there regally dripping class. Wilber and Joey the Bay are complacent as if to say: “Just bring the food.”
“Ola kitty Ola!” I said, stroking two happy cat’s that arch their backs against the caress of my hand before dining on Little Friskies.
Robin broke a thin veil of ice off the water troughs, while I slung alfalfa and wheat hay into the stalls. The pastures are a sea of mud and the foreboding skies promise more of the liquid gold, so we left the horses inside the comfort of the barn.
Robin and I pushed wheel barrels over to the wood shed where we admired six cords of split cedar, pinion and pine. Our nostrils quivered with the scent of pitch delivered on the crisp damp morning air.
“Check out the canyon,” I said, turning to drink it all in.
A moan full wind buffeted isolated pockets of swirling snow in the corridor below. Rock edifices display the scars of time accusing the culpable forces of wind and water. To the north the great plateau rises where frosted pines hoard a bounty of deep snow. Nature’s voice is somber now; summers flurry is but a memory.
After the kindling was split and the porch piled high, we returned to the comfort of the warm fire and the familiar trappings that herald Christmas.

Today the forecast calls for sun and mud. Robin returns from her morning foray into town and has commenced with the elaborate Christmas cookie ritual.
“Can you smell them? Can you smell them!” she chants from the kitchen, “Watch out or I’ll torture you with Christmas music.”
“Are you threatening me?” I call down from the loft.
She works with the precision of a jeweler cutting the Hope diamond. Believe me; Martha Stewart has nothing on this girl. Soon, the table is adorned with red and green sugar cookies and the ones with the Hershey Kiss in the middle. Meanwhile she pulls the first batch of ginger snaps out of the oven.
“They’re a little crisp around the edges,” she says, knowing full well that’s how I like them, knowing that’s the irresistible touch that will make me consume more than humanly possible. She’s a Michael Angelo with flour and sugar.
“Tyler can take the left over cookies back to college with him,” she says.
“Bless that boy. He’s a saint,” I say. “Hey, didn’t you promise me Christmas music?”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Gene and Robin


The Politically Correct

The politically correct are at it again, attempting to redefine torture. These context droppers would have us believe that any unpleasant act constitutes torture. If we dressed pigs in Victoria Secret lingerie and stiletto heals, painted their pig faces with eye liner and red lipstick, then dumped them into the cells of enemy combatants detained at Gitmo would it constitute torture? If we deprived these same enemy combatants of sleep and forced them to watch an endless stream of Mel Brooks movies would it constitute torture?

If C.I.A. operatives in Afghanistan capture a couple of Islamic terrorists; keep them up for days and water board them until they reveal information that may thwart a terrorist act, thus saving the lives of innocent people whose crime is loving freedom — shouldn’t we applaud?

In times of war one must extrapolate vital intelligence, and some operations are better left clandestine. Are we to let a bunch of context dropping politicians masquerading as human rights advocates, destroy out ability to gather intelligence and place our freedoms in jeopardy?

I can picture the politically correct laying on the ground, bound by their hands and feet, the sword of Islamic fascism at their throats turning to one another and in pious indignation saying: “Well at least we didn’t resort to torture.”

Raise Your Hand

Raise your hand if you think Islamic fascists around the world care about Geneva Conventions. Does Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaida care about these rules of engagement when they execute men, women and children, cleansing the non believers with acts of genocide?

When confronted with an enemy who worships a seventh century ideology driven by hate, an enemy who sees Geneva Conventions as weakness and exploits them to hasten our demise, must we listen to mavens of political correctness decry that torture is heinous and enemy combatants deserve a fair trial. The real irony here is that Islamic fascists worship an anti-life, fighting for a theocracy that denies individual human rights. So tell me again why we should grant them the individual rights of free men.

Raise your hand if you think our primary moral purpose is to win this war against fascism, and honor the fallen that have fought and died for freedom throughout history. The people of this country need to wake up and realize this war will define civilization, freedom and prosperity or demonstrative suffrage: you chose.