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My Top Ten of 2014 Gumbo (Part 1)

The end of the calendar year means a lot of things to me. It means good times with my family (all of us together, on Christmas) and good times with the Tiny Goddess (the two of us alone, on New Year's Eve.)

It's also an appropriate time to stop and take stock: look back at the year that has passed, and look forward to the year ahead. This has been an amazing year for me – the Book and the Baby – and the Tiny Goddess cautions me against always comparing things.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." – Theodore Roosevelt

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Christmas Rushing

            I’m feeling the pressure of the upcoming holiday, but I’m fighting it.  There’s less than a week to go, but I’m getting a handle on things.  A few days ago, I felt completely unprepared for Christmas, but now things are looking OK.

            I admit I’m behind on my Christmas shopping.  And I just got my tree at the local YMCA.  (We haven’t put it up yet.  It’s on its side, in front of my garage, waiting to be raised in the living room, probably tomorrow.) I do have some lights up on the outside of my house.  A long string of white lights along the edge of the roof and another one around this large bush next to my front door.  It’s not much – especially compared to some of my neighbors who hire companies to come and decorate their houses -- but at least I have something up.  Usually I do something in my backyard, too, but I haven’t done that yet.  And, to tell you the truth, Christmas lights always look a little funny on palm trees.  But that’s Christmas in southern California.  Every Christmas is a “Green Christmas.”

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Calder Leigh Robinson's Future

So many thoughts have been going through my head since I became a grandfather last Friday. The first one was – I'm too damn young to be a grandfather!!! Grandfathers are old and smelly (if they were anything like mine.) I'm young and vital!! Anyone who has read my novel WHAT IT WAS LIKE knows how completely hardwired I am into my youth. Then I remembered that I'm sixty-three, and the calendar doesn't lie as much as we might like it to. So maybe I have to accept – nay, embrace – my new position as "Gramps."

Yesterday, I actually held my grandson Calder Leigh Robinson in my arms, which is more than my father got to do with his grandson. Calder is very handsome, and he didn't cry. He squirmed a little, but he slept in my arms the whole time. It was a very, very nice feeling.

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