Epic save


In the Epic Save department, also the Things I Wish I’d Told My Kids Before They Flew The Nest department…

I bought an exercise machine and couldn’t shut the trunk on it. First I hoped its own weight would hold it down but that didn’t work out. So I stopped at a 7-11, but they didn’t have anything resembling twine. The nice lady (she kept calling me “honey”) assured me she knew there wasn’t anything in the back, either.

Without batting an eyelash, I bought a roll of Hefty Cling Wrap and a muffin. I drew out about six feet of wrap, bunched it up widthwise into a rope, and lashed the hatch down with it. Worked brilliantly. Tensile strength to burn.

Oh, and the muffin? That’s for tomorrow’s breakfast.


My Son, Folks… (ba-dum ching)

Here’s another Christmas story from this year: my son Nevada got me good!

First, he texted me a few days before:

I don’t football a lot. Do you have any strong feelings either way on the 49ers?

Wanting to be helpful without being completely indiscreet, I replied:

I don’t know how to answer that. There’s Seahawks and there’s everyone else in no particular order. I was a big 49er fan in the glory years. If we’re talking about a windbreaker, I don’t care if it’s FC Barcelona.

Then on Christmas Day, I opened a present from Nevada and there was a beautiful, hooded, lined, LaCoste windbreaker. The only graphic was a tiny LaCoste alligator. He also gave me a bendable Ichiro doll. After thanking him profusely, I asked, “There’s one thing I don’t understand: what’s the 49er connection?”

And he grinned and said, “Exactly!”

Well done, son!

SunWinks! December 28, 2014: The Spirit of Christmas Present

SunWinksLogoDearest SunWinkers:

A perfect Christmas. Somehow that always seemed to elude me as I was growing up. My parents giving me a fondue pot instead of a guitar.  Dad telling me I’d better not shoot my new rocket with a certain one of the space capsules, doing it anyway, and breaking it as he had predicted. Bringing the tureen of mashed potatoes in from the kitchen, pausing in the doorway, all eyes upon me as the tureen slips through my fingers, hits the floor, and cracks in half.

This week I experienced the perfect Christmas, bathed in it, drank it in. Shandra was the most perfect tree I can remember (they always tell Carol their name). All my children (and three partners) were there all afternoon and evening. All the presents we gave the kids seemed to be perfect and go over like gangbusters. Eli took a page from Daddy’s playbook and gave out a book she wrote. Santa heard our microwave had died and brought one just in time.

The turkey and ham came out beautifully. Everybody brought side dishes and everybody pitched in. Three friends, my mother, and my brother’s family joined us for dinner. One of the friends remarked that he had never experienced a family that had so much acceptance and love and so little friction. Wow…

Tree1Xmas Couch 1

Carol n Tree 2

20141225_202456 Portrait w Rich et al


The evening was full of laughter and music. I sang “O Holy Night” and butchered the high note just like that horrible Christmas morning at Church of the Resurrection circa 1999. It got a big laugh, so it wasn’t a total loss. Donna contributed an original Christmas novelty song, Aaron played Irish jigs on the violin, and ten-year-old niece Haley on recorder and I improvised a duet on “Linus and Lucy.” For a  blessing, I read from A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

Carol requested “the magic” this year, so she left a letter to Santa and went to sleep with nothing under the tree. In the morning, the presents were under the tree, the angel was on top, and there was a letter from Santa with cookie crumbs on it. Here is what it said:

Give of your treasure and you will never be poor.

Love from the fullness of your heart and you will never be unhappy.

Treat the world with kindness and welcome and you will never be lonely.

Do not live each day as if it were your last–

Live each day as if you will live forever as the person you are today.


Dear Cuffy:*

I may be Santa Claus (and let me tell you, that chimney was no picnic) but you bring Christmas to your world every day. God love you for it!




*[“Cuffy” is Carol’s family-of-origin nickname. I have never called her “Cuffy.” Ooooh…]

The Prompt

Write a letter from Santa. Don’t use the one above as an exemplar, just write your own,  your style, your concept.


Doug and Carol

Instructions for submitting your response to SunWinks!

SunWinks! Index

Carol Holden Cancer Fundraiser

© 2014 Douglas J. Westberg. All Rights Reserved. Please share, reblog, link to, but do not copy or alter.

Let’s Put Christ in Christmas…


“All the here and all the there
Ring with the praises of the pair:
Jesus the Paraclete
And Saint Paul the Exegete.

Jesus proclaimed the truth.
Paul’s missionary tooth
Shredded it fine, and made a paste,
No particle going to waste,
Kneaded it and caked it
And buttered it and baked it
(And indeed all but digested
While Jesus went to death and rested)
Into a marketable compound
Ready to lay on any wound,
Meet to prescribe to our distress
And feed unto our emptiness.

And this is how the Pure Idea
Became our perfect panacea…”

John Crowe Ransom “Our Two Worthies”

SunWinks! December 21, 2014: On A Motto Pay Ya

SunWinksLogoDear SunWinkers:

Going through my old Gather columns, I next run into the topic of onomatopoeia.

Onomatopoeia is a word which sounds like the object (i.e. a sound or something noisy) it describes. They’re everywhere you look! Hundreds have become imbedded in the language, so much so we hardly hear them as such. Some examples of onomatopoeia words:



The list is endless.

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Poem: Procrastination

Random Thot:
You know when there’s a word on the tip of your tongue and you just can’t think of it? Turns out there’s a name for it:

* * *

https://dougwestberg.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/395f0-butterinpan.jpgWith superb irony, I am posting this in anticipation of the SunWinks! column that should have appeared last Sunday. I know I said it would appear later in the week, but I only got it written yesterday and I am loath to step on Sharon’s and Len’s toes by posting it today or tomorrow. So it will appear on Sunday the 21st, Carol’s birthday.Poem: Procrastination

SunWinks! December 7, 2014: Grand Allusion

SunWinksLogoDear SunWinkers:

Going through my old Gather columns, I next run into the topic of allusion. Allusion is a reference to a commonly known work of literature or piece of history or culture. As with personification, allusion lets the reader relate to your poem on a deeper, more visceral level. Namely, the reader reacts with the feeling or value judgment which he or she associates with the event or piece of literature being alluded to.

A classic example is “The Second Coming” by Y.B. Yeats.

And what rough beast, its hours come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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