“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
- John 14:1-4
As for the Scripture, I will tie it in at the conclusion of the post. Christmas was only a few days ago, but on television and the radio, no one can tell.
Two songs have given me ideas that could be standalone posts, but I will try to be short.
When we were at a fast food restaurant, they had a radio station on the sound system. One of the songs was “I’m Getting’ Nuttin’ for Christmas” by Roy C. Bennet and Sid Tepper. This is an old one, probably late 40s. The most famous recording of the song is by Shirley Temple. Here’s the first verse.
“I broke my bat on Johnny’s head
Somebody snitched on me
I hid a frog in sister’s bed
Somebody snitched on me
I spilled some ink on mommy’s rug
I made Tommy eat a bug
Bought some gum with a penny slug
Somebody snitched on me
“I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas
Mommy and daddy are mad
I’m getting nuttin’ for Christmas
‘Cause I ain’t been nuttin’ but bad”
I have lamented that today, no one cares about following rules, not that I am a legalist. The rule of the day is that you did nothing wrong if you don’t get caught. This song is meant to be a joke rather than a lifestyle but notice the recurring line in the verse. “Somebody snitched on me.” Somehow what was a joke seventy years ago and thought of as aberrant behavior has become the norm. The areas where it seems to be the most pronounced are on the highways with traffic laws, the corporate smoke-filled rooms (maybe the smoking area outside the buildings these days), when filing one’s taxes, and among the rich and famous, especially in Hollywood and in politics. The “MeToo” movement, whatever your feelings are on the subject, would not be a thing if people had not gotten away with it for so long. Aberrant behavior had become the norm.
I could go on and on about that, but instead of pontificating on the subject, the idea leads to the next topic. I want to melt away into the other song that I hear on a television advertisement. The advertisement is so effective and memorable that I have no idea what is being advertised, none. If you said dish soap, automobiles, or color television sets, I might agree. I could not even guess, but I have had an earworm for a couple of days of Perry Como singing “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” By the way, the town just south of where we live is the birthplace of two famous singers, Perry Como and Bobby Vinton. But Perry’s recording of that song is haunting me, and not because his boyhood home is nearby.
The thought hit me while the earworm was fresh, ‘Where is home?’ While that thought was in my mind, something odd happened while waiting at cardiac rehab. My wife talks to people while she does her exercises at cardiac rehab (nothing odd there). The other day, one of her rehab buddies finished early. He came into the waiting room to get his wife, but instead of simply leaving, he walked up to me and said that my wife had mentioned that we had lived in many different places and he wanted a rundown. I said, “Well, we were married in southeast Texas. Then the Army called me up. I was first in Fort Belvoir (He’d been there.) outside of Washington DC. We then went to Karlsruhe, Germany for three years. I finished my active duty time in Boston, Mass., actually Watertown, on the banks of the Charles river. We then went to South Carolina, then to Mississippi, then to the high desert of Washington state, and then to here.” He then asked which place had I liked the most. I replied, “If I had to choose, I’d pick Washington state.” He and his wife beamed. They must like the Great Northwest themselves. He thanked me. I replied, “You’re welcome, or should I say, ‘You betcha.’” They laughed, so I was even more convinced they’d spent time in the northwestern contiguous US.
But is the high desert of Washington ‘home’? Far from it. My allergies were the least pronounced in the dry climate. I felt the healthiest I have felt in many years there, equal to my time in Germany. The summers are hot, but it is a dry heat. (So many jokes with that line, but I will pass, for today.) The winters can pack a lot of snow, but I didn’t mind that. The scenery is so beautiful and there is a variety of things to see from the desert and sagebrush or tumbleweed to the Cascade mountains on one side and the Blue mountains on the other and old volcanic peaks all around to the waterfalls to the canyons or lakes or vineyards and orchards along the shores of the Yakima River. The cost of living is very high, so I won’t be moving there any time soon. But I did love my time there, even though we were dead broke.
Is there any place within the ‘time / space continuum’ that is home for me? At this point in my life, I will let the world stay with the people who hope not to be snitched on. My home is in Heaven with Jesus. He has prepared a place, a ‘home,’ for me.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory. fff000