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</h3> </div><div class="art-box art-blockcontent"> <div class="art-box-body art-blockcontent-body"> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> <div class="art-layout-cell art-content"> <div class="art-box art-post breadcrumbs"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <h4>Monthly Archives: <span>December 2010</span></h4> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="navigation"> <div class="alignleft"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/2010/12/page/2/" ><span class="meta-nav">←</span> Older posts</a></div> <div class="alignright"></div> </div> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post post-258 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-archive category-uncategorized tag-auldlangsyne tag-classroom tag-guy-lombardo tag-holiday tag-new-year tag-new-years-eve tag-robert-burns tag-scotland" id="post-258"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <h2 class="art-postheader"><span class="art-postheadericon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/to-you-my-friend-for-auld-lang-syne/" rel="bookmark" title="TO YOU, MY FRIEND, FOR AULD LANG SYNE">TO YOU, MY FRIEND, FOR AULD LANG SYNE</a></span></h2><div class="art-postheadericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postdateicon"><span class="date">Published</span> <span class="entry-date" title="9:45 pm">December 31, 2010</span></span> | <span class="art-postauthoricon"><span class="author">By</span> <span class="author vcard"><a class="url fn n" href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/author/sdobbie46/" title="View all posts by Sheila Dobbie">Sheila Dobbie</a></span></span></div> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="zemanta-img"> <div style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignleft"><a href="https://i2.wp.com/commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Auld_Lang_Syne.jpg"><img src="https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4e/Auld_Lang_Syne.jpg/300px-Auld_Lang_Syne.jpg?resize=300%2C299" alt="Auld Lang Syne" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Image via Wikipedia</p></div> </div> <p> This is <a class="zem_slink" title="New Year's Eve" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Eve">New Year ’s Eve</a> and around the world people will stand together at the stroke of midnight and sing a melancholy song that, on the surface, makes absolutely no sense—<em>Auld Lang Syne.</em></p> <p>The title,<em> Auld Lang Syne</em>, literally means “old long since” or, “long, long ago”. Therefore, the first line of the song which says “for <a class="zem_slink" title="Auld Lang Syne" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_Lang_Syne">auld lang syne</a>” is loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.</p> <p><em>Auld Lang Syne</em> is an old <a class="zem_slink" title="Scotland" rel="geolocation" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=55.95,-3.2&spn=10.0,10.0&q=55.95,-3.2 (Scotland)&t=h">Scottish</a> poem attributed to <a class="zem_slink" title="Robert Burns" rel="musicbrainz" href="http://musicbrainz.org/artist/56e7d9b7-174b-4e29-a50d-f164030d197f.html">Robert Burns</a> who copied down the ancient poem and probably elaborated upon it and then set it to the tune of an old Scottish folksong. It is a tribute to old friends and good times should they never be forgotten.</p> <p>As 2010 fades away and we go into the unknown future of 2011, I now take a moment to remember all my friends and family and hope we never forget the good times we have had. I offer you a toast and we will drink a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.</p> <p>Here is hoping all of you reading this will have a happy and healthy new year.</p> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> <div class="art-postfootericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postcategoryicon"><span class="categories">Posted in</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/archive/" rel="category tag">Archive</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/uncategorized/" rel="category tag">Notes from the Pond</a></span> | <span class="art-posttagicon"><span class="tags">Tagged</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/auldlangsyne/" rel="tag">auldlangsyne</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/classroom/" rel="tag">Classroom</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/guy-lombardo/" rel="tag">Guy Lombardo</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/holiday/" rel="tag">Holiday</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/new-year/" rel="tag">New Year</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/new-years-eve/" rel="tag">new years eve</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/robert-burns/" rel="tag">Robert Burns</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/scotland/" rel="tag">Scotland</a></span> | <span class="art-postcommentsicon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/to-you-my-friend-for-auld-lang-syne/#comments">2 Comments</a></span></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post post-230 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-archive category-uncategorized tag-bethlehem tag-christianity tag-christmas tag-church-of-the-nativity tag-faith tag-grace tag-jesus tag-nativity-of-jesus tag-nature tag-religion-and-spirituality tag-star tag-star-of-bethlehem tag-west-bank" id="post-230"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <h2 class="art-postheader"><span class="art-postheadericon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/a-star-for-the-ages/" rel="bookmark" title="A STAR FOR THE AGES">A STAR FOR THE AGES</a></span></h2><div class="art-postheadericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postdateicon"><span class="date">Published</span> <span class="entry-date" title="9:40 pm">December 22, 2010</span></span> | <span class="art-postauthoricon"><span class="author">By</span> <span class="author vcard"><a class="url fn n" href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/author/sdobbie46/" title="View all posts by Sheila Dobbie">Sheila Dobbie</a></span></span></div> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="zemanta-img"> <div style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="https://i1.wp.com/commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greeting_Card_Christmas_Rust_Craft_circa_1950.jpg"><img src="https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/33/Greeting_Card_Christmas_Rust_Craft_circa_1950.jpg/300px-Greeting_Card_Christmas_Rust_Craft_circa_1950.jpg?resize=300%2C419" alt="Rust Craft, circa 1950" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Image via Wikipedia</p></div> </div> <p>Dear Friends:</p> <p>Here is my <a class="zem_slink" title="Christmas card" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_card">Christmas card</a> to you. Thank you for your support and comments. Wishing all of you a Merry <a class="zem_slink" title="Christmas" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas">Christmas</a> and a blessed <a class="zem_slink" title="New Year" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year">New Year</a>.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">A STAR FOR THE AGES</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> “Oh, little town of Bethlehem…</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by,</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light.”</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">A pretty story I’m told, or is it just another legend of old?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Phones are ringing, computers beeping, traffic whizzing by.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Are you running with me <a class="zem_slink" title="Jesus" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus">Jesus</a>? I shout in a rage as I prepare to fly.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Twelve more shopping days till Christmas, appointments to keep in line;</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Are you running with me Jesus? Please give me a sign.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Meetings to attend, broken promises to mend;</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">I think I’m doing fine.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Are you running with me Jesus? If so, where is my sign?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Driving home late, I stop to admire heaven’s starry gate.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">The air is brisk; a shiver runs down my spine.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">What is this I see glowing in the east?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">It grows brighter with each passing second.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Could it be to me it beckons?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">What’s this ringing in my ears?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Is it the singing of angels through the years?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">The light—it’s so intense!</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">It touches my very soul and I sense—</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Yes, it’s true!</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">He lives, he lives!</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Here is my sign.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Are you running with me Jesus?</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Yes, you are for I see it in the stars—</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">The star of Bethlehem.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">As I pause at the front door before reentering life’s hectic pace,</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">I do it with a renewed faith and grace.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">For I have seen the truth of the ages, once foretold by the sages.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">A love much greater by far than any of us can know</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">For I have seen it in the stars—</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">The star of Bethlehem.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">I pause and ask once again,</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966"> “Are you running with me Jesus?”</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">And then I whisper,</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">Thank you Lord, I know you are,</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">For I saw it in the stars—</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#339966">The star of Bethlehem.</span></p> <p style="text-align:right"><span style="color:#339966">By Sheila Moore Thornburg Dobbie</span></p> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> <div class="art-postfootericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postcategoryicon"><span class="categories">Posted in</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/archive/" rel="category tag">Archive</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/uncategorized/" rel="category tag">Notes from the Pond</a></span> | <span class="art-posttagicon"><span class="tags">Tagged</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/bethlehem/" rel="tag">Bethlehem</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/christianity/" rel="tag">Christianity</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/christmas/" rel="tag">Christmas</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/church-of-the-nativity/" rel="tag">Church of the Nativity</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/faith/" rel="tag">faith</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/grace/" rel="tag">grace</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/jesus/" rel="tag">Jesus</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/nativity-of-jesus/" rel="tag">Nativity of Jesus</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/nature/" rel="tag">nature</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/religion-and-spirituality/" rel="tag">Religion and Spirituality</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/star/" rel="tag">star</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/star-of-bethlehem/" rel="tag">star of Bethlehem</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/west-bank/" rel="tag">West Bank</a></span> | <span class="art-postcommentsicon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/a-star-for-the-ages/#respond">Leave a comment</a></span></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post post-210 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-archive category-uncategorized tag-business tag-casual tag-chicago tag-clothing tag-fashion tag-lands-end tag-lime-color tag-shopping" id="post-210"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <h2 class="art-postheader"><span class="art-postheadericon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/why-do-women-wear-what-they-wear/" rel="bookmark" title="WHY DO WOMEN WEAR WHAT THEY WEAR?">WHY DO WOMEN WEAR WHAT THEY WEAR?</a></span></h2><div class="art-postheadericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postdateicon"><span class="date">Published</span> <span class="entry-date" title="7:03 pm">December 20, 2010</span></span> | <span class="art-postauthoricon"><span class="author">By</span> <span class="author vcard"><a class="url fn n" href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/author/sdobbie46/" title="View all posts by Sheila Dobbie">Sheila Dobbie</a></span></span></div> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="zemanta-img"> <div style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="https://i2.wp.com/commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arbol_Navidad_03.gif"><img src="https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Arbol_Navidad_03.gif?resize=225%2C300" alt="A christmas tree." data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Image via Wikipedia</p></div> </div> <p>It is 8:45 on a Saturday night. I rush into the grocery store when I see her—a tall, lean, beautiful blond.</p> <p>This is my second trip to the store for the day. I forgot a few necessities such as cereal and milk for tomorrow morning and a jug of my favorite red wine for a nightcap. I round the corner and nearly flatten her with my cart. She is standing in the middle of the wine/gift and card section. We give each other “the eye” and then a nod and weak smile. Not the big toothy kind reserved for your long-lost BFF but one with a slight upturn at the corners of the mouth. The kind that says, “Hello stranger. I come in peace.”</p> <p>She is a tall, willowy, middle-aged blond (cue the harp music and wind machine).The first thing I notice is that she is severely under-dressed for the weather. She is wearing a fashionable lime green puffy vest with a complimentary lime green sweater and skinny jeans—or they might have been the new, trendy jeggings. Whatever they were, they were the tight, show off a killer figure kind of jeans. While I stand there in my ¾ length Lands End coat with the detachable hood and rated to -15 degrees, I think she looks cold. I am warm and self-assured in my stretch mom jeans, green coat accented with a festive red scarf and my gray hair tucked under my charcoal gray corduroy news-boy cap with a green felt wreath jauntily pinned to the side.</p> <p>She takes a step toward the card display and that is when I see a flash of red. Wait! Did I really see what I think I saw? Toe-nail polish! Yes, she has naked toes! Did I mention it is COLD outside? Like about 15 degrees cold. She is wearing flip-flops (as contrasted to my toes encased in wool sox and fur-lined boots). What is she thinking? Not only is it cold but we have a coating of about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Even if she is so hot she thinks she is immune to the cold, she is risking frost bite just crossing the slushy parking lot.</p> <p>I don’t understand women who are a slave to fashion. Before you judge me for being old-fashioned and out of step with fashion, let me fill in a part of my resume. (OK, I confess about the mom jeans but they are comfortable and topped with a sweater or sweatshirt no one knows the difference.) I used to own a shop and took frequent buying trips to Chicago to the Merchandise Mart. I believe in looking nice at all times but also being dressed appropriately for the occasion and the season. You don’t wear swimwear in the snow nor snowsuits at the beach. I had a business partner during my boutique days and she was such a slave to fashion that my father once said that if it became the fashion to wear sh-t on your head, she would be the first one to try it.</p> <p>What was this beautiful but under-dressed woman doing at the grocery store at 8:45 on a Saturday night? I hate to bring up dumb blond jokes but she couldn’t be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.  Why was she wearing flip-flops in the snow? I don’t have the answers to these questions but I hope she was not headed to the annual Wildlights at the Zoo exhibit. She might have a few less toes in the morning. As for me, I settled in by the fireplace wrapped in a big, fluffy blanket with my toes covered and my glass of red wine to warm my soul. I wouldn’t trade places with her for any amount of money.</p> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> <div class="art-postfootericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postcategoryicon"><span class="categories">Posted in</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/archive/" rel="category tag">Archive</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/uncategorized/" rel="category tag">Notes from the Pond</a></span> | <span class="art-posttagicon"><span class="tags">Tagged</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/business/" rel="tag">Business</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/casual/" rel="tag">Casual</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/chicago/" rel="tag">Chicago</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/clothing/" rel="tag">Clothing</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/fashion/" rel="tag">Fashion</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/lands-end/" rel="tag">Lands End</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/lime-color/" rel="tag">Lime (color)</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/shopping/" rel="tag">Shopping</a></span> | <span class="art-postcommentsicon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/why-do-women-wear-what-they-wear/#comments">2 Comments</a></span></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post post-198 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-archive category-uncategorized tag-a-visit-from-st-nicholas tag-christmas tag-christmas-photos tag-clement-clarke-moore tag-clement-moore tag-irving-berlin tag-jesus tag-santa-claus tag-white-christmas-song" id="post-198"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <h2 class="art-postheader"><span class="art-postheadericon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/my-calendar-coloring-book-december-white/" rel="bookmark" title="MY CALENDAR COLORING BOOK: December White">MY CALENDAR COLORING BOOK: December White</a></span></h2><div class="art-postheadericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postdateicon"><span class="date">Published</span> <span class="entry-date" title="2:02 am">December 16, 2010</span></span> | <span class="art-postauthoricon"><span class="author">By</span> <span class="author vcard"><a class="url fn n" href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/author/sdobbie46/" title="View all posts by Sheila Dobbie">Sheila Dobbie</a></span></span></div> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="zemanta-img"> <div style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="https://i1.wp.com/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Music_album_record_white_christmas.jpg"><img src="https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/58/Music_album_record_white_christmas.jpg/300px-Music_album_record_white_christmas.jpg?resize=300%2C299" alt="White Christmas, 1995 re-release CD album cover" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Image via Wikipedia</p></div> </div> <p><em><a class="zem_slink" title="White Christmas (song)" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Christmas_%28song%29">I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas</a></em> is one of the most loved seasonal songs of all time. It is also the inspiration for this month’s coloring book. My granddaughter, Allison, suggested I color December white and I’m sure she was dreaming of several snow days off from school when she said it.</p> <p>A white <a class="zem_slink" title="Christmas" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas">Christmas</a> is dreamed of and hoped for by most children so Santa and his sleigh can come flying in for his annual Christmas deliveries. When I was a child I worried if December came with no snow until my mother reassured me that if it didn’t snow Santa would come in a helicopter.</p> <p>Snow, snowmen, and <a class="zem_slink" title="Frosty the Snowman" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frosty_the_Snowman">Frosty the Snowman</a> are all white, as is <a class="zem_slink" title="Santa's Beard" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa%27s_Beard">Santa’s beard</a>. We know this because <a class="zem_slink" title="Clement Clarke Moore" rel="musicbrainz" href="http://musicbrainz.org/artist/6cfc2a79-ed8c-441a-b4f3-68de798d0ebe.html">Clement Moore</a> tells us so in his traditional tale <em><a class="zem_slink" title="A Visit from St. Nicholas" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Visit_from_St._Nicholas">Twas the Night Before Christmas</a></em>. He describes Santa as a jolly elf and says, “…the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.”</p> <p>But white is appropriate for this month for other reasons besides representing snow. <a class="zem_slink" title="Race and ethnicity in the United States Census" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_United_States_Census">White</a> symbolizes purity which we see in the <a class="zem_slink" title="Virgin birth of Jesus" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_birth_of_Jesus">virgin birth of Jesus</a> Christ. The angels who greeted the shepherds to tell them the good news of <a class="zem_slink" title="Jesus" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus">Jesus</a>’ birth are always depicted in glowing white robes. The star that guided the wise men to the manger reflected a brilliant, intense white and is represented on the Christmas tree in a myriad of white twinkling lights.</p> <p>As we settle in for “a long winter’s night” under a blanket of snow take time to enjoy the purity and innocence of the season reflected in the glow of young children’s eyes. I will let <a class="zem_slink" title="Irving Berlin" rel="myspaceeverything" href="http://www.myspace.com/everything/irving-berlin">Irving Berlin</a> describe a white Christmas—he does it much better than I can ever hope to. The words are as relevant today as they were in 1942 when he wrote it.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">WHITE CHRISTMAS</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">I’m dreaming of a white Christmas</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">Just like the ones I used to know</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">Where the treetops glisten, and children listen</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">To hear sleigh bells in the snow</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff"> </span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">I’m dreaming of a white Christmas</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">With every Christmas card I write</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">May your days be merry and bright</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff">And may all your Christmases be white</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff"><p class="jetpack-slideshow-noscript robots-nocontent">This slideshow requires JavaScript.</p><div id="gallery-198-1-slideshow" class="slideshow-window jetpack-slideshow slideshow-black" data-trans="fade" data-autostart="1" data-gallery="[{"src":"https:\/\/i1.wp.com\/dobbie.icrewdigital.com\/files\/2010\/12\/december2010-002.jpg?fit=3648%2C2736","id":"199","title":"December2010 002","alt":"","caption":"","itemprop":"image"},{"src":"https:\/\/i2.wp.com\/dobbie.icrewdigital.com\/files\/2010\/12\/december2010-0051.jpg?fit=3648%2C2736","id":"200","title":"December2010 005","alt":"","caption":"","itemprop":"image"},{"src":"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/dobbie.icrewdigital.com\/files\/2010\/12\/december2010-013.jpg?fit=3648%2C2736","id":"201","title":"December2010 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005","alt":"","caption":"","itemprop":"image"},{"src":"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/dobbie.icrewdigital.com\/files\/2010\/12\/december2010-0131.jpg?fit=3648%2C2736","id":"223","title":"December2010 013","alt":"","caption":"","itemprop":"image"},{"src":"https:\/\/i1.wp.com\/dobbie.icrewdigital.com\/files\/2010\/12\/december2010-019.jpg?fit=3648%2C2736","id":"224","title":"December2010 019","alt":"","caption":"","itemprop":"image"}]" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/ImageGallery"></div></span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="color:#0000ff"> </span></p> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> <div class="art-postfootericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postcategoryicon"><span class="categories">Posted in</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/archive/" rel="category tag">Archive</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/uncategorized/" rel="category tag">Notes from the Pond</a></span> | <span class="art-posttagicon"><span class="tags">Tagged</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/a-visit-from-st-nicholas/" rel="tag">A Visit from St. Nicholas</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/christmas/" rel="tag">Christmas</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/christmas-photos/" rel="tag">Christmas photos</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/clement-clarke-moore/" rel="tag">Clement Clarke Moore</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/clement-moore/" rel="tag">Clement Moore</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/irving-berlin/" rel="tag">Irving Berlin</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/jesus/" rel="tag">Jesus</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/santa-claus/" rel="tag">Santa Claus</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/white-christmas-song/" rel="tag">White Christmas (song)</a></span> | <span class="art-postcommentsicon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/my-calendar-coloring-book-december-white/#respond">Leave a comment</a></span></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post post-173 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-archive category-uncategorized tag-cooking tag-front-porches tag-good-neighbor tag-home tag-infant tag-norman-rockwell tag-porch tag-saturday-evening-post tag-shopping tag-united-states" id="post-173"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <h2 class="art-postheader"><span class="art-postheadericon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/i-miss-the-front-porch-society/" rel="bookmark" title="I MISS THE FRONT PORCH SOCIETY">I MISS THE FRONT PORCH SOCIETY</a></span></h2><div class="art-postheadericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postdateicon"><span class="date">Published</span> <span class="entry-date" title="2:34 am">December 10, 2010</span></span> | <span class="art-postauthoricon"><span class="author">By</span> <span class="author vcard"><a class="url fn n" href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/author/admin/" title="View all posts by Rick Lakin">Rick Lakin</a></span></span></div> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="zemanta-img"> <div style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="https://i1.wp.com/commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lasagna.png"><img src="https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Lasagna.png/300px-Lasagna.png?resize=300%2C218" alt="Lasanga. Tasty." data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Image via Wikipedia</p></div> </div> <p>My niece called last night very upset. She had taken a <a class="zem_slink" title="List of Death Note episodes" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Death_Note_episodes">break in</a> her hectic holiday preparations to spend the day devoted to her neighbors. Her thanks for all her efforts was a simple “thank you” and the <a class="zem_slink" title="Door" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door">door</a> slammed in her face.</p> <p>Neighbors on both sides of her had had <a class="zem_slink" title="Infant" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant">babies</a> within the last several weeks. Wanting to be a good neighbor, she went shopping for appropriate baby gifts and a package of diapers and then made a pan of her special home-made <a class="zem_slink" title="Lasagna" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasagna">lasagna</a> for each neighbor. She even included baking directions and the recipe in case anyone had <a class="zem_slink" title="Food allergy" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_allergy">food allergies</a>.  Arms full of goodies, she and her three-year old son went next door to make her first delivery. The husband/new father met her at the first home, took the offerings, said “thank you” and closed the door. Ditto for the second delivery however he included a “<a class="zem_slink" title="Bless you" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bless_you">God bless you</a>”. There was no offer to come in and see the baby or even a friendly “how ya doin’”. Even her young son observed the cold reception.</p> <p>In trying to analyze what happened we looked at several possibilities. In both cases it was the husband/father who answered the door so was it just a guy thing? Also, in both cases they were of different races so was it a racial or cultural thing? Were they so shocked that someone was actually reaching out and trying to be a good neighbor they didn’t know how to react?</p> <p>During our discussion she made a comment that really made me think. She said she was used to sitting on the front porch and waving and saying “hi” to everyone who passed by that she thought everyone did the same. Yes, we were raised in a front porch community. We knew all of our neighbors and spoke to people walking down the street. Even if we did not know the people we would smile and nod.</p> <p>Front porch communities are now a thing of the past. Most new homes haven’t had front porches for many years. We retreat into our environmentally controlled homes and many times don’t even know our next door neighbors. Gone is the <a class="zem_slink" title="Norman Rockwell" rel="homepage" href="http://www.nrm.org/">Norman Rockwell</a> world where children can play freely. Today we are afraid of molesters and <a class="zem_slink" title="Substance dependence" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substance_dependence">drug addicts</a> roaming the neighborhoods. We are caught up in our own busy lives and fail to think about those around us. But what kind of community do we have when neighbors don’t know neighbors? What kind of world are we creating? This isolationism only opens us up to more crime. If no one is looking after us we are vulnerable to those of bad intentions.</p> <p>My disappointed niece said, “I don’t get it, I was just trying to be a good neighbor.” In this <a class="zem_slink" title="Christmas and holiday season" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_and_holiday_season">holiday season</a> let us all try to take time to be a good neighbor. Smile and say, “hi”. Offer to look after their place while they are gone for the holidays, offer to take in their mail and newspapers. Take them a batch of homemade cookies. We will be much safer if we take time to look after each other.</p> <p>It seems we are light years away from Norman Rockwell’s ideallic world but bring back the front porches and perhaps we can recapture a portion of that world. A simple smile and, “Hi neighbor” can do wonders. The next time someone brings a batch of cookies or pan of lasagna to your door at least invite her in. It could be the beginning of a great friendship.  As the Good Book says, “Love thy neighbor.”</p> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> <div class="art-postfootericons art-metadata-icons"><span class="art-postcategoryicon"><span class="categories">Posted in</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/archive/" rel="category tag">Archive</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/category/uncategorized/" rel="category tag">Notes from the Pond</a></span> | <span class="art-posttagicon"><span class="tags">Tagged</span> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/cooking/" rel="tag">Cooking</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/front-porches/" rel="tag">front porches</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/good-neighbor/" rel="tag">good neighbor</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/home/" rel="tag">Home</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/infant/" rel="tag">Infant</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/norman-rockwell/" rel="tag">Norman Rockwell</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/porch/" rel="tag">Porch</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/saturday-evening-post/" rel="tag">Saturday Evening Post</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/shopping/" rel="tag">Shopping</a>, <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/tag/united-states/" rel="tag">United States</a></span> | <span class="art-postcommentsicon"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/i-miss-the-front-porch-society/#comments">5 Comments</a></span></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="art-box art-post"> <div class="art-box-body art-post-body"> <div class="art-post-inner art-article"> <div class="art-postcontent"> <!-- article-content --> <div class="navigation"> <div class="alignleft"><a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/2010/12/page/2/" ><span class="meta-nav">←</span> Older posts</a></div> <div class="alignright"></div> </div> <!-- /article-content --> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="cleared"></div> <div class="art-footer"> <div class="art-footer-body"> <a href="http://dobbie.icrewdigital.com/feed/" class='art-rss-tag-icon' title="Notes from the Pond by Sheila Dobbie RSS Feed"></a> <div class="art-footer-text"> <p><a href="#">Link1</a> | <a href="#">Link2</a> | <a href="#">Link3</a></p><p>Copyright © 2017. 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