”Up on the roof their arose such a clatter, I rose from my bed to see what was the matter”

Very apt words for the night Santa makes his rounds and also very apt for the night Santa Ana made rounds in Yuma.
“And what to my wondering eyes did appear”?

A pall of brown dust rising a few hundred feet from the ground, flags flying at horizontal attention, the ‘Arizona Room’ appearing as if ‘eight tiny reindeer’ had partied with too much Yuletide cheer and a variety of Christmas decorations performing incredible acrobatics as they whiz past.

But glory be, the little ‘poipull’ Christmas tree is still standing on the trailer reach thanks to the whole role of duct tape DB used to anchor it.
However a neighbour’s palms didn’t fare so well.

Ahhh, memories are made of this!

(at Katie’s Place)
– by Clement C. Cat

I received this delightful and heart-touching poem by email recently from my sister Debbie whom I affectionately call “Cat Woman”. Her purpose in life is to rescue, love and care for the many unfortunate kitty cats that have been abandoned and abused by lower forms of human beings.

Katie’s Place is a ‘no kill’ cat shelter in Maple Ridge, BC Canada where Debbie spends her days off and most of her pin money. The poem was written by Brigitta, one of the volunteers at the Shelter.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the shelter The creatures were stirring, all helter skelter;

Their profiles were hung by the door with great care, In hopes that adopters soon would be there;

Some kitties were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of forever homes danced in their heads;

And Peach with her stripes, and Taz all in gray, Had just finished sparring at the crunchies buffet;

When out on the porch there arose such a clatter, They sprang to the door to see what was the matter.

Away to the rafters they flew in a flash, Gray tabby Murdock and tuxedo Moustache;

The moon overhead had lured them to play, Leaving nests and perches in wild disarray;

Then what to the cats’ wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver with large fluffy paws;

They knew in a moment it was Santa Claws!
The old fellow saw all the cats, wild and tame, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

“Hey Mojo, hey Morris, hey Marble and Sprinkle!
Hi Skittles, hi Peach, Taz and Periwinkle!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now come along, come along, come along all!”

As whiskers torn during wild horseplay fly, When they break from a cheek or from over an eye, So out to the porch all the kitties they flew, To see Santa Claws in this rare rendezvous;

And so, in a twinkling, they saw him alight;
Resplendent in red, the old cat was a sight.

They all sat down and wrapped their tails round;
As they watched, the old sprite held them spellbound;

His whiskers were long and white as fresh cream, His boots were jet black, his eyes had a gleam;

He bore no gifts in ribbons and wrappings, With tags and tinsel and trimmings and trappings;

For a moment their faces all fell with dismay, For these pets had nothing, most had been stray;

Plucked from the streets, to the shelter they came;
No family nor friends, no home could they claim.

The kindly old elf could see some glum faces, And chuckled, for he knew of their saving graces;

“Take heart little friends for your future is bright; I come bringing hope and not presents this night!”
He foretold of homes for most of the throng, Safe, loving places where they would belong;

“This is a gift you will surely receive;

This hope is your gift on this bright Christmas Eve;

For the rest, if you must always make your home here, Know you have friends who hold your lives dear!”

Declaring this impromptu meeting adjourned, And giving a nod, to his sleigh he returned;

He took up the reins, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle;

But they heard, ere he rose to the sky up above, “Be at peace for you know that you’ll always have love!”

If you are an animal lover, and are in a position to make room in your home and your heart for a bundle of furry love who will repay you ten thousand fold, or if not, are able to donate food, toys, blankets, beds, treats, dishes, money or your time to a shelter near you for these ‘Little Love Sponges’ this Christmas, go for it and God Bless!

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After many decades of celebrating Christmas in sub-freezing temperatures and a world white with snow, this land of sand, wind, sunshine and above freezing temperatures (only slightly some mornings!) is challenging my brain to put my senses and my memories on the same path.

It simply doesn’t compute that it is December and Christmas is in 2 weeks. I keep thinking it’s August!

With this in mind, I decided to have some fun and indulge my quirky sense of humor with an email sent to me by my daughter.

It’s one of those multi-particpant emails that we love to hate and usually ignore with an emphatic punch of the ‘delete’ key, but I must have been caught in a moment of boredom.

So keeping in mind all that I have just said regarding our first desert Christmas in the RV, read on and I hope you get a giggle or two:-)

(My answers are in red)

Welcome to the annual Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. We do the same thing every year, but it’s always fun. Okay, here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you. Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Brown paper mailing envelopes and cardboard boxes

2. Real or artificial tree? Purple tinsel tree 3′ high, ready to plug in

3. When do you put up the tree? Dec 1 when shamed into it by show-off neighbours

4. When do you take the tree down? When the blasted Santa Ana winds blow it off the trailer reach!

5. Do you like eggnog? As long as there is no sand in it!

6. Favourite gift received as a child? Bicycle

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Where in the heck would I put one!

8. Hardest person to buy for? No one if I had a bottomless bank account

9. Easiest person to buy for? Me

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A gun!!

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Cards????

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When the postal deadlines loom

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Miracle on 32th Street (no, that’s not a typo, it’s our Yuma address)

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Maybe to a charity

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? My daughter’s Christmas Eve appies and anything else I can get my greedy little hands on

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Any kind that come already on the tree purchased in a plastic tube at Target

17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Anywhere I don’t have to cook dinner

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner, Blitzen, and of course Rudolf! I just stole Lacey’s answers, I stole Dawns also (someone else’s answer in ‘blue’) Hey, I’m happy with stealing!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? How about the three wise men as long as they come with “gold, common sense and fur” (I stole that from the mouth of a 4 year old)

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? LATE Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? It’s STILL 6 months till summer

23. Best thing about this time of year? It’s ONLY 6 months till summer

When you think about it, the first Christmas was celebrated in the desert! There were no Christmas trees (purple or otherwise), reindeer, postal deadlines or turkeys.

I think I’m really going to celebrate this season with gratitude, expressions of love and prayers for a planet that can work toward the understanding and tolerance of all peoples and to bring it back to a place in which all living things can live in a ‘green’ environment of health and safety.

There are some other people in the desert right now celebrating a very different kind of Christmas. Let’s spend at least a few moments of the day sending thoughts of support to all the Canadian, American and allied troops in the Middle East.

We wish for you and yours all the blessings of the season.

You can find more interesting postings at my website!

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Let’s interact!

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