Saturday, July 26, 2008


As I watched out of the seventh-story window high above the city streets below, I heard someone behind me saying, “Wow! It’s still snowing”!

Coming from a small Colorado mountain town, however, snow on Christmas Eve wasn’t all that impressive in my opinion. But here in Lubbock, Texas, snow on Christmas Eve . . . was something quite out-of-the ordinary.

The snow sifted down in ever-increasing amounts. Quickly dusting all of the trees, buildings and streets below, until it looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. As I reflect upon it today, the memory remains one of the most profound in my mind. A man like me can only hope for memories . . .

I have them from my childhood, but failed to pass the “normality” of it all . . . along to my own children as an adult. For good or bad.

I felt a warm tear trickle down my cheek, watching with the deepest affection, activities upon the street below. A beautiful, young family came into view, and I felt something deep within me “tinge” the guilt-ridden thoughts of what my own family must be doing at this very moment . . . many miles away.

Father was a very handsome guy, struggling with several large bags filled with what must certainly be the gifts “Santa” would deliver in the wee-hours, of this special night. Trailing behind him, mother was struggling to navigate a stroller (containing the family’s youngest “bundle-of-joy”) through the quickly accumulating snow. A little girl with rosy cheeks and quite resembling a porcelain doll was extending her tongue in an attempt to catch every white flake she possibly could.

Bringing-up the rear, was a carbon-copy of father in the youngest, most innocent sense. Junior had fashioned a slush-ball filled with ice and snow. With all the stealth of a military assassin, the projectile landed with surprising accuracy. The entire family laughed with such jovial innocence, clapped dad on the back, and as all remnants of the attack fell through his coat onto the street beneath him, ambled further down the street.

As I pressed my face ever closer to the glass, I strained to see them to the end of the avenue and round the corner. I might even have seen this pristine, happy, Holiday sight; had it not been for . . . the bars.