Friday, December 31, 2021

Auld Lang Syne

(Editor's Note: This story is a sequel to Christ Child's Lullaby, which can be found here.)

A short story by Mary M. Isaacs.

“All beautiful the march of days/As seasons come and go.
The hand that shaped the rose has wrought/The crystal of the snow,
Has sent the hoary frost of heav’n/The flowing waters sealed,
And laid a silent loveliness/On hill and wood and field…


Rose peered through the small window in the heavy wooden door of the old church. No taxi yet, just gently falling flakes of snow in the late afternoon light; she was glad the snow had held off until after the service was over. It would be a light snowfall, though, like the recent ones, and she could have walked to the church service; it was only a few long blocks, after all, and there was no ice. But Mrs. Evans had insisted that she take a taxi there and back, and Rose had agreed in order to give her neighbor peace of mind. Not like last year, after that memorable Advent service—and she smiled to herself as the memory flooded back. Joe had walked her home that evening, through the fallen snow. But Joe wasn’t here today to hold out his elbow for her arm to guide her steps home. She missed him, and wished he was there.

It was New Year’s Eve. The special late afternoon church service—sparsely attended because it was mid-week, with a big night to come—had ended a little while ago. Although the congregation was small, those who attended sang whole-heartedly, Rose among them, in honor of the coming new year. The priest announced that there would be a special ringing of the church bells at midnight, to mark the passage of the old year and the arrival of the new.

Rose had stayed to help straighten up the prayer books and hymnals and collect any leftover bulletins for the trash. The man who usually did that was unable to get off early from work, so she had volunteered to take his place. While she was busy, the other attendees had left, calling out New Year’s greetings to each other. Now she was alone—well, not quite. Members of the altar guild were setting up for the coming Sunday morning service. She would have liked to offer to help them, or even just observe with questions, as she hoped to join that group in the new year. But Mrs. Evans was waiting for her at home; they were going to have New Year’s Eve dinner together. Mrs. Evans was cooking the meal and Rose knew that food preparations had started hours ago. So she had called a taxi and was now waiting for its arrival.

While she waited she thought of Joe. Ever since that Advent service, a year ago, he had been part of her life–a special part. Slowly at first: properly, carefully. He had spoken to her at the church’s coffee hours, listened to her choir rehearsals, sat with her when the choir wasn’t taking part in the service. He walked her home in bad weather. When she volunteered for church clean-up days, he volunteered also. And then he invited her for lunch at a café—and a visit to a museum—and a warm spring day at the zoo. Over the months, they spent more and more time together. He told her about his job, his family, his dreams. She listened with interest and encouragement. He praised her singing and told her that that was the first thing he ever knew about her: her beautiful voice in the church choir. She had blushed when he spoke well of her voice, but he had been so kind, so sincere. They had spent time together increasingly through the year—and now she missed him at this special church service. But Joe had gone to his family’s home for Christmas. He had planned to be back by New Year’s, but an unexpectedly heavy storm in the area where his family lived had changed those travel plans.

A car pulled up to the curb, interrupting her memories. Rose could see that it was from the taxi company she had called. She pulled her knit cap down more snugly and slung her handbag over her shoulder. Opening the heavy door, she stepped outside and took hold of the stair railing firmly. She slowly descended the stairs and carefully crossed the sidewalk. The steps weren’t slippery at all, but Rose didn’t want to chance a fall in the fading light. She climbed into the taxi, gave the driver her address, and then took out her wallet. It wasn’t going to cost much, as she was going only a short distance, but it was nice not to have to walk. She’d have to thank Mrs. Evans for insisting that she ride!

When the taxi arrived at her apartment building, Rose handed the driver her fare, with a tip folded inside. As she pulled on the door handle, the driver got out, surprisingly, and came around and helped her out of the taxi. “It’s getting a little dark. Gotta see you safe to your door—bad night to call for an ambulance, New Year’s Eve and all!” he said cheerfully. He escorted her up her building’s steps and then said, “Good-bye—Happy New Year!” She returned the greeting and then watched as he got back into his taxi and drove away. When she could see the car no more, she opened the glass door and went inside.

She pulled off her coat and cap in the entryway. Carrying them, she went up the short flight of steps to the first floor where her apartment was located. Before she reached her door, however, she could smell something good coming from across the hall, from where Mrs. Evans lived. Rose smiled as she anticipated another traditional, old-fashioned holiday meal like her grandmother used to make. As soon as she unlocked her door and went inside, she turned up the heat and switched on some lights; her apartment was cold and dark. She was thankful that she would not have to spend New Year’s Eve alone; she would be having dinner with a friend.

“O’er white expanses, sparkling pure/The radiant morns unfold;
The solemn splendors of the night/Burn brighter through the cold.
Life mounts in ev’ry throbbing vein/Love deepens round the hearth,
And clearer sounds the angel hymn/‘Good will to all on earth.’ “

Right after Christmas, Rose had realized that the caregiver who usually helped her older neighbor hadn’t been around for a while. She wondered why that was, as Mrs. Evans definitely needed regular help. Rose had gone across the hall to her neighbor’s apartment and asked about the caregiver directly.

“Oh, Julia can’t come for a while. Her husband slipped that day we had some ice on the ground, and sprained his ankle. She has to stay home for a while and take care of him,” her neighbor had replied in response to Rose’s question.

“Who has been helping you with cleaning and laundry?” Rose had asked.

“Well, no one, really. I clean up as best I can…”

Both women had looked around the small apartment then. Rose noticed the dust and the unswept floors and then thought quickly. “Maybe I can help you, Mrs. Evans, until Julia is able to come back or you find someone else. And what about food? How have you been managing without her doing your grocery shopping?”

Fortunately, Mrs. Evans told her, the caregiver had just done the weekly shopping before her husband’s accident, so the refrigerator and pantry cupboards were reasonably well-stocked. “And I am still able to cook, although I’m not good for much else!” she added, laughing.

“I have an idea, Mrs. Evans,” Rose had said. “Why don’t we eat together until Julia’s husband is better and she can come back? You can cook our meals, and in return I’ll clean your apartment, go grocery shopping for us both, and do your laundry along with mine. How does that sound?”

“What a dear girl you are, Rose. You won’t mind spending your time with an old lady like me? What about your young man?”

Rose had blushed a little. “Joe flew home to spend Christmas with his family. He would have been back by now, but some big storms shut down the airport there. So—you don’t have someone to help you and I’m home all day for a while, too. My school is closed for the holidays, so I don’t have to go to work for at least another week. Let’s share our responsibilities and keep each other company until Julia gets back.” They both agreed to this plan, and their friendship had grown deeper through the unexpected adversity.


Rose hung up her coat and cap in the entryway closet and then went into the kitchen. Earlier that day she had made an apple pie and had left it to cool while she went to the church service. Along with some ice cream that she had on hand, it would be a splendid dessert treat for their New Year’s Eve dinner. She hadn’t told Mrs. Evans of her baking plans—it was going to be a surprise. She’d offered to bring a salad, which she now proceeded to assemble. There was still some fresh fruit from her last shopping trip; she’d use it all and make a colorful, beautiful salad. After New Year’s Day she could go to the local grocery store, for herself and for her neighbor. There was plenty of food for tonight and tomorrow. Rose was grateful for whatever was put on the table—she wasn’t picky. She was just thankful for God’s provisions to her, through Mrs. Evans and their friendship.

While she was finishing the salad, she heard her apartment bell ring. She wiped her hands on a dishtowel and went to the door. She called out, “Who is it?” as her parents had requested that she do, instead of opening her door to just anyone who might be there. Slightly muffled sounds came through the door, and she recognized her neighbor’s voice.

She had barely started opening the door when Mrs. Evans began to speak. “Oh, Rose, I’m glad you’re home safe from church. I worried about you the whole time you were gone!” A short, elderly woman stood there, smiling up at the girl. “You took a taxi back, too, right?” and she stepped inside as Rose opened the door wider for her.

“Yes, Mrs. Evans, I did–and the driver was very nice. Because it was getting dark, he helped me up the stairs to the door of our building.”

“Oh, my, that was thoughtful of him,” said the older lady. Then she closed her eyes briefly and sniffed the air. “What smells so good?” And she looked up at Rose with a twinkle in her eye.

“Surprise!” said Rose, “I made an apple pie to top off our dinner tonight. And I have some vanilla ice cream, too.”

“Oh, thank you, Rose! That will be a special treat for celebrating the New Year! I expect your pie will be delicious. I’m sorry your young man can’t be here to enjoy it with us.”

Just at that moment, the phone in Rose’s kitchen rang. She looked puzzled. “I guess that’s my parents calling on the landline. They insisted I have one, in case of trouble with any of our cell phones, but I talked to them before I went to church. Strange…” And she went to pick up the phone. As she got closer, she saw the last name on the display. “Oh!” she said, in a surprised and delighted tone of voice. “I think it’s Joe!”

Mrs. Evans turned and walked back to the apartment door. “You’ll want some privacy,” she said. “Let me know when you finish your call. Dinner is almost ready to put on the table. Don’t forget to bring that pie and ice cream!” She went out into the hall and closed the door behind her.

Rose smiled gratefully as she picked up the receiver. “Hello?” she said eagerly. The phone crackled in her ear and she moved it away an inch or two until the noise stopped. Then she spoke again. “Joe? Is that really you? I’m glad you called.”

His voice came through, broken up a little by static. “Rose? I’m calling from my parents’ phone. Can you hear me? I can barely hear you.”

She smiled at the familiar tones of his voice. “Yes, Joe, I can hear most of what you are saying. But why are you calling from their number? What happened to your cell phone?”

“The cell towers are down here, because of the storm, and your cell phone wasn’t picking up,” he replied. “Good thing I had your other phone number! Otherwise I couldn’t have gotten through at all.”

“I’m glad you did, too. I thought it was my parents calling—but it’s you…” and she smiled again. “Are you having a good time with your family? I went to the New Year’s Eve church service this afternoon—I missed you being there, Joe.” She added shyly.

There was a sudden burst of static, making it hard for her to hear him. Then all at once his voice came through clearly. “…how is the weather there, Rose? Are you okay?”

“Yes, Joe, I’m fine. The weather isn’t bad here at all, not like where you are.”

She heard crackling on the line, and then his voice again. “…wanted to be there…talk to you tonight, but…storm…”

“I’m sorry you’re not here, too, Joe, but I’d rather know that you’re safe. Anyway, you’ll be back soon, after the storms stop. We’ll see each other then.”

More static interrupted the connection. She strained to hear his voice, which cut in and out. “…wanted to ask…this year…not much time left.”

Rose smiled. “No, just a few hours. But why is this year so important? Next year is just tomorrow. It’s not a long wait.”

“…don’t want…wait…ask…this year.” There was a silence on the line; Rose thought she heard him take a deep breath, but it could have just been the bad connection. “Rose…I love…marry me?”

The phone popped and crackled and she strained to hear his words. She held the phone tighter than before, as if she could get closer to him to hear what he was saying. “What did you say, Joe? The connection is so bad…”

“Will you marry…?” and then his voice was cut off.

“Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” she said, desperately hoping that one of her words would make it through the static. But there was silence from the other end. “Joe? Can you hear me? I love you too, Joe! Yes, I will marry you! Are you there, Joe?” The silence continued, interrupted by crackles and hisses—and then the line went completely dead.

Rose held the phone to her ear a while longer until she remembered that he’d never get through again unless she hung up. She put down the receiver and gripped both hands together, watching the display. She waited a long time, but nothing happened. Oh, Joe! she thought. Did you hear me at all? Did you hear me say ‘yes’? She looked up at the clock on the wall. It was still this year! There were a few hours left before midnight. Maybe he would be able to get through again soon. Tears filled her eyes and started to fall—tears from a mixture of joy and frustration.

At that moment, her apartment bell rang again. Rose walked unsteadily to the door and opened it, tears still rolling down her cheeks. Mrs. Evans started speaking again before the door was open. “I just wanted to see if you’d finished your call…” and then she saw the girl’s face. “Rose! Oh, my dear, what’s the matter? Tell me…oh, no–did something happen to Joe?”

“No, no, Mrs. Evans, Joe is all right. It’s just…that…that…he said…he asked me to marry him, Mrs. Evans! But the line went dead! I don’t know if he heard me say ‘yes’.” And Rose broke down crying. “I don’t even know if he heard me say I loved him!”

The older woman put her arms around Rose and held her in a warm embrace. “Of course he heard you, dear. Everything is going to be all right, you’ll see. Oh, I am so happy for you! Joe is a fine young man—so nice and polite and caring. You are just right for each other! Take this,” she said briskly, handing Rose a handkerchief from her pocket, “Now let’s go ahead and have our dinner. We’ll move everything over here, to your apartment! Then you can hear if your phone rings–if he calls, we’ll just stop eating while you talk! And if the bad weather there blocks any more calls, then it’s no good worrying about it and sitting around doing nothing but waiting. We’ll have our lovely New Year’s Eve dinner and maybe watch a holiday movie. Then it will be close to midnight, and time to celebrate! And what a lot there is to celebrate, to be sure.”

Rose dried her eyes and mopped her face. “Thank you, Mrs. Evans. You make me feel much better. Your plan sounds just fine. Shall I come with you to bring the dinner over?”

“We’ll take turns, dear, so one of us can answer the phone here if it rings. Let me go first and bring some of the food—then you can get the place settings and the tablecloth. It shouldn‘t take too many trips to bring everything over here. Then we’ll have our blessing and get started. I want to get everything out of the way so I can have a piece of that lovely pie you made!”

Rose laughed then, just as Mrs. Evans had hoped. “We’re not going to hurry through your delicious meal just for a piece of pie! Dessert comes last,” and she watched the older woman go across the hall.

In a short time, everything for the dinner had been brought over from Mrs. Evans’ apartment and set up on Rose’s dining table. Both women sat down and then joined hands; Mrs. Evans asked Rose to lead them in a blessing for the meal. Rose began and her neighbor joined in, both women singing the words to the tune of the Doxology, singing from their hearts: “Be present at our table, Lord/Be here and everywhere adored/These mercies bless and grant that we/May strengthened for thy service be. Amen.”

They talked steadily through the meal. Mrs. Evans gently led Rose to recalling things about Joe and sharing her thoughts and hopes for the future. The phone didn’t ring during dinner but talking about Joe helped Rose to relax and stop worrying, which was what her neighbor intended. They finally reached the end of the meal, and Rose brought in the apple pie and ice cream. Both women had two servings of the dessert, and then sat back in their chairs, completely full and satisfied.

“What a very nice meal we just had!” The older woman smiled lovingly at the younger one. “Thank you so much for sharing your food and yourself with me, dear Rose! I haven’t had such a lovely New Year’s Eve in a long, long time. “

Rose smiled back at her and then said, “I’ll help you carry the leftovers home to put in your refrigerator, Mrs. Evans, but leave the dirty dishes here. I’ll wash them and bring them over to your apartment tomorrow.”

The women took turns carrying food to the other apartment, and then they both rinsed the dishes and stacked them on Rose’s kitchen counter. Afterwards, they settled into the living room and watched “Miracle on 34th Street” with much enjoyment. Both had seen the old movie many times before and shared their favorite parts with each other. When the movie was over, it wasn’t yet midnight, but Mrs. Evans decided it was time for her to go home.

“I can hardly keep my eyes open! Too much pie, I guess,” and she winked at Rose. “You’ll have to see the New Year in without me.” She stood up, and Rose accompanied her to the door. When they got there, Mrs. Evans gave the young woman a big hug. “Happy New Year, dear. May it be filled with happiness and blessings—like you’ve given me.”

Rose kissed her cheek. “Good night, Mrs. Evans, and Happy New Year to you, too! Sleep well–I’ll see you in the morning for breakfast.” And she watched the older woman cross the hall and go into her apartment safely. When the door had shut, and Rose heard the bolt being drawn into place, she went back into her apartment and started washing the dishes. She fully intended to stay up until long past midnight, just in case Joe would be able to call, so she decided she had enough time to wash and dry everything and tidy up for the night.

When she finished in the kitchen it was close to midnight. She went to the living room window, opened it partway, and stood there, breathing in the crisp, cold air. Although she was a couple of blocks from the church, she knew she was usually able to hear the bells, and she really wanted to hear them this night, ringing in the New Year. But instead, she heard a different kind of ringing. It was the phone! She ran to it, hoping that it wasn’t her parents, although she wouldn’t mind wishing them a happy New Year. But it was Joe, calling again! She grabbed up the receiver, her heart pounding.

“Hello?” she said breathlessly. This time there was no static. Joe’s voice sounded clear and she could hear every word.

“I didn’t imagine it, did I, Rose? You really said ‘yes’?”

She burst into tears. “Yes, Joe, I really said that! I love you, Joe. I’m so glad you were able to call again tonight!”

“Dear heart, please don’t cry. I wish I was there, but it’s almost midnight and this phone call will have to do… Rose, I have a ring here for you. Hold out your left hand.” Rose quickly switched hands holding the receiver and did as she had been asked. “Imagine this, Rose: I’m putting the ring on your finger right now. I love you and I want us to be together forever.”

“I love you, too, Joe. It’s a beautiful ring, and it fits perfectly.” She smiled through her tears as she made the gentle joke–which wasn’t a joke at all, of course. It had always been a perfect fit between them; she knew that he’d understand what she was saying.

“Rose, I’ll be there as soon as I can be. As soon as this storm eases up and the planes are flying again. The weatherman says three days, maybe. But that’s a long time…” his voice trailed off briefly. “I’ll call you every day, Rose. Don’t go outside if the weather gets bad there. Do you have enough food? Has the power stayed on the whole time so far?”

“Yes, Joe, everything is fine here. My neighbor Mrs. Evans and I have been sharing our meals and spending time together. Between the two of us we have enough food to get by for a few more days, and we keep each other company. She’s nice, Joe. And she likes you…”

“If she’s sharing with you, being there with you, I like her, too.”

Rose looked at the clock again. Was it midnight yet? No, it was still this year, but just barely; the second hand glided toward the twelve. She smiled and waited silently through the last few seconds. The church’s bells would ring loudly and joyfully when the time was up, and she would hear them clearly, just as she was hearing Joe’s words clearly this call. She was filled with happiness.

Seven…six…five…four…three…two…one… She took a deep breath as she heard the pealing of the bells through the open window. “It’s midnight now, Joe. Happy New Year! God bless you!”

“A happy and blessed New Year to you, my dear love—no, to us!” he responded. “I’ll be there with you soon.”

Her heart soared and sang along with the bells.

“…O God, from whose unfathomed Law/The year in beauty flows,
Yourself the vision passing by/In crystal and in rose,
Day unto day shall utter speech/And night to night proclaim,
In everchanging words of light/The wonders of your name.”


Hymn lyrics from “All Beautiful the March of Days” by Frances Whitmarsh Wile, ca. 1907 (usually sung to the tune of “Forest Green”).


Mary M. Isaacs — copyright, 2020

To enjoy and support works by Mary M. Isaacs, check the links in the right sidebar. She has four volumes available at present. "Auld Lang Syne" is in the Hidden in Plain Sight collection.

Free Gun (Parts) Friday!

Santa's all out of complete guns...something about a supply chain shortage, so Midwest Gun Works is giving away five (5) $100 gift cerificates to get what you need for your gun!
You can enter here.

Quote du jour

At the end of the day, all you really need is someone who loves you and always has your back.

- Kristen Butler

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Poetry Corner

 The codfish lays a thousand eggs.

The lowly hen but one.

The codfish never says a word,

to tell you what she's done.

And so we scorn the codfish,

while the lowly hen we prize.

Which only goes to show you that

it pays to advertise!

Quote du jour

"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others."

- Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Well, It Was a Plan!

Quote du jour

The experience of overcoming fear is extraordinarily delightful.

- Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Quote du jour

“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, December 27, 2021

If Joe Said It, You Can Trust It...To Be False

Quote du jour

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."

- Aristotle

Sunday, December 26, 2021

A Little Sunday Night Music

Home Free - Mary Did You Know (accapella)

Bonus Photoshops

I do these for Twitter sometimes...

Quote du jour

The Son of God became a Son of man, that the sons and daughters of men might become the sons and daughters of God Almighty

- Matthew Henry

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture

 On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia.  Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. 

A Little More Christmas Day Music

Francesca Battistelli - You're Here

Making a List, Checking it Twice

A Little More Christmas Day Music

Tennessee Christmas - Amy Grant

A Little More Christmas Day Music

Breath of Heaven - Sara Groves

A Little Christmas Day Music

Azusa Pacific University Celebrate Christmas

Bonus Quote du jour

“The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus.”

- R. C. Sproul

Best of the Web*

*…that Dave and I have seen all week!

(BTW, if you wonder where any of the links will take you, hover your cursor over the link.)


Contractor Who Was Building Trump's Wall Officially Builds 1st Section of Border Wall for Texas
Investigation Exposes Massive Web Of Unindicted Operatives Who Coordinated Alongside Ray Epps To Turn January 6th Into a Riot - Gateway Pundit
January 6 Is Looking Like a ‘Fedsurrection’

Target Steps on the Rake -- Again
Gas station gives 10 cent/gallon discount to law enforcement and CCW holders after 7 PM

Flopping Aces -Sunday Funnies
Sunday Funnies, 12-19-21
Today's Toons 12/15/21
Today's Toons 12/16/21
Today's Toons 12/17/21
Today's Toons 12/20/21
Today's Toons 12/21/21

Larwyn’s Linx: IRS Filing: Zuckerberg Grantee Spent $332 Million Rigging 2020 Election
It must be Sunday
In The Mailbox: 12.20.21
Larwyn’s Linx: How Fauci Fooled America
In The Mailbox: 12.21.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Dangerous Lockdown Curves
In The Mailbox: 12.22.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Border arrests up in November as Biden releases even more illegal immigrants into US
In The Mailbox: 12.23.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Gloom Sets In At the White House As Aides Head For the Exits
In The Mailbox: 12.24.21

Dave's Rule Five Roundup:

Proof Positive - Best of the Web

Animal Magnetism - MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

By Other Means - Tuesday Tap Rack and Bang, BeCos(play) It's Friday and Seeing Red

Evi L. Bloggerlady - Feast of the Seven Fishes ️

Ninety Miles From Tyranny - Hot Pick, Girls With Guns, Morning Mistress and Blogs With Rule 5 Links

Grouchy Old Cripple - Saturday Boobage

Irons in the Fire - Friday Data and ... Saturday Data Overflow

The Feral Irishman - Friday Femme Fatale

The Daley Gator - Daley Babe

Diogenes Middle Finger News - A Good Monday Morning

A View from the Beach - Rule 5 Saturday - Hanna Montazami and Fish Pic Friday

24 Femmes Per Second - Dawn Richard, Miss May 1957

Knuckledraggin My Life Away - I'm sure she's taken, men And ... I’ll leave you with this

American Power - Stunning Florida Gulf Coast Co-Ed

Woodsterman - Rule 5 Woodsterman Style

The Other McCain - Rule Five Sunday: Nadezhda Zhukova

The Pirates Cove - If All You See ... and Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup

Wired Right - A Beautiful End to the Day

Sonoran Conservative - Rule 5: Twelve Babes of Xmas – Day 11

The Right Way - Friday Babe and ... Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama

Quote du jour

“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of earth—the very thing the whole story has been about.”

- C.S. Lewis

Friday, December 24, 2021

A Little More Christmas Eve Music

Silent Night - Instrumental Jazz

A Little Christmas Eve Music

Síle - The Wexford Carol

Free Gun Friday

Free Gun Christmas Eve Friday!


Taurus GX4 TORO  - $468

Holosun HS507K X2- $341

Crossbreed® Holster Rogue System - $99

5 boxes of Hornady® 9mm Luger 115 gr. FTX® Critical Defense® ammo - $125

Breakthrough® Clean LOC-U ROD Cleaning Kit - $79

Total Value: $1,112

You can enter here.

Quote du jour

Love is what you hear on Christmas morning when you stop opening presents and listen for a little bit.

-a small child

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Quote du jour

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

- Robert Frost

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Quote du jour

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”

- Madeleine L'Engel

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Quote du jour

“The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping... to make sure he never knows he's in prison.”

- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Monday, December 20, 2021

Quote du jour

“I'm fulfilled in what I do. I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes - the finer things of life - would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be filled in a spiritual sense.”

- Coretta Scott King

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A Little Sunday Night Music

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Joan Baez

Quote du jour

I have a great need for Christ.
I have a great Christ for my need.

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Saturday, December 18, 2021

A Little Saturday Night Music

Shawn Phillips - A Christmas Song

Update: From what I posted last year...
I first heard this song when the 45 single* was delivered to the college radio station where I was working.

From Shawn's website:
"The Christmas Song was written in a hotel room in Rome, in 1969. I can't remember what I was in Rome for, but it was close to Christmas, and I started thinking about that, and all that entailed, and I wanted to tell the story somewhat differently, and make it fun. A few months later, when we were recording Second Contribution, I played the song for Jonathan Weston, and he didn't want to waste any of the studio time we had. I was determined to get it on tape. So when he and the engineer Robin Cable went out for a dinner break, I got on the phone, and gathered together 19 musicians, and I had everyone of them set up with microphones, and had the levels set, we'd rehearsed it several times, and we were sitting in the studio, and then Jonathan, and Robin walked into the control room. I just told Robin to roll the tape. It was done in the first take."

On the recording, there's a bit of a false start. Shawn gives an infectious, joyous laugh and says "I think that's tremendous" and then launches into the song. I think I love that laughter as much as I love the song.

I posted the song in 2010. I wasn't going to post it again, but then I got an Anonymous comment on that 2010 post that made me change my mind. Let me share it with you...

I have been trying to figure out who did this song and what it was called. Thanks a million. I would also like to find the version with the false start, but I can't find the title "A Christmas Song" on Itunes, but I'm willing to sample each song to find it! I had googled "I think that's tremendous" before, but since it wasn't that unique a sentence, I got nowhere. Even adding christmas music to the search came up dry, and I eventually stopped trying. But I was looking for something else, thought I'd give it another try, and here you are. Thanks a million more times.

I can identify with that. I can think of things that I searched and searched for and pretty much given up hope of ever finding. And then, for some reason, a spark of hope wells up within you and tells you you've got nothing to lose by looking one more time, and...there it is.

"I think that's tremendous". I do, too. More now than ever. I don't always comment on the videos I post, but I did on this one, ten years ago now, and mentioned the very words that weren't in the video I posted then, the only ones our friend here knew to search for. What is it the Good Book says? Seek and ye shall find"?

I don't know what you're looking for this Christmas, but maybe it's too soon to give up looking for it now. You just never know!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! God bless us every one!

(Revised from an earlier post, with updated video)

*For those of you not born in the right century, a '45 single' refers to an analog recording on a vinyl disc, approximately 7" in diameter, with a 1.5" diameter hole in the middle, played at 45 r.p.m. on a 'record player' or 'turntable'. It had a recording on both sides. The secondary recording was on what was commonly known as the "B" side.

The storage capacity of a 45 single was probably an average of about 2 minutes per side. Your grandparents changed records a lot. On record players with an automatic spindle, you could stack 10, 45 singles, for approximately 20 minutes of semi interrupted play.

Best of the Web*

*…that Dave and I have seen all week!

(BTW, if you wonder where any of the links will take you, hover your cursor over the link.)


Jan. 6 Committee Confirms Schiff Presented Doctored Text Message Between Meadows and Jordan
VIDEO: Trashed UN Pamphlets Found In Mexico Tell Illegal Immigrants How To Get Refugee Status In America - Time to Defund the UN?
Navy Commander Fired for ‘Failing to Abide by Lawful Order’ - "Get the jab"
Why Is the Left Suddenly Worried About End of Democracy? - Victor Davis Hanson
No, The SCOTUS Ruling On Abortion Doesn’t Affect California Gun Laws

Feel Good Friday
Smollett Should Do Serious Time; Press & Politicians Should Do Serious Thinking
"He is the 57th person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. A total of 83 victims are involved in those crimes."
Wholesale Prices See Biggest Annual Surge on Record, Adding to Broader Inflation Woes

Flopping Aces -Sunday Funnies
Sunday Funnies, 12-12-21
Today's Toons 12/8/21
Today's Toons 12/9/21
Today's Toons 12/10/21

Links? Yes!
Larwyn’s Linx: MAGAnomics vs JoeBamanomics, a Simple to Understand Infographic
In The Mailbox: 12.14.21 (Afternoon Edition)
Larwyn’s Linx: Biden’s dangerous deportation drop
In The Mailbox: 12.14.21 (Evening Edition)
Larwyn’s Linx: Black Lives Clearly Don’t Matter to BLM or to Soros-Backed Prosecutors
In The Mailbox: 12.15.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Heritage Unveils 'Election Integrity Scorecard'
In The Mailbox: 12.16.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Nancy Pelosi Is the Elephant in the Room of the January 6 Riot
In The Mailbox: 12.17.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Why Is the Left Suddenly Worried About The End of Democracy?

Dave's Rule Five Roundup:

Proof Positive - Best of the Web


By Other Means - Tuesday Tap Rack and Bang, BeCos(play) It's Friday and Seeing Red

Evi L. Bloggerlady - Barbara Eden️

Ninety Miles From Tyranny - Hot Pick, Girls With Guns, Morning Mistress and Blogs With Rule 5 Links

Grouchy Old Cripple - Saturday Boobage

Irons in the Fire - Friday Data and ... Saturday Data Overflow

The Feral Irishman - Friday Femme Fatale

The Daley Gator - Daley Babe

Diogenes Middle Finger News - A Good Monday Morning

A View from the Beach - Rule 5 Saturday - Paola Righetti and Fish Pic Friday

24 Femmes Per Second - Raquel Welch

Knuckledraggin My Life Away - I'm sure she's taken, men And ... I’ll leave you with this

American Power - Lovely Lady

Woodsterman - Rule 5 Woodsterman Style

The Other McCain - Rule Five Sunday: Polyana Viana

The Pirates Cove - If All You See ... and Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup

Wired Right - A Beautiful End to the Day

Sonoran Conservative - Rule 5: Twelve Babes of Xmas – Day 4

The Right Way - Friday Babe and ... Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama

Quote du jour

"Consider the considerable ire that Leftists take when one "misgenders" them.
Then, consider that throughout Holy Scripture, God self identifies as male (pronouns He, Him), and Leftists insist on misgendering Him as a female!"

-Mike B

Friday, December 17, 2021

Bonus Free Gun Friday

Well, it IS almost Christmas! And if you've watched "Die Hard" you know John McClain carries the "gun of Christmas: The Beretta 92"! Well, this isn't a 92, but hey, c'mon! It's free! And some ammo to boot!
To win, enter here!

Free Gun Friday

Today's Free Gun Friday is Walking in a Walther Winter Wonderland!

One Lucky Winner Will Receive:

(1) Walther PDP Compact 4"
(1) DeSantis Thumb Break Scabbard

A combined retail value of $725!

To enter, click here! 

Quote du jour

“Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.”

- Julia Child

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Quote du jour

Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking, loving and dreaming. At night everything is more intense, more true. The echo of words that have been spoken during the day takes on a new and deeper meaning.

- Elie Wiesel

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Free Winchester Ammo Wednesday!

Here I thought we were going to have to go without a contest for a couple of whole days. Fear not! Winchester to the rescue! They're giving away a case of ammo every day from December 13 to January 14, with a grand prize of 10,000 rounds of ammo!
To enter, go here.

Quote du jour

“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.”

- Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Free Kel Tec Tuesday!

Keeping up the countdown, this is the last giveaway until an actual Free Gun Friday, so you'd better jump on it or spend Wednesday and Thursday in the grips of desolation!
You can enter here.

Quote du jour

“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.”

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, December 13, 2021

Free $1000 Monday

Ho-ho-ho! Another bonus Monday giveaway!
You can enter here.

Quote du jour

Deer don’t connect headlights with danger because the sun has never appeared and then smacked them at 65mph.

- anonymous

Sunday, December 12, 2021

A Little Sunday Night Music


Christ Child’s Lullaby

Rose hurried, so she wouldn’t miss the beginning of the church service. It was already too late for her to take her place in the choir—she couldn’t have, anyway, because of the cold and laryngitis that had crept up on her the past several days. She knew it was coming and it made her heart sink. There was nothing Rose loved more than singing, and she especially looked forward to Christmas time when she could sing the beautiful music she had adored and sung since childhood. She knew she had a good voice—her friends told her that, choir directors told her that, even strangers in church said so. That didn’t matter, one way or another. She just loved to sing; she would sing even if her voice had been plain and ordinary.

She buttoned up her overcoat and put on a woolen cap, gloves, and snow boots. It was bitterly cold outside, and the forecast had called for more snow sometime before morning. Even though it was too late to protect her voice from the cold, Rose still needed to keep warm. The church was very large; good for singing but bad for warmth. As she was not going to be in the relatively sheltered group of singers standing shoulder-to-shoulder, but instead sitting in a cold wooden pew by herself, she needed the heavy outer clothing.

She remembered to turn the heat down in her small apartment. She also left a few lights on, as her parents had advised when she moved to the city. After locking the door, she hastened down the stairs and out through the glass doors of the lobby. No one was around—too cold, too late at night. Everyone was either snug at home, or already where they were going for the evening. She turned at the corner and made her way down several blocks, avoiding icy patches and leftover drifts of snow. It had been a rough week for weather, so she was careful how and where she stepped.

The bulk of the old church soon loomed on her left. She saw a few people climbing the stairs and pulling open the heavy wooden doors. She followed them, entering the quiet darkness of the narthex; there were candles burning there and also inside the sanctuary. An older man greeted her and handed her a bulletin. She looked at it as she made her way to a side aisle and seated herself at the end of a pew. The church was partly full. The service began almost as soon as she sat down…

Rose loved every moment—even the times when the choir sang alone, when she should have been singing with them. The words of their special music echoed in her heart and she imagined herself singing along. It was almost enough, but still she felt a little sad. When the congregation stood for the Christmas carols, she stood, too. After the first words of the first carol, when her voice came out as a broken whisper, she didn’t try to sing any more, but let the words and music flow around and through her. She thought the words, remembering all the years before of singing these beloved songs. Next year, next year; it will be better next year, she promised herself–next year I will sing and sing, every song! But she had a few tears. Her throat hurt and she controlled her coughing as much as possible.

In between songs and Scripture readings she looked around. The familiar church looked especially lovely in candlelight. It was so large that the ceiling was shrouded in darkness. The wood of the old, worn pews glowed in the dim light. There was a large painting on a side wall close to the front, of Mary holding the child Jesus on her lap. The light from so many candles made the image flicker a little, giving the impression of faint movement, as of breath. Mary’s eyes seemed to look right at her, sending comfort and strength, as though she knew all about Rose’s impaired voice. A wave of love came to her as she looked at the painting.

Many people sat around her. Some looked familiar, from Sunday services (although she only knew the choir members, somewhat). However, as it was the last Sunday before Christmas Eve, there were people she had never seen before—some shabby, some looking troubled or sad, others looking serene and happy. Each face held different emotions. Young and old, rich and poor, all were represented in the gathering. All had come, like Rose, to experience the hushed time of waiting and expectation.

The service came to an end and most of the people began to depart. The lights remained off as the celebrants and congregation left in candlelight. Rose noticed a few people remaining seated, in prayer or quietly waiting in the shadows.

Preparing to leave, her eyes were caught again by the painting of Mary and her son. Deep within her, she heard a silent request, a request for her to stay. Although unspoken, it was strong and compelling; Rose remained standing, facing forward, as she listened to the sweet voice inside her. After a few moments, something moved her to leave the pew and walk up the aisle toward the front of the church. Towards the painting. As she came closer, the image grew clearer and richer.

She glanced at the pews around her as she walked past. By this time they were empty, except for a few people scattered here and there. They all seemed absorbed in thought or prayer. She knew most of them slightly—there was the young woman who had shared, over coffee hour, that her husband had left her. She sat hunched over, holding her face in her hands. Farther away was the man who had been giving out the bulletins. Rose remembered that he had been laid off from his job only a week or two ago. What an awful time of year to be unemployed, she thought. She walked past an older woman who was crying silently, tears spilling down her face. Her hands were grasped together tightly. Across the aisle was an elderly couple, sitting close to each other. Rose knew they were in fragile health and were very worried about that. How did they manage to get here safely, through the icy streets? she asked herself. A young man sat quietly, with his eyes closed. Rose recognized him from past Sundays, but she was always too shy to speak to someone she didn’t know, even though he looked nice.

She finally reached the front of the church. She stopped a few feet from the painting and waited quietly, looking straight into Mary’s eyes. The voice came again…

“Sing to my Son for me.”
“But my voice is gone,” Rose whispered sadly.
“Sing to my Son for me.”
“My lady, I can’t!” tears gathered in Rose’s eyes and began to fall.
“Yes, you can. Please sing to Him.”

Rose looked down and was silent for a moment; she then raised her head, took a deep breath, and began to sing. Her heart soared, higher and higher, as she sang. It was like being lifted to the stars.

“My son, my treasured one are you,
My sweet and loving son are you,
You are my love, my darling, new–
Unworthy, I, of you.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”

While Rose sang the old Scottish lullaby, a small part of her wondered at how she no longer had laryngitis, at how strong and clear her voice was. But mostly she was focused entirely on the song, the words, the emotions. Her grandmother had sung this lullaby to her countless times when Rose was a little girl. While she sang it, she remembered being held close in her grandmother’s arms as she slowly drifted off to sleep. It was the right song, the perfect song to sing to baby Jesus, the Christ child.

Mary’s eyes in the painting shone in the candlelight as the song words floated, high and clear, throughout the church. A sense of peace blanketed everyone there. The elderly couple looked at each other lovingly and moved closer together, clasping each other’s hands. Their worries and fears subsided as they rested in the beautiful music. The young woman whose husband had left her raised her head in surprise; a look of hope and strength slowly grew on her face.

“Your mild and gentle eyes proclaim
The loving heart with which you came–
A tender, helpless, tiny babe
With boundless gifts of grace.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”

While the song continued, the older woman sitting alone felt a strong impulse to look at her phone. She pulled it out and then stared in near-disbelief at the number on the display. With tears blurring her vision, she quickly put on her coat and hurried toward the main door of the church. As she left, her face shone with a look of love almost matching the one on Mary’s face. The man who had passed out the bulletins stopped gathering them up, closed his eyes, and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. He knew, deep in his heart, that God was watching over him and would provide him with all he needed, every day.

“King of kings, most Holy one,
God the Son, eternal one,
You are my God—and helpless son–
High Ruler of mankind.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”

The young man leaned over his folded hands, with a joyful smile on his face. He recognized that voice—he had heard it every Sunday, part of the choir but still distinct and set apart. That voice had touched his heart, but he couldn’t tell who the singer was. Now he knew. It was the young woman he had noticed at coffee hour. He had wanted to introduce himself to her but hadn’t quite found the right time or way. Now he looked up at the figure of the girl standing in front of the portrait of Mary and Jesus. It was like finding a long-lost friend. It had been difficult and discouraging for him, moving to an unfamiliar city without friends or family. He now felt very glad to be living here.

The lullaby ended. The last note shimmered in the air, and Rose looked into Mary’s eyes. It seemed to her that the painted smile deepened for an instant—and then the feeling of being uplifted slowly faded away and departed. Rose turned and started walking back to the pew where her coat was.

As she walked, she saw the remaining people quietly preparing to leave the church. After putting on her coat, she went to help the elderly man, who was having a little trouble bundling his wife up in her overcoat. They thanked her for her help and then all three walked to the door, Rose matching her pace to their slower steps. By the time they reached there, the church was empty. In the narthex, however, she saw the young man, who was obviously waiting for them.

“Do you have a car? It’s snowing outside,” he said to the older couple. When they answered in the negative, he asked, “May I call a taxi for you?” The couple thanked him, and the young man made the call. They waited inside until the taxi arrived, and then he and Rose helped the older couple down the church steps, which were now covered with snow. They assisted the man and his wife into the taxi, closed the door, and watched while the car pulled away from the curb and drove off.

The young man looked at Rose. “How are you getting home? Do you need a taxi, too?”

She answered, “Oh, no, I live only a couple of blocks from here. It’s just a short walk.”

“But it’s a cold and slippery walk,” he responded. “May I see you home? I wouldn’t want you to fall and hurt yourself.”

Rose looked at him for a moment, and then smiled. He was a stranger—but also not a stranger. She had seen him in church, often, and he had helped the old couple. She wasn’t quite sure why, but she trusted him. “Thank you. I live down that way,” she said, pointing. “Oh–my name is Rose.”

“I’m Joe,” the young man said, and he held out his elbow for her. She put her arm through it and they walked off together, slowly and carefully, avoiding icy patches and the fresh drifts of snow.


Note: “The Christ Child’s Lullaby” is an English translation of a much longer traditional Gaelic Christmas song, “Taladh Chriosda,” from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

(copyright 2018, Mary M. Isaacs)

Quote du jour

The church's extremity is God's opportunity.

- Aaron Burr, Senior

Saturday, December 11, 2021

A Little Saturday Night Music

Loreena McKennitt - SNOW

Free Gun Sight Saturday!

A Meprolight RDS Pro V2 Red Dot Sight is up for grabs today
You can't win if you don't play! Enter here.

Water, Water, Everywhere...

Best of the Web*

*…that Dave and I have seen all week!

(BTW, if you wonder where any of the links will take you, hover your cursor over the link.)


Apparently, there are a handful of people in the US over 100 years old -500,000 of them are registered to vote in Wisconsin
Andrew Cuomo’s top aide and Chris Cuomo planned to discredit Fox News’ Janice Dean over Covid criticism

Feel Good Friday
Black racism in America

Flopping Aces -Sunday Funnies
Sunday Funnies, 12-05-21
Today's Toons 12/1/21
Today's Toons 12/2/21
Today's Toons 12/3/21

Science/ Technology
NASA to award SpaceX three more commercial crew flights
New Report Shows Push for Electric Cars Is Actually Killing Rainforests

Larwyn’s Linx: Is The Omicron Variant The 'Midterm Election Variant'?
In The Mailbox: 12.06.21
Summarized Quick Links: Holiday Break Edition
In The Mailbox: 12.07.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Feds have warned of China influence groups: Why is Biden hiring from their collaborator?
In The Mailbox: 12.08.21
Larwyn’s Linx: Clueless Joe Biden Can’t Grasp Any Of The Crises He’s Created
In The Mailbox: 12.09.21
Larwyn’s Linx: The Turn
In The Mailbox: 12.10.21

Dave's Rule Five Roundup:

Proof Positive - Best of the Web


By Other Means - Tuesday Tap Rack and Bang, BeCos(play) It's Friday and Seeing Red

Evi L. Bloggerlady - Don't Deny The Science: DIE HARD IS A CHRISTMAS MOVIE️

Ninety Miles From Tyranny - Hot Pick, Girls With Guns, Morning Mistress and Blogs With Rule 5 Links

Grouchy Old Cripple - Saturday Boobage

Irons in the Fire - Friday Data and ... Saturday Data Overflow

The Feral Irishman - Friday Femme Fatale

The Daley Gator - Daley Babe

Diogenes Middle Finger News - A Good Monday Morning

A View from the Beach - Rule 5 Saturday - Stuck on the Wheel of Time - Rosamund Pike and Fish Pic Friday

24 Femmes Per Second - Ava Gardner

Knuckledraggin My Life Away - I'm sure she's taken, men And ... I’ll leave you with this

American Power - Sunday Sweehearts

Woodsterman - Rule 5 Woodsterman Style

The Other McCain - Rule Five Sunday: McKenna Grace

The Pirates Cove - If All You See ... and Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup

Wired Right - A Beautiful End to the Day

Sonoran Conservative - Rule 5: Friday

The Right Way - Friday Babe and ... Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama

Quote du jour

What needs to be highlighted in this issue is the question of private property rights. Landlords are not some mythical creatures sitting on big piles of money, but private citizens being told what they must do with their private property, and depriving them of income from it.

- Mike B on the so called "eviction moratorium"

Friday, December 10, 2021

If Biden Ran the Railroads

Free Gun Friday

Free Gun Friday- for all of us on Santa's naughty list!

Enter to Win a Your Choice of a DDM4 V7 or V7 PRO.

You can enter here. 

Quote du jour

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

- Thomas Edison

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Little Attitude Adjustment From a Navy SEAL

Free Riflescope Thursday!

One lucky person will win a Vortex Venom 5-25x56 FFP Riflescope today. Could it be you?
Enter here.

Quote du jour

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

- Marcel Proust

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Free DIY Gun Wednesday!

Here's your chance to win an $800 Galco Gift Card and a Polymer80 AFT Kit!
Enter here.

Quote du jour

The time is near at hand, which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

- George Washington

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Free Red Dot Tuesday

Here's your chance to take home Aimpoint CompM5s Red Dot Reflex Sight on Free Red Dot Tuesday!

Enter here.

Quote du jour

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. 
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. 
And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. 
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Monday, December 6, 2021

Quote du jour

"It's been now almost 1/2 century since humans were last on the moon. That's too long, we need to get back there & have a permanent base — a big permanently occupied base. And then build a city on Mars to become a spacefaring civilization, a multi-planet species”

- Elon Musk

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Blink if you're being coerced, David!

In the wake of all the staff quitting and tales of bullying and ‘constant, soul-destroying criticism’ coming out of Kamala Harris' office, David Gins works for Harris and tweets that he loves his job!

Blink if you're being coerced, David!