Friday, December 16, 2016

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
I can remember my mom Sybil Miner Beck singing that song on cold mornings. With the temperature at 4 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind chill of minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit, it is plenty cold for me. In my youth, school schedules were never delayed just because it was cold and I can remember walking to an unheated wooden bus stop, huddling inside, and waiting for a long yellow behemoth to arrive, trailing a plume of steam and fumes. The brakes would squeal as it stopped and it opened its maw. I would hurry to be swallowed up by it and join fellow students in the ride to school, happy for the small but welcome warmth inside.
My mom had a quirky trait of singing a chorus of a song when it matched something one of us kids would say. The song always had some tie in with what we had just said. She only did it at home for us, so I’ve always thought that it was special for the family. If she would have tried it in public, people probably would have thought her crazy. I must have thought that it was special, because I picked up her unusual trait and will often sing a few lines from a song, but I have added telling a story or sharing a joke that mimics some word in something that was said. I did this when I supervised at Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. I’m not sure if anyone thought I should be wearing a straight jacket or not, but most of the time, it did bring a smile. Hopefully, I made a fellow employee’s day go a bit better.
I decided my New Year’s resolution much earlier this year and have been practicing, so it will be easier for me to keep. That promise I made is “If I am grumpy, I won’t leave home. No one wants to deal with a grumpy old man.” So far, I’ve been able to keep it. It makes people smile when I share my resolution with them. Those who enjoy it more are the cashiers at stores where I shop. They particularly enjoy it and will sometimes share a horror story of a rude, nasty or irate customer.

So, to my friends and readers, I challenge you to adopt the same New Year’s resolution. Smile and pass on the Christmas spirit.

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