If you missed me, my computer went on strike again and I had to wait until my computer doctor was through fixing a number of things in the house before he could get to me, including his vehicle. But he got me up and running last night. Tomorrow is an Anchorage run for Mona and I, "Yippee!" This means new things and I like new shiny things. Plus, I've started my Christmas shopping in little ways. Right now I have like 55 items on my Amazon list of things to buy for people, but I'll go back and reduce it down...down...down. I just like to shop, especially when I find things I've never seen around before. Now most of you might know my son, James, is a Captain America fan to some small degree....yup, he is. We like to call him Lt. James, because he is the first Officer in the military among a family of enlisted people. That's how I met his mother, we were both military. Probably-like 75% of the family has served, counting my Dad and my brothers. We are proud of him and all of them.
Anyhow, I went searching, trying to locate a Mrs. Captain America for his wife, sort of a humorous gift. I mention it now, because I could not find one- from China to London. Oh, the female Thor is supposedly coming out, but that doesn't work. But I now have another idea for her. See, in my family, everyone knows I believe in giving toys for Christmas. I always have and will. Christmas, is a time for fun. Except for my wife, she expects one toys at least, but also something special. Not expensive. Oh I learned that lesson a long time ago. My wife would rather have our church finances sitting in the black, our mortgage paid for and bills paid, before I buy something expensive for her. Now that we have enough kids, grandchildren and others to field an NFL team, we have to learn how to play this game smart and still bring smiles.
One year, I was either sophomore or junior in high school, I was asked by my work to be one of two Santa Clauses. This was for MacDonald fast food chain. We were sent to this fancy breakfast in downtown Hollywood, about 300 of us, given a speech of how we represented the company and issued our uniforms. Not the most expensive of costumes. This was Southern California and our "throne" was outside, where even in December the temperatures were always above 60 degrees. What they never bothered to warn us about was how the kids would likely react for the photo op. I stood 6'4 back then and weighed 210 lbs- so I of course frightened them. This often caused them to release either one of two bodily functions or both. My lap was soaked. Then they pulled on your hair, your pretend beard and best of all, the parents would let them sit up there on my lap, which was already wet and only now covered in napkins because I couldn't get away due to the line of these goofy parents and their 2-6 year-old's. This is when they doused your beard with mustard and ketchup from the half-of-a-hamburger held dangerously in their grasp. This wasn't what I was promised. I was 16 yrs old, I think and I was told there would be a lot of young ladies wanting pictures taken of them sitting on our laps. I've seen it in the malls enough times. But my young ladies were all under 7...I believe. I seem to recall taking one of us son's to see Santa when they were about 5 yrs and he let us know right there and then we had no right at all to have children to even contemplate such an action. I do not believe anyone in that mall escaped his fear filled screams. That ended the Santa visits.
Yes, Mona and I our Christian, you probably realize that by the material I write in this blog and my books. But our family enjoys Santa Claus. I won't go any further into this area in the event I have a young reader. But as to our personal beliefs...see, between you and my wife and I, we do not share in the belief that my Lord and Savior was born on Christmas- December 25th. The sheep were giving birth and they do this in the spring, often around early April and not the End of December. Unfortunately, some Pagans worshiped a very high god on this Dec 25th and an early Pope, (a time before protestants existed), decided to nudge Jesus' birthday to that day to combat the enemy's holiday. Oh, there is a lot more to it and I am sure your local pastor can recommend you a number of books to read to study on it. Another possible example, there are many who feel the Three Wise-men/Kings did not show up on the birth night, but came much later. Some speculate between 1-2 years. This was also a little edition tossed in by the early church to counter events of those times. But the important things, our Lord Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph, and for 33 years He walked among us, was crucified and 3-days later did arise. His walk with us allowed Him to learn about us, experience our lives, so He could better understand our flaws and weaknesses. But this also provided him time to learn of our courage, our love for one another and our ability to show great strength of character to aid in the growth of mankind. Through Him, we will all walk in a heavenly place. What more could we desire...well, maybe to have our loved ones and dear friends along our side. But what about a perfect stranger.... a street vagrant, how far will we go to ensure their place in Heaven?
No more sermon, I don't even know where that came from. I was talking about shopping. I do find a lot of deals. I've been concerned about the cover artwork for Book 1 & 3 of A Coming Storm. I believe the trilogy will be called End Times Prophecy or something. My publisher and I have not worked it out. Might be called Return, Return 1 and Return 2. I wanted to draw one of the covers myself and if the publisher liked it, to use it for the 3rd book. Well, I was stumbling along through Amazon and found this painting of a triple master sailing vessel and my eyes lit up. This was basically what I wanted. For in the third book, the second half concerns two rival naval fleets- one of Christian and one of Satan. A massive sea battle is fought inside the Mediterranean Sea. The Christian fleet is defending Israel and Satan's navy/army is moving in to seize control of Jerusalem and slay all the Christians. Now the setting is only a few years after Satan has been released from his hellish prison, where he has been enchained for 1,000 years. During this time Christ has ruled the Earth, but upon Satan's release, Jesus and his angelic Host have suddenly disappeared. A world of Christians are once more under the dark lord's temptations and all too many give in. As I said, I don't want to go to far with details until the book is ready for release. Book One tells of what is occurring in the world with riots, food shortages and diseases spreading about- sort of like now. This introduces the trilogies main characters, their back stories and how the Lord is using them. I also have notes for another story, breaking off of this....but I decided to go with my western instead.
But as I said I found this cool copy of this sailing ship painting from 1800's, on sail for $2.49 ...small copy. But it gave me the idea for how I wanted to show the ship on the cover. So, I bought the print and it's worth every bit of that $2.49 and came with free shipping. Besides, after I do my sketches, I'll mat and frame it and tell people I paid a fortune for it. I won't be lying. There are days $2.49 is a lot of money.
I've already set aside initial sketches for my western, but not satisfied yet.
We've been cutting firewood, obtaining quantities of slab wood from the local saw mill. I've got two chain saws down and cutting what I can with a chop saw. But thanks to the owner of the saw mill we get the slab wood for free. It all burns so fast, but much cheaper than diesel fuel. Mona is over in Soldotna making a Food Bank run. We handle a part of the community out of our house an the church pantry handles the rest. I think over the last 10 years we've been blessed to feed a lot of people and we get our supplies from the much larger facility in Soldotna. But this also gives Mona a chance to visit with Micah Sue and our Granddaughter Bella Sue. Yes, Mona's middle name is also Sue. My middle name is Leroy and with our Great Grandson, Solomon, who will also carry Leroy as on of his two middle names, the Leroy name goes back 6-generations I know of. Eventually someone will think its a people group. The Leroy's carry such ethnic groups as German, German-Jew, English, Scot, Cherokee, Irish, I should mention there is a lot of German from a lot of sides and now Eskimo. We could be our own United Nations. Now some of those German Jew might be considered Israeli now, but not sure....oh, also Canadian. Forgot about them.
No news briefs. You all have a great day and I'll be back on line in the near future. Maybe Monday. God Bless, BILL