A Christmas to remember

December 26th, 2013 by John Morris

It’s good to have holidays every year so we can regroup as families and share good times. At Christmas my wife, Lyn and I host our children living in far outposts like Brooklyn or China. This year we were greatly blessed by having both of our children home for the holidays along with our two grandsons.

That’s six adults, one toddler, one newborn and an aging yellow labrador. Despite Lyn and my best efforts, things go wrong. It’s normal. When we most want things to run well, they don’t.

On Christmas eve, the furnace’s new pressure relief valve blew.

My family hunkered down to wait it out. This meant spending Christmas day in 64 degree semi-warmth. We pressed a space heater into service to make bearable the occupied rooms.

As I write this, I am waiting for the plumber, and I am late for my shift at Maxwell’s Hardware. Son, Adam and D-In-Law, Yuri are planning a road trip. Lyn will not venture anywhere. Our family named Sterling are in the tribal headquarters in Rochester, NY.

2013 has been a memorable Christmas at the Morrises. With the repair of the furnace, we will return to more comfortable circumstances.

We are pleased our toddler grandson, Jackson is visiting his Rochester grandparents with his new drum, guitar, kazoo and xylophone.


The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.