A Christmas Tale of Lost and Broken Things

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replacement figurines not included; historical accuracy not guaranteed.

My mother carefully constructed a nativity scene every Christmas. She started with sheets of cotton for snow, then a round, head-sized mirror for a lake, and then the stable with an actual straw roof. Then came the artistic arrangement of figurines: Mary, Joseph, the wise men, a cow and two sheep a bit to one side but still within earshot, and my favorite, a family of swans for the lake. And, of course, Baby Jesus in his manger.

We had our objections about her nativity’s implications for the Christmas story. Had it…


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The clouds broke open for the drive home. They loosed a dreary rain, sweaty dap-dap-daps that turned roads to rivers and drummed people to sleep. Everyone else had given in, but Collin was awake and driving, because that’s what the father did. The captain, the rock, guiding their tiny, battered pillbox of a sedan through the storm that was chasing them all the way home. A ship in a tormented sea. Maddie snored in the front seat, Mira blissful and dreaming behind them, her socks muddy from running back to the house without her shoes on. …


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My daughter, Katya, is learning to drive. That is, she’s taken and failed the written test three times, with worse scores each time. So learning might not be the right word for whatever she’s doing. Can you leak knowledge? I tried standing next to her and listening for whatever noise leaking knowledge might make — a steady hissing, maybe — but she just started drawing on my arm. A unicorn rearing up on a cloud, and lots of hearts.

Katya’s not stupid; she’s a demon at every card game she plays, she can brandish an analytical wit at a moment’s…

Penfold

I love stories of all stripes & types. Father to 2 internationally adopted kids, husband to 1 internationally married wife. Plus cats. [http://justpenfold.com]

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