Count Your Blessings!
If you want to hear a different version of this familiar hymn check out the new "Christmas Companion" 2 CD album from the Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor. This has John Mc Donough singing a charming version with accompaniment by the PHC regulars Dwarsky and Stein. It makes you think at this time of year especially. I miss not hearing that wonderful, weekly, old fashioned radio show from "Lake Woebegone" (St. Paul, MN) It is such a throw back to my early days of listening. I'd lay on the living room floor with my head right next to the old fashioned console speaker for hours. I last heard this perrenial standard when we could get the college station from Pasadena City College which carried the Public Radio feed. There is no station out here in The Pass. Betty and I used to listen to it every Saturday night, even in the car coming home. It was always good for a chuckle and some "pretty good" music too. Garrison is famous for his writing and his "sound-effects man" on the show. He used to produce a daily 5-min. show in the early morning with a poem. I'd listen on the way to my job teaching. It was an inspirational start to the day. His voice, modulation is unique and very rich. His jokes about scandinavians, especially Norwegians and Lutherns are a bit "old and moldy". With the CD I got, unsolicited, a "bobble-head Martin Luther" I'm using it for a "white elephant" gift tomorrow at the office party.
When Betty and I were in Hastings Ranch last week visiting Clark and his new job at Ethan Allen, I happened to sit in a "lazy-boy" type chair near the front of the store. I often do this when Betty is "shopping" which she was for a long time with her "favorite salesman". Next to the "easy" chair was a hand-crafted piece of pottery ie. a candy dish/ash tray. I usually don't do this kind of thing, but I turned it over to see who made it since Clark also "throws" pots. The artist had carved into the back some good advice: "Count your blessings each and every day." What good advice. I need to be more mindful and thankful for all the good things that have happened to me and my family...not just at Thanksgiving time or Christmas but each and everyday. I think that this kind of awareness has a "self-fulfilling" effect. Expecting "a blessing" and "things" to work out for the best is not "naive" and unrealistic, but just the best way to handle what does come our way, ramdomly or not. You never know..."the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street..." (Music Man) and it might just be full of lots of surprises for you and me. Bob