The Christmas Plains: A Sentimental Classic from Joseph Bottum

Joseph Bottum is the kind of storyteller who captures your attention with a straightforward phrase, a wordsmith who tickles the imagination with his own brand of plainspeak, elucidating what you knew all the time but couldn't quite put your finger on. He writes as Everyman describing the human condition, and as a prophet with an eye toward eternity.That the Black Hills of South Dakota should have won him back, home from a successful career in Washington DC and New York, is a major coup for th … [Read more...]

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WHERE THE LOVE OF GOD GOES: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does anyone know where the love of God goes When the waves turn the minutes to hours…--Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” It was circa July 1973, and my husband and I—young, free-wheeling and in love, with more dreams than experience—embarked on a driving trip through upper Michigan.  We’d never been much farther north than Lansing at that point.  We pitched a tent along the way, getting to know Grayling and Mio, the Au Sable River and the Traverse City wine country, fi … [Read more...]

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O CHRISTMAS TREE: A Brief Chronology

Age 1 – Oh!  Oh!  Look at the twinkling lights!  I’ve never seen anything like this!  Look at the shiny balls—Wouldn’t they taste good...?  Mommy, why are you running and pulling me away?  Do you always get so excited?! Age 5 – I LOVE the pink Teddy Bear ornament from Grandma!  And the Santa ornament from Uncle Joe.  And the ballerina!  And candy canes!  They’re the best!  And Santa’s coming, and we’re going to leave him some cookies!  I LOVE Christmas! Age 10 – Christmas Tree?  Oh yeah, it’s … [Read more...]

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