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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Christmas Blog Post

Seasons Greetings to family and to friends, old and new. As many of you know, this blog is mostly political, but once a year, I use it as a personal update, where I try to resist talking about politics, though some years it can be quite difficult, because the Green Party is “Who I Am.”

I write this Christmas Blog Post instead of sending out Christmas cards. This is ironic because my day job is delivering mail, but hey, I figure I deserve the break. I do appreciate receiving postal cards and letters, and we do appreciate the business, though I recommend the use of recycled paper whenever possible. (Some have pointed out the environmental impact of my job. I guess I go where the economy takes me!)

On the job front, I’m thankful to have an honest living, and a feeling of relative job security. My route has slipped to 36 hours, but I am hopeful the decrease will level out soon. It is said that mail is a leading economic indicator, so let me know and I’ll “keep you posted.”

Spencer graduated from high school this year. His mom kindly invited my family to the open house, and it was great to catch up with former in-laws who I hadn’t seen in a long time. They had a karaoke machine there, and I sang “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” as a tribute to Michael Jackson. (My niece Suzanne has put our “
Billie Bob” video on YouTube!) Spencer sang “Lean On Me.” Luckily, most of the guests had left by the time I sang “It’s Been a While” by Staind, haha.

Spencer is now taking science classes at the University of Minnesota, on the Minneapolis campus. This fall, we helped him move into a dorm on the St. Paul campus, where he catches the same shuttle bus my sister Janet and I used to take when we parked at our grandmother’s. Spencer’s dorm is just up the mall from the Andrew Boss Meat Science Lab, named after his great, great grandfather. Spencer is the fifth generation to attend the U, including his mom and me, my father, his father, and his father-in-law. My grandfather, also named Spencer Cleland, also taught agriculture at the U. This fall, Janet and I attended the homecoming parade and pep fest, visiting with Spence and his girlfriend.

My sponsored child Celso has also started college, in the Philippines. He is a leader of his ballroom dance group, which competes each December, which brings me to my next topic.

Last New Year’s, I wanted to go where people were staying up past midnight, so I went to a dance school party. I made it my resolution to become a competent social dancer, and I’m pleased to say, I think I did it! This past Saturday, I danced the tango and cha cha with my instructor in the Holiday Showcase. I was pleased that Janet and her friend were able to attend and watch me dance. So far I have a modest repertoire of steps in about 12 ballroom and Latin dances.

Shifting abruptly to a more serious note, in October we attended the funeral of my Aunt Marty, who died at age 75 of pancreatic cancer. She is missed by all.

For those interested in what I’ve been up to politically, I’m including some brief descriptions and links. On
July 4, I blogged about how I may have unwittingly tipped the balance in the election of Al Franken. On July 20, I held a press conference with six candidates running in Minneapolis. I worked mainly on three city council campaigns: Marcus Harcus, whose contest went to Instant Runoff, Dave Bicking, who got the most votes of any Green, and Jeanine Estimé, who received a majority of second-choice votes, and who I blogged about Nov. 10. On Nov. 7, at our state meeting, I was honored to be recognized, along with Amber Garlan, in a speech by Cynthia McKinney, for getting her on the ballot in 2008. And I hope you’ll also check out my Dec. 23 review of all my predictions which came true. I guess I fancy myself as some sort of modern-day Nostradamus!

I am looking forward to Christmas at my nieces’. I have been assigned the task of preparing the Christmas curry.

Once again, I want to wish you all the warmest holiday greetings, and as we celebrate Christmas with all its various trappings, let us not forget the reason for the season: The prospect of spiritual renewal and everlasting life, the greatest gift of all, made possible by the birth of the sun. ; )


2008 Christmas Blog Post


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