December 23rd

It’s Friday…the end of the typical work week…

2016-12-22-21-58-51Especially if you work a non-support or retail job. Hope you enjoy the last day of the work week!

In 1980 we moved to Alaska after I accepted a job at National Bank of Alaska. We left Houston on November 1, and the first day on the job as November 17… Those 16 days of travel were a blast. We added an extra gas tank to my 1977 GMC truck (Sea Mist Green) and left Houston. Las Vegas. San Francisco. Highway 1 and 101 to Oregon, up I-5 to Seattle, loading up the windshield washer tank with several gallons of fluid as Mt St Helen’s had blown just 6 months before and the ash/mud debris made for a messy drive. Change of ferry plans, but finally left Seattle on the Matanuska Ferry early the morning for a 3.5 day voyage to Haines, AK. Then the last 750 mile drive to Anchorage with temps down to -40.

A tremendous experience and a great memory as if it happened last week.

After working for about 5 weeks we approached the Christmas season. It had been way below zero for weeks, and on the night of December 22nd, it warmed up to above freezing. Ice melting. Snow turning to rain. My pickup had slid out of the apartment parking lot and was sitting in the middle of the road. As I left for work about 6:30 am, I had the devil of a time trying to get up every little hill surrounding our apartment. I finally called in and simply stayed home…

My truck had taken us across deserts, mountain ranges, out of the country, through the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska, going from 80 degrees to -45…. No studded tires, or 4WD, Chains… Over 5,000 miles of driving! Just saying. Finally, I succumbed to some very icy city streets!

That was 1980…But December 23 has many other experiences through the centuries. You may recognize a few of the times and places, especially the first one.

  • 962 – Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops stormed city of Aleppo, recovering the tattered tunic of John the Baptist
  • 1783 – US General George Washington resigns his military commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to Congress
  • 1788 – Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government. About two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.
  • 1823 – The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore (” ‘Twas the night before Christmas…”) was published.
  • 1856 – Ralph Collier was issued a U.S. patent for the first rotary egg beater with rotating parts.
  • 1888 – Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, and sends it to a prostitute for safe keeping
  • 1913 – The Federal Reserve Bill was signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The act established 12 Federal Reserve Banks
  • 1922 – The British Broadcasting Corporation began daily news broadcasts.
  • 1941 – During World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
  • 1942 – Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska. It was the first of the traditional Christmas shows.
  • 1947 – John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley invented the transistor.
  • 1948 – Former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and six other Japanese war leaders were executed in Tokyo. They had been found guilty of crimes against humanity.
  • 1968 – The crew of the U.S. Navy ship, Pueblo, was released by North Korea. The Captain of the Pueblo, Commander Lloyd M. Bucher, and 82 of his crew were held for 11 months after the ship was seized by North Korea because of suspected spying by the Americans.
  • 1970 – In New York, the topping out ceremony for original One World Trade Center (North Tower) took place. The South Tower’s ceremony took place on July 19, 1971. (Which ever one had the restaurant at the top also had the tallest outside observatory that I have ever walked on!)
  • 1986 – The experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completed the first non-stop, around-the-world flight without refueling as it landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
  • 1997 – Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City. The bomb killed 168 people.

A few Facebook notes of mine from prior years:

  • 2015 – “Fever? Maybe
  • 2013 – “Those We Follow
  • 2013 – If tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then today must be Christmas Adam, right?

Finally, a few favored 12/23 scriptures.

For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. (Exodus 12:23 NKJV)  (Continued from Yesterday!)

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. (John 12:23 NKJV)

Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. (Luke 12:23 NKJV)

A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. (Proverbs 12:23 NKJV)



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