I’m having a hard time gearing up for Christmas. After two drafts, our annual Christmas letter remains as dull as a worn-down pencil-point. During Thanksgiving week, I completed the third draft of my book manuscript and, after the intense effort, feel at loose ends. There’s the rub.

To beat the funk yesterday, I decided to play games with myself – be a little lazy and watch Sunday afternoon football with Keith. It never takes much to get me involved a game. Whether the score is close or a blowout, I root for the underdog.

“You can do it, Texans,” and then when Houston was on top of New England, “Come on, Patriots!” It was the same for the Broncos and Chiefs, Bears and Vikings, Titans and Colts. It didn’t matter which teams won, I felt sorry for the losers – Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, Tennessee.

Perhaps football wasn’t the most effective game for beating the “it’s all over” blues.

So I played another game. I draped the artificial garlands over the loft railings, hoping the embedded lights would breathe some inspiration into me. “Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming,” but not for three weeks. I needed a more immediate kick-start.

LaGrandeArmee“The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!” And the Imperial Army of France, La Grande Armée, readies to meet them.

This coming weekend, Keith hosts a Napoleonic period War Game, with cavalry, infantry and artillery to scale and action technically and tactically authentic. The field of battle will be in Prussia and Poland – our garage. Rolls of dice and wits of division and brigade commanders will determine the outcome of the battle – and perhaps some kibitzing from observers.

With an army to shelter and feed – two armies, to be more accurate – I’ve got my hands full with meal menus, food shopping and preparation, house cleaning and bed making. Heathcliff and Freya will have their monthly baths in order to pass inspection – all must be ship-shape.

Les Russes arrivent, et les Français sont prêts. Go underdog!

End of funk, fin du blues.


  1. Dianne

    I am intrigued by Keith’s war games. What is the inspiration and why this time of year? Plus I can empathize with you as far as decorating, cleaning, menu planning and then cooking. We (aka I) are preparing for a Christmas visit from our 3 children & their families. So looking forward to it but also overwhelmed with trying to get everything done. (Of course, there are other “events” occurring before, during and immediately after that also have my attention.) Anyway, I so enjoyed hearing about your escape from everything by watching football. I love to watch football and only wished the evening games came on earlier so that I wouldn’t fall asleep before halftime.

    Hope to see you in church soon. Also hope you are still planning on attending the Dec. 10 Bible Study luncheon/get together. I think the time is 10 am (since we’re having food) but I’ll have to email you with those details.

    Hope you’re out of you holiday funk by now.


    • Carole Duff

      Thanks for your comment, Dianne!
      With retirement, Keith revived a high school interest similar to chess. The group had planned to play in July on Bastille Day. But the Russian army wasn’t ready, and Keith had to bury his Dad at Arlington.
      Hope all is going well. See you soon!


Leave a Reply

Meet Carole


Let's Connect

Favorite Subjects