CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith & Life for the Years of Winter –
Our younger daughter did not call me for Fathers Day until Monday. Her gift had not arrived by Sunday, so she assumed that Fathers Day was postponed until it got here. This is the daughter who has our medical power of attorney, which is a bit troubling, in case the defibrillator is slow in arriving.
Her biggest worry about the parcel delay seems to be that the bows on the packages will be mashed because of all the transit by the time they get here. Like I will notice if the bows are mashed, or if they exist.
The main point of all that, as far as old people is concerned—and the concerns of old people is the excuse for these Christ In Winter columns, so I have to give such concerns a nod—is that your children will never understand you, and you’ll never understand your children, no matter how old they get, or how old you get.
This column is really about package bows, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that part of “reflections for old people,” so I’ll just relate this story because Helen just told it and I don’t want to forget to use it…
As part of her Master’s at IL State U, Helen took a course in The Art and Culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch. She liked the idea, and the course, and the instructor, but she really took it because it was offered on Thursday night. Ostensibly, her degree was an MS in Home Ec, but it was really an MSTN, Master of Science in Thursday Night, since that was the night I was available to babysit.
Her instructor was a Pennsylvania Dutch native, and went home to that area for Christmas. On the way back to IL, she had engine trouble. A hose came apart. No auto repair people were available, so being a home ec type, she got into her trunk, to get something to tie the hose together. When the auto shop in Normal, IL opened after Christmas break, they popped the engine hood and found a red ribbon with a big red bow from a Christmas gift neatly wrapped around the cracked hose. Home Ec people are like that—both practical and beautiful. 
John Robert McFarland
1] I figured after yesterday’s column, this would be a good time to say this.