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Sunset, Sunrise

Adele on the Pontoon Bridge in Curacao

It's a bit hard to believe that I am writing this just after 7 a.m. and the sun has yet to rise. Sunrise is expected around 7:18. Last night, the sun set around 4:45 p.m.

What is that—over nine hours of darkness? Quite a long night—especially when I'm having trouble sleeping. And especially when I have things to do—such as writing this article.

Adele and I just returned from a cruise in the Southern Caribbean. So coming from traversing the equator, then adding the time change back to California and jet lag, I'm guessing that bulls-eyeing the winter solstice made it a perfect storm of day shortening.

On top of that, it was our anniversary—number 51, the start of Chanukah, and coming on to the federal holiday of Christmas.

Parenthetically, I just learned that Christmas is a Federal secular holiday—having nothing to do with either "Christ" or "Mass." How's that? Well, in our Constitution, the First Amendment prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion.

So, in 1870, during the U.S. Grant administration, Congress decided that Christmas was not a religious celebration, but instead a secular celebration—and this secular celebration should be honored with a Federal holiday.

Wow—that finally explains why White Christmas was written by the Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin.

I guess I should have realized that Congress really wanted to celebrate the winter solstice—a Pagan holiday, but dressed it in christian clothing to make it more popular.












Ironically, the church opposed celebrating Christmas. They thought that Easter was the significant day to celebrate because Christ's martyrdom was the central event.

Anyhow, now that I'm thinking about it, we traveled back on Saturday, December 21—which made it, to us, both the longest day and the shortest day. The shortest day because of the solstice. The longest day because we gained three hours by flying East to West. No wonder I'm tired.

So, we got back, just in time to light Chanukah candles—and get into the age old battle of whether the candles go in right to left and are lighted left to right, or the other way around. Frankly, I told Adele, "What difference does it makes?" If you walk to the other side of the menorah, left become right and right becomes left. What are we? Rabbis?

So, we have returned from ten days at a floating feed lot and have gain an unspeakable amount of weight as we open letters requesting money for hunger in America.

Seems that we learned that quite a number of people on the cruise are cruisers—people who constantly cruise. They say it's cheeper and better than moving into assisted living.

Now that we're back, Adele thinks she has the flu—that's what her sister was diagnosed with, and we saw her sister every day on the cruise. Well, that's how well the flu shot works.

Well, now the sun is up—sort of, since it's cloudy and overcast. But a new day is dawning and I'm off to enjoy it—as short as it may be.

~ Al Zagofsky














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