The Christmas Sled

I got a sled for Christmas this year
It filled me with a lot of cheer
Oh! For the winters that used to be
The winters only a child could see
It was lots of fun for you and me
On a special hill, where we all could be

Down the hill we flew with happy smiles
We must have slid at least a “mile”
Clear the track, out of my way!:
“I am going to be first today!”
“Over the path, around a curve,
Near a tree, we need to swerve!”

Sometimes we fall off in a heap
In the snow, that is so — so deep
Laughter is a part of our ride
It gives me stitches in my side
“Up the hill, we climbed right back!
Again we slide out over the track!
Over and over without any fright
It was such a wonderful sight!

I don’t know who was the fastest, or who was the best
By the end of the afternoon, we all needed a rest
To tomorrow’s sledding, we will go
On that hill of icy snow

Instead of sitting in front of the TV,
The best gift you could give to me
Is another ride on that Christmas sled
I’ll dream of it when I’m in bed.

Maxine Seekins


‘Cancel culture’ goes both ways

In a recent opinion column (Feb. 3) Sam Patten decried cancel culture with a focus on the “anti-Joe Rogan campaign.”  Looks like Mr. Patten wants to cancel cancel culture.

Thankfully he also mentions (briefly) Norman Mailer and J.K. Rowling as “victims.”

However, he notes that his column was written on or about Jan. 31 for the Feb. 3 edition.  Did he miss the “cancellation” of “Maus” in Tennessee on Jan. 10?  Or that Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” was removed from library shelves in a Missouri district?  There are some 50 books that parents in Texas want “canceled.”

Maybe he could devote a column to the “cancel culture” happening in these (and other) states and reiterate his point that “people who read books are occasionally critical thinkers, capable of considering two points of view at the same time . . . .”

Larry Abbott


Stories that teach

February is Black History month, which reminded me that history is stories that teach us. I had an aunt (by marriage) who was racist in the subtle manner of people who deny it. For example, she had a cousin in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) after it had been taken independent by the native Africans. She scornfully described the new officials as people who “didn’t even know how to flush a toilet.”

Once I needed help at a Maine hotel from a dark-skinned, immigrant cleaning woman who communicated in broken English — she was learning my language and I did not speak hers. We both laughed, just two women from different continents. On TV a bit later, an athlete at the summer Olympics in Japan explained the complex toilet in her dorm, a contraption so convoluted that it required a 12-page brochure in three languages.

I recall those incidents while remembering the disdainful tone of my aunt, a person who easily ridiculed the skills of other people, and yet was too fearful to ever even learn to drive a car.

Leslie Woods