Tag Archives: Christmas

And You Thought Sputnik Was A Satellite


My sophomores and juniors finally finished decorating their weave poems for the county fair.  After writing some prose text about a person they remembered from their childhood and writing down the words of a song they remember being sung, they wove the two pieces together with some great results.

One of my students is the son of a local man who recently lost his battle with cancer.  Everyone called him “Sputnik”.   The name fit him.  In Russian, the term, “sputnik” is used to refer to a companion.  The word “sputnik” represented something new, a new beginning, the space age.  The Sputnik that we all knew was certainly a companion to many and was always trying something new or different.  In a way, he represented new beginnings.

His son wrote a great story in English class about the time that Sputnik and his brothers decided to go Christmas Caroling as adults while visiting Sputnik’s mother.  The story would be enhanced if I had a photo of Sputnik and his brothers to share.  There is no telling whether these guys had their hair combed, if they were clean shaven, or if they had on any nicer clothes than their work jeans and work boots.  These brothers were known as being a bunch of “characters.”  They told the family whose door they knocked upon that they would sing “Joy to the World”.  Then, they broke into Credence Clearwater Revival’s version of “Joy to the World”.  You may remember this song  if you’re a baby boomer.

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

Was a good friend of mine

I never understood a single word he said

But I helped him drink his wine

And he always had some mighty fine wine

Joy to the world, all the boys and girls

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Joy to you and me.

Well, the story ends with the family who received the gift of Sputnik and his brothers singing a Christmas carol not only laughing but also inviting the guys in for some wine.

The story doesn’t really end there because Sputnik left his son and many others hundreds of wonderful memories that bring a smile to our faces.  To bring a smile to someone’s face, now THAT is a gift!

With his permission, here’s Junior, Chance Bush’s poem:


by Chance Bush

Remember When

Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog

Decided to Go

Was a Good Friend of Mine

Went Over To

I Never Understood a Single Word He Said

Were Close Friends

But I helped Him Drink His Wine

And they sang “Joy to the World”

Joy to You and Me!


Taking down the 1st tree


Today, the day after Epiphany, we took our first Christmas tree on top of the “Mountain” down.  Our first Christmas on top of the “Mountain” was spectacular and wonderful.  All but one of our five children were here to enjoy this special time of the year with us and both of our grandchildren were here, as well as Cousin Henry, Trish, and Jay.  The tree was a 9 or 10 feet tall pine.  Formerly we cut a live cedar (Juniper) tree in the pasture for our Christmas tree, but the girls and my husband are a bit allergic to cedar, so this year, we bought a traditional pine tree.  I must admit I miss the smell of a cedar tree brought in from the pasture.  The smell is so strong and so heavenly and reminds me of my childhood when Daddy and I would go in search of a tree for our house and for my grandmother’s house, and for my bedroom.  We would come back with three sizes of trees.  A giant one for our house, a medium-sized one for Granny’s, and a tiny one for my bedroom.  I have always loved cedar trees, but all of the ranchers in this rural area despise them because they soak up a tremendous amount of precious ground water, and apparently, they are good for nothing!  Nothing likes to eat them, and they grow like bad weeds.  Well, I guess they are bad weeds!

The second photo is of the last cedar tree we had when we still lived in the cabin, but had our Christmas in the barn.  Of course that was before the barn was full of “stuff”.  I must admit that making paper chains, hanging candy canes and bells, and wrapping our presents in brown mailing paper with twine tied around them was a blast!  The oil candles were fun, too.  It was a little chilly in the barn since we didn’t have much in the way of heat or light.  We did have some Coleman lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

I hope you have special memories of a special tree, and these two trees will always be very special to me!