Well, that was the official Chicago temperature. Ours is still a bit above 20F. At least it is sunny--for now. Since I wrote the last couple of lines we have had snow flurries--but the sun still shone brightly the while. No great accumulation and none stuck.
When I read the headline on this story I was curious because I hadn't read anything lately that would lead to a disaster declaration for Vermont. Then I was simply aghast because the declaration is a response to the flooding and heavy rains that hit starting in early May. Six months ago!! I remember an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. Well, I would say that aid delayed is aid denied also. And aid that is really loans isn't aid either--it is someone's chance to make a profit on someone else's disaster.
This is something I can readily go along with. Over the years we have gone from a fairly traditional gift giving scheme involving racking our brains over what the recipients might like and spending freely to giving only to the youngsters (under 16) and the one adult we drew for "secret Santa" gifts to giving very few gifts usually to the hostess only. Along the way we noticed that most of the recipients really did not appreciate what they received and a good many used the value (or perceived value) as some measure of how much they were loved and how much more or less loved they were than someone else. I am always amused by public figures who crawl out of the woodwork each year at this time claiming we have to "reclaim" or "protect" Christmas. From what? Most of them take umbrage at rather superficial things--groups who don't want to be assaulted by Christian symbols every time the turn around, commercial entities who decide to wish "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" so they won't offend anyone, or some other imagined threat. However, if they mean the reclaiming or protecting the spirit of Christmas--they lost that a long time ago when Christmas became a commercial holiday and the make or break selling season of the year.