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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Enchanted by the Light

 It's Christmas day, barely. Still it demands attention. Hank Bruce has been a dear friend for over fifteen years. We met at Southwest Writers Workshop and Writer2writers back in the day. He's reviewed all my books on Amazon, and for most his is the only review. I've read many of his books and actively promoted some of them, they are great. He has done wonders in third world countries by promoting the Moringa Tree.

His gardening books are a delight, he has Cowboy ghost stories and a wide range of topics in different books.

Hank is best telling short stories, He has a wonderful way of turning a phrase and making a truth abundantly clear. The latest one I'm reading is Enchanted by the Light. The ebook is free with unlimited on Amazon.

Fifteen short stories set in New Mexico during Christmas.

There's a little girl who somehow makes her way from Acoma Pueblo to Chimayo to get sacred dirt for her dying grandfather and brings it back.

There's the story of a six year old girl who suffered brain damage as an infant, but during Christmas when she's six where she impacts the small village and they have a special Christmas pageant in her name.

An old cowboy in the 1800's who everyone knows, but is not really valued until he's dead.

Hank even lets us in on the most important secret in New Mexico concerning the alien landing in 1947 outside Roswell, NM. If you read it you have to swear to keep the secret and tell no one. Oops, maybe I messed up here.

A Native American boy named: In a Hurry Hawk.

My favorite is about a disabled Vietnam Vet recently returned and facing PTSD and poverty. He blessed his village with tumbleweeds.

A judge and junior high school principle agree that seven boys arrested for vandalism be punished by making them sew a quilt.

Some of the stories make you laugh, many make you cry, others are heartbreaking, but uplifting at the same time.

Hank gives a glimpse into the life of people of all races, religions and social standing and how Christmas brings all of them together by shedding light on their love.

There's a heated debate in New Mexico about a certain Christmas decoration. They are brown lunch bags filled half-way with sand and a candle is lit. Sidewalks, walls and roof tops have them spaced out and they make a beautiful sight.

They come from a tradition of lighting the way on Christmas when people traveled to be with family and they needed something to light their way home in the dark. They built little fires. Hank used the Spanish word for this "Faralitos."

Others refer to them as little lights or "Luminarias."

Here Hank and I disagree.

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