Glistening once again.


It’s only natural — sometimes you ask yourself, What if God had sent his son to be born not to a poor Middle Eastern family during the Roman empire, but to a wealthy one in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, during our own era? Or even if they were poor, but happened to be in the neighborhood when labor started? How might things have been different?


There would still be angels, sure. But instead of flapping around in the sky, on high, they’d perch on the roof. Plenty of altitude, nice opportunities for symmetry.

Even though a place like this has plenty of guest rooms, it’s possible there could be no room at the inn. If so, Mary and Joseph could have the baby out on the front lawn.

Would there be shepherds? Sure. In Grosse Pointe? Really? Aren’t there local ordinances? Probably, but this is the hand of God at work; they’d have to be encamped on the neighbors’ lawn.

How would word be spread? The angels, of course, with their celestial trumpets. Also, word of mouth — do you hear what I hear, and so on. But mainly, the event would be visible from outer space, and certainly heaven.

Come on, even a house like this can’t possibly carry an electrical load like that. Does it take a heavenly miracle? No. Just a generator.

Honestly, even though Kate thought it looked like the trees were dripping blood, I give this place points for many things — a consistent theme and design coherence, among other things. Bethlehem Vegas is not supplemented with Frosty, Rudolph, Santa and the guys (although there are reindeer grazing the grounds, but very abstract ones). There are several over-the-top displays along Lakeshore Drive this year, and two of them are strictly religious.

I was describing this to an out-of-town friend Saturday, and she said, “Well, sure. God has been very good to them, and they’re not afraid to show the world they’re grateful.” Also, passing commercial airliners.

Oy, a nice weekend it was, at least until Sunday morning. We went out Saturday night for the first time in about a thousand years, got home late, paid the babysitter and I actually got to watch, for the first time in about two thousand years, those final, excruciatingly unfunny moments of “Saturday Night Live.” I was in bed by 1 a.m., but just barely. One in the morning! It was almost like being an adult again.

Then it snowed overnight. Just enough to cover the grass. I’d say an inch, mebbe a smidge more.

So our neighbor’s snow-removal service showed up to clean off their driveway. They arrive with a crew of four, each armed with a snowblower. The driveway, I remind you, is directly beneath our bedroom window. They pulled starting cords in unison at 6 a.m.

Four snowblowers roaring as one under my window at 6 on a Sunday morning. It’s times like this I’m grateful I don’t own firearms.

Posted at 9:12 pm in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “Glistening once again.”

  1. brian stouder said on December 4, 2005 at 10:36 pm

    Say howdy to Clark Griswald for me, eh?

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  2. joodyb said on December 5, 2005 at 10:13 am

    That’s one astute observer you’ve got for a daughter.

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  3. Connie said on December 5, 2005 at 1:07 pm

    Regarding your Sunday wake up call — surely the Pointes of all places have a noise ordinance.

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  4. Nance said on December 5, 2005 at 1:26 pm

    Probably. But you have to weigh the consequences of calling the police on some otherwise fine neighbors, too. This happened once before, last winter, only it was at 2 a.m., and that was better — I could go back to sleep afterward. After 6 a.m., I’m up.

    The one advantage to having four going at once — the job gets done quickly.

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  5. Dorothy said on December 5, 2005 at 1:55 pm

    You and I are the same age, and even though my kids are in their 20’s, I am not a night owl. But when we went to see Rodney Crowell on a Saturday night this past summer, we stayed up late and did not get to bed until after 1 AM also. At 6:18 Sunday morning a crane and a team of workers showed up to lift the roof frame of the house being built behind us. I didn’t call the police, but did complain to the builder (D R Horton) and got an apology. But it didn’t make up for the lost sleep!! I was up for the day as well, because of the infernal “Beep Beep Beep” of some machinery backing up frequently.

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  6. Pam said on December 5, 2005 at 3:54 pm

    Is that the house of the woman with the “plumber husband”? The portable generator is great. I wonder where you get one that large?

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  7. harry near indy said on December 6, 2005 at 4:37 am

    at least the thing’s on private property.

    in places where the christians can get away with putting nativity scenes on, say, courthouse lawns and city parks, the scenes are much, much more minimal, low key and relatively tasteful.

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