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By Jerry Nine

(Dec. 5)--I went in early for my morning coffee. There was a man that sat down at the community table and introduced himself as the new policeman in town. We asked him if he moved here by himself or with his family. He is middle-aged and said that he came here by himself. I asked him if he wanted me to give him a list of all the single women in town. He said that would be good. I said, "Do you want me to start with the oldest or the youngest?" He said, "Just surprise me." And in my town that we could do. Then another man hollered down the table and said that I could just give him the list of all the girls that had turned me down. Then I had to tell my story about going to a dance. I saw this cute gal across the room so I went over and said, "How are you doing?" She responded by saying, "No, thank you." Then I responded by saying in a sarcastic tone, "I didn't ask you to dance. I just said, 'How are you doing.'" Another man just walked in and sat at this long table with everyone. The waitress brought his coffee to him. The new policeman looked at him and said, "Sugar?" as if he was asking him whether he wanted sugar in his coffee or not. I said to the new police officer, "Sir, I'm not real sure how things worked in Arkansas where you came from, but out here that's not a real good way to get started by looking at the man and calling him sugar. He laughed. I guess I will find out how good of a sense of humor he has by whether I get a ticket real soon.

This year our family is going to do something different in exchanging gifts for Christmas. All the younger kids will exchange gifts with each other. But both of my sisters and brother plus their older kids will get a gift about the value of a bicycle. Each of us will try to find a family that is very poor and cannot afford to give their kids something like that for Christmas. Instead of exchanging gifts with each other, we will either leave the bicycle on their doorstep and ring the doorbell and leave or simply give it to them. We all have more than we need and deserve and hopefully we can really make a poor child have their best Christmas ever. Then when we get together for Christmas we will each tell our particular story. I have also asked each person in the family to do something nice for someone who is older or has lost a spouse or family member this year, like make them a pie or cake. Since my mom and dad are in their 80s I said each family would go ahead and buy them a gift. They both said definitely not. I said it is either that way or else every child and grandchild will come to your house and pick anything they want at your house. They didn't seem to like that idea either, so I think we will buy them a gift. My older son says, "I hope Grandpa's pickup is there if we get to choose." Every one of you this week, please pray for rain.

Editor's note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family's ranch near Laverne, Okla.

Date: 12/10/2012

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