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The Gearboat Chronicles

Gift exchange for rafting trips

Holiday quiz: what does Frosty’s nose look like? He’s a snowman . . . and snowmen have noses that are . . . what? Carrots? Right? You would think so. Or I did. But no. His nose is made out of coal. Run the lyrics through your head. You’ll see.

My niece Claire, had to straighten the adults out on that little detail. Always nice to be corrected by a three year old.

[editor’s note: wrong again. it’s a *button* nose with eyes made out of coal. That was just pointed out to me by an alert reader who did run the lyrics through their head. This guy Frosty needs a facelift.]

This here is Claire. You can tell by the thumbs-up that she approves of Christmas.

And she likes the singing. Here she serenades our Christmas gathering with the guitar Santa brought.

She doesn’t have the G-minor chord figured out quite yet, but her nephew Jacob also has a guitar so he’ll help her along and someday they’ll tour America and the subcontinent, likely in a painted-up bus and I’m going to apply for a job playing tambourine.

Or it might be an Elvis act. She’s been working on that too.

And speaking of Jacob, he crafted a letter/questionnaire for Santa on Christmas Eve. The upshot was that he wondered how Claus delivered gifts all around the world in one night. He left a space for Santa to answer. Next question: how do reindeer fly? Convenient blank space provided for the answer. Jacob mentioned that he thought Santa was awesome, then reiterated the request for Santa to answer the above questions and to please sign the document, with a convenient line drawn with ‘Sign here’ to avoid confusion.

Santa answered. But he was brief about it. He delivers all those packages ‘quickly.’ Reindeer fly ‘great.’ And the signature was ‘S. Claus.’

Jacob didn’t seem delighted with the short answers or S. in place of Santa. His sister Emma rightly pointed out that the one-word replies were incomplete sentences. She’s been a good girl this year, doing her homework.

Well, this S. Claus guy is a busy man. Eat cookies, drink milk. Take the celery and carrots back up the chimney to the waiting reindeer on the roof. So I think we can give him a break on his incomplete sentences. In fact, he was in such a hurry that he left red fuzz on the fireplace screen when he was squeezing back up top.

Good work, Claus. I don’t know how you do it.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. If you want to exchange that silk tie, dress socks or soap-on-a-rope for a rafting trip down Hells Canyon, the Salmon or Grande Ronde, give Paul a jingle at Winding Waters headquarters. You need your gift receipt, though. Except for guided steelhead trips. Tom is so eager to go fishing we have a more relaxed exchange policy on those.