It's the countdown to Christmas ... Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday ... and whatever other special shopping days there are in the five-plus weeks ahead. It is a tense time of year in more ways than one – the "one" being finding that special gift, or gifts, for a special person, or persons.
Gift cards are too easy, yet, I have to admit, my wife and I (and others in our family) buy them for Christmas or birthday gifts. There's not a lot of thought that goes into buying gift cards, but, for the most part, they do come in handy if the receiver wants to put the money toward something needed for the house, their family, etc. I guess I am a sentimentalist at heart, remembering the good old days when unwrapping a gift meant more than opening an envelope (unless it was a winning lottery ticket!).
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My alma mater, UMaine, is playoff bound again in football, for the seventh time in the program's long history. The Black Bears earned the seventh seed in the 2018 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision tournament and will host the winner of Jacksonville State and East Tennessee in the second round on Saturday, Dec. 1 at noon at Alfond Stadium.
I am not a stalwart fan; heck, I think I've seen only one game at Orono since leaving in 1980, but I do keep up with them via the newspaper, or whenever I can catch them on TV. I think it is too bad that southern Maine television doesn't take more interest in broadcasting more UMaine athletics. Perhaps it would help with recruiting.
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And then there's the weather. I hope this November cold and snow means an early spring. Fat chance! Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I turned another year older last week and I think I am getting grumpier – especially when it comes to winter weather. My reactions are slowing down and it seems that Mother Nature didn't give much of a fall. Now she wants us all to "take a fall" with this rather early snow.