2019 December 20 Friday

2019 December 20 Friday in Liberty Hill, Texas

There is no sunshine this morning therefore no Sunrise photographs

mm, warmer this morning, but do you see the predicted high for today? Yep, just three degrees warmer than the current temperature

ork started an hour early this morning on the Santa set in anticipation of more of a crowd. School is out!

got to work only to find out that our set manager will not be finishing out the year with us, because of a family emergency that called her out of state.

he day was busy as expected. And I imagine that tomorrow will be busier yet. The school age children were there today also, because the local schools have gone into Christmas break.

t was raining when I left work this evening. Apparently it had rained most of the day. This didn’t seem to make any difference to the traffic on the roads.

stopped at Wal-Mart again tonight. This time I was able to get my medications. I was also able to buy more grocery items that weren’t on yesterday’s list.

t was dark when I arrived home, so no sunset photo.

God bless and g’nite

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  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 79 in our Texas home
  • 36 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 19 Thursday

2019 December 19 Thursday in Liberty Hill, Texas

awoke this morning with a sneezing spell. That’s not a good thing for Santa.

ood morning, sun. It’s nice to see you on this cold Texas daybreak.

hursday’s are the days when I get to stick a pin in my finger to check my blood clotting factor. Today was good when I sent my results to the testing agency which then forwards that information to my heart doctor.

usiness on the Santa set is puking up. I expect tomorrow to be very busy indeed, because the local schools will be out for Christmas break.

al-Mart was my first stop tonight. I had once again ordered online for pickup this evening. After the groceries were loaded, I went into the pharmacy. But the prescriptions were not ready.

he next and last stop before getting home was Golden Chick tho push up some supper.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 79 in our Texas home
  • 36 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 18 Wednesday

2019 December 18 Wednesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

t got right down chili last night. I had to even close my bedroom window. And for a change, I slept under the sheet and the comforter. Ella also had a fleece blanket throw over her.

he drive into work was uneventful other than dropping Ella off at the over-the-hill gang building so that she could attend a grandies meeting. Praise the Lord. They are signing and mailing Christmas cards today.

stopped and finished filling the truck fuel tank, that I only got a partial tank in last night. The gas was considerably cheaper here, by at least $0.10.

Weatherbug predicts that it will dip below freezing again tonight. However, that will be the last time for freezeing temps at least for theneedy 10 days.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 79 in our Texas home
  • 36 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 17 Tuesday

2019 December 17 Tuesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

left home a little early this morning because I needed gas in the truck. I got to the gas station only to realize I didn’t have my billfold. Ah oh! I called Ella and ask her to look around home to see if it was there. It was not.

he last time I could remember having it was yesterday morning when I drove through Burger King for breakfast. So I checked likely places in the cab of the truck. Then I checked the unlikely places in the truck. Not there. I had no more time to search because I needed to get to work.

had enough gas to get to work, and, maybe, home. At the mall, as I was getting into the Santa suit, I found the billfold in the coat pocket. Whew! I almost never carry the billfold onto the set. Yesterday, as I waited to go to the set, I was putting some ID information into a file on my phone. When it was time to start, I just dropped the wallet into the Santa suites coat pocket.

s of last Sunday, we have officially seen over 3,000 children at the Santa set. This next week will easily double that number – possibly triple the number of children already seen.

ow do we know how many we’ve seen? We gave each child a sticker that said, “I’ve seen Santa.” We had 3,000 and now they are all gone. And not every child took a sticker and hardly any parents took them for babies who visited Santa.

peaking of babies, the first couple of hours today were nearly exclusively babies … very very few cried.

s I stated earlier, I needed gas in the truck. This evening, after work, I went to a station and got a half tank full. Why only a half tank? Because I’m sure I can find it cheaper elsewhere. Why didn’t I go elsewhere first? I really needed gas so I stopped at the first available place.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 78 in our Texas home
  • 35 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 14 Saturday

2019 December 14 Saturday in Liberty Hill, Texas

The full moon this morning just before sunrise.

And then the Day Star rose.

received a call from Kerri before I left home this morning. She still needs help in San Antonio. I will be going to San Antonio after I am done at Lakeline at 2 o’clock. I will jump into Rudolf the Red Nose Pickup and head for the shops at La Cantera parkway
San Antonio TX. I’m to start at 5 o’clock there.

he thing I had dreaded most about going to San Antonio was the 2-hour drive back after 9. As I have stated previously I do not like driving in the dark. That problem has been solved because I will be spending the night in a hotel motel in San Antonio.

nd the other situation was that I was going to have to go down, work till 9, then drive all the way back, and then be at Lakeline by 10 a.m. With this new plan, I will be off work all day Sunday. Which is really good because we have laundry to do and Christmas dinner with Adam and family on Sunday evening.

bove was the plan as it was planned. This is the way it played out. The 1-1/2 hour drive took 3 hours. I parked in the mall parking lot and called the set manager. It went to voicemail. I really needed the restroom, so I went into the open-air mall to search for one. Some helpful shoppers pointed the way. I called again and it went to voicemail again. I asked directions to the Santa set from some shoppers and a young gentleman showed the way.

got to a spot where I could see the set without being too obvious (I was in full Santa suit). This time I got a call back. She let the other Santa go and escorted me into the set. We were busy until about 8:45. The set closed at 9.

hen I had to find where I’d parked the truck. I wandered around until I found a store that I remember. Once I got my bearings, I was okay.

erri sent an email with directions to the motel. I arrived at the motel about 9:30. I was told that the reservation was made but not paid for.

called Kerri, who called Becky, who called I don’t know who. But the motel would not take any of the payment options.

ome time after 10 I received directions to another motel. Before going to the motel, I stopped at What A Burger for my second meal of the day. Then I headed toward the new motel. I drove into the drive one turn too late. The motel is on a one way frontage road. That means I had to drive further down the road, cross under the freeway, take the frontage road on that side for 4 miles, cross back under the highway, take the original frontage road back to the motel and pull in the correct drive. Check in was quick and easy (and paid for).

got to my room by 11. I then called Ella to say, “I’ve landed.”

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 75 in our Texas home
  • 33 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 13 Friday

2019 December 13 Friday in Liberty Hill, Texas

gracious good morning to you! May your day be filled with wonder and joy. The sun is shining and the birds are singing … or at least making a racket.

he toll road was relatively free of traffic this morning.

I saw one vehicle stopped by the police this morning which may account for why the majority were traveling closer to the speed limit.

s of 1:00 p.m. we had a slow but steady stream of traffic to see Santa. As usual I had more visits than the photographers had photo sales. I don’t understand why they aren’t trained in any sales techniques. I don’t understand why they don’t take photos of those who “just want to talk to Santa”. It is digital photography, you have not incurred any expense by clicking the button on the camera. It costs the potential customer nothing to look at the image on the screen. If they don’t want to buy it, you’ve lost nothing. If they like the photo, you’ve turned a profit. What am I missing here?

round 1:30 I received a call from the district manager for Cherry Hill (the photography company) asking if I would be willing to go to San Antonio and cover the evening set at Rolling Oaks Mall. I said yes.

was willing to drive the hour and a half (if traffic was good), work until 9 p.m., drive the two hours home, and be back at Lakeline Mall at ten o’clock tomorrow. I was willing, but not wanting to do it. I never received a “go ahead” and at 4:30 the set manager said he was told that it was covered and I could go home. Whew!

he items I brought home yesterday for the food pantry, were taken to our church today. Ella made arrangements for a friend, who was going there tonight, to take them. I’m glad that was taken care of.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 74 in our Texas home
  • 32 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 12 Thursdayz

2019 December 12 Thursday in Liberty Hill, Texas

trip in from Liberty Hill’s to work today was mostly uneventful. However there were a string of fire trucks that we’re coming up behind me but turned before they got to me. I wonder where they were going? I pray that wherever they’re going everyone will be safe.

or some reason unknown to me, the door to our dressing area has not only been unlocked but standing wide open for the last few days. Now I know that maintenance also uses this for storage. So I can only assume that they are the ones opening it. But I do wish they would shut the door again when they are done. Because if I sit out there in my Santa suit, and kids go by, it can be confusing to them.

hen Jessie, the set manager, arrived this morning, she was carrying a bag of groceries. She asked if I could use them. Both her mom and dad had, unknown to each other, bought groceries. So there were duplicates that they didn’t need. Most of the items were things that the local food pantry is asking for. This morning I ordered groceries from Wal-Mart to be picked up after work. Some Items were ordered specifically to donate to the food pantry. I will take Jessie’s and ours to Cross Tracks Church food pantry collection site.

had a grand day today. Several bus loads out special needs adults were in the mall shopping today and many of then came to see Santa.

hree years ago Ian, an 11 year old boy with Downs Syndrome, came to see Santa. Though he can talk, it was difficult to understand him, so he also communicated partially with ASL on a limited scale. I also knew a little sign language. After his pictures were taken, his mother went to look at the photos while Ian and I sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and pretended that the big Santa chair was a sleigh. When mom came to get him, he went over, hugged her, kissed her, and told her goodbye. He was going to stay with Santa.

ast year we were closing the set to change Santa’s when I saw him standing in line. I waved him in, got the pictures and again visited for a short time while mom looked at photos. Again, he didn’t want to leave. He told her he was going tho sleep in my chair.

oday his mom brought Ian for photos. Today, when she was ready to leave, he went with her. However, an hour or so later, she came to thank me for the joy I give to get son. I said that he gives me so much joy also. Ian parked himself on my lap and was ready to stay again. It took some persuading for him tho go with her.

n my way home I stopped at Wal-Mart to get the groceries that I had ordered online before going to work. I also went in to get Ella’s prescriptions. The pharmacist had been at the Wal-Mart back in Iowa so I told her that the temperature back there was 29°.

felt rather proud of myself for remembering the groceries AND the medications. That is until Ella asked where the pizza was. I had forgotten that she had ordered pizza for me to pick up.

art of the reason I forgot about going for the pizza was because I was a little shaken up by the guy whole pulled around me to run a stop sign. He came close to running head-on into a tractor trailer with a load of rock. I don’t know where he had to be in such a hurry that he could endanger so many lives. I hope he made it there without causing a accident.God bless and g’nite.

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 73 in our Texas home
  • 31 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 10 Tuesday

2019 December 10 Tuesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

t was right down cold last night and this morning. We had not turned any heat on before going to bed. Ella woke up around 3 a.m. and turned on the fireplace. The weather slowly reached 50° under cloudy skies and then quickly dropped again. It is predicted to be 30° by tomorrow morning. I WILL make sure that the heat is on tonight.

woke this morning at 6 to the sound of thunder. It wasn’t until about 7:30 though when it really started to rain in earnest. That’s when the roof started leaking.

ast year when we came back to Texas, we arrived to a leaking roof. With the help of my friends we got that patched and taken care of. I have two more weeks of Santa and it is dark by the time I get home. Which makes it kind of difficult to get up on the roof and do anything about it. I just pray that there’s no more rain until I get a chance to get it fixed. Or that it does no more damage.

riving in the rain this morning wasn’t much of a problem except for the water being splashed on me from the vehicle’s head. But it was still uneventful.

one-year-old boy named Dakota came to see me in his t-shirts that said it’s my birthday. Despite everybody’s best efforts he did not smile. He just sat there very calmly. When Mom came to get him, at first he wouldn’t go with her. He just snuggled deeper into Santa’s coat. It took her many tries before she finally coaxed him to come to her. I think she was about ready to give up and and leave with me or just grab him and go.

oday I had a two year old girl ask for a set of golf clubs and also an 18 month old girl who wanted luggage for Christmas. I thought maybe I had not heard her correctly and questioned mom. Dhe said, “Yes that’s what she said, she wants luggage.”

or the first time ever, I had a child asked if I was one of Santa’s helpers. I assured him that I am Santa. I am there to portray Santa not one of Santa’s helpers. I did let him know, however, that Santa does have helpers, because even Santa can’t be in every place at the same time.

hen I arrived home, it smelled of barbecue. Ella had fixed barbecued ribs for supper. She also had corn and riced cauliflower. It was a good meal. I think I may miss her cooking my suppers once I am done with the Santa gig.

uesday night is Prayer Meeting night at Cross Tracks Church and seldom do we not attend. Tonight, however, I chose to stay home. It was cold and dark. Don’t tell anybody but I am becoming less inclined to drive at night. I don’t feel as competent when driving in the dark. Oncoming headlights really bother me.

God bless and g’nite.

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 71 in our Texas home
  • 29 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 09 Monday

2019 December 09 Monday in Liberty Hill, Texas

n my way to work this morning I followed a gray Chevy truck that seemed to have difficulty staying in any one lane. It would not only drift to the left into the next lane it would drift to the right off of the road. I chose to stay well behind it.

he air was filled with a smoky haze again today, just as it was yesterday. In Central and South America, where they raise sugar cane, this time of year they burn the leaves from them to make it easier to harvest. That smoke comes all the way up here into Texas and effects our air quality.

This image is not my photo. It is from am advertisement.

his morning as I was filling my truck with gasoline, I saw a rather large waisted woman get out of a car wearing what appeared to be men’s underwear. Now as troubling as that is, this isn’t the first time I have seen somebody doing that. At least three times in the last couple of months I have seen women who are apparently wearing men’s underwear as outerwear. Is this a new trend? Are we now also going to see men running around in their underwear? Or worse yet, men wearing women’s underwear as outerwear?

y work, you should pardon the expression*, schedule for the next week is from 10 to 4:30. Shortly my schedule increase to 9 to 4:30 then 8 to 4:30, then the final day 8 to 2, and then, way too soon, it will be over. Santa will soon pack away his suits and resume his secret identity as Tom Williams.

oday was a slow day except the first hour when there were 6 groups of children to were Santa. Plus, most got photos.

y one downside for today was when a young couple brought in a child of one year old or less. The photographer told them the proper procedure when bringing a young child to see Santa: keep the child focused on the parent and set the child on Santa’s knee, the same way you would place them in a stroller. But this couple ignored the instruction and did what so many people do, introduce the child to Santa. This seldom works well. Invariably the child cries, screams, squirms, and kicks. The parents try in vain to make them smile and then say, “Oh well, we tried.” No. No they did not try. The set the whole thing up to fail by not following sound advise from people with experience.

*Being Santa is so rewarding that it doesn’t seem right to call it work.

God bless and g’nite.

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 70 in our Texas home
  • 28 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 06 Friday

2019 December 06 Friday in Liberty Hill, Texas

e slept quite comfortably last night with neither heat not air conditioner running. Is like to keep the electric bill under $100 this month.

nother clear Texas sky to begin our day. The stars were shining brightly when I woke this morning Orion’s constellation was close to disappearing over the horizon.

udolf the Red-nosed pick up was very thirsty this morning. It took over 22 gallons to top off his 25 gallon tank. He needed to bye full and ready to fly because Santa will be making a home visit with Willoh (2.5), Layla (2), Asher (2), Ammon (6 mo.), and Omari (2 mo) in Lago Vista this evening.

have a lot to say about today but considering I left home at 8 this morning and I didn’t get home till 9 this evening, I’m not saying it right now. I’m going to bed.

God bless and g’nite.

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 67 in our Texas home