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It’s beginning to look/sound like Christmas

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By Shelton Young

The big day is near! The weather has certainly done its part to set the season’s mood and people, for the most part, have been…well…nicer.
I’ve heard more people say “excuse me” and “thank you” in the last couple of weeks than since our 2009 Christmas season.
Guess everyone is making a serious move to get on the “good boy/girl” list.
Homes and yards have gone from the dull gray shades of winter to the beautiful lights of the season.
I rate Christmas decorations…though all are beautiful…in categories of “private” and “public”.
“Public” would be like Lebanon’s Christmas in the Park, Campbellsville’s decorations below their city lake and Elizabethtown’s Freeman Lake Park (even though many of the displays were donated to the cities).
Then we have the “private” sector. Throw out some reindeer, maybe some lights on the gutters and shrubs…there it is!
But if ya want to see “private to the tenth power,” go to Ruley’s light show in St, Francis.
Four acres completely covered with every color and style of lights, displays and “anything” Christmas you can imagine…and a lot of stuff you’d never think of!
The results of 40 years of collecting, buying, fixing and “just gettin’ stuff” are on display for your enjoyment. When the wife and I went there Saturday, it was, overwhelming!
Then, when I was already experiencing Christmas overload, we went “inside”.
I’m not sure of a word that would describe the interior of the Ruley’s “barn,” but overwhelming doesn’t come close!
Everywhere I looked, I saw Christmas Barbie’s, cookie jars, figures of Santa, Christmas shower curtains, window curtains and even “throne room seat covers” all with the Christmas motif.
I even had the privilege of a guided tour from Mr. Ruley, i.e. Mr. Christmas Spirit himself.
He and Santa’s other helpers spend around 18 months “setting up” his Christmas Kingdom so we can enjoy it from Thanksgiving through New Years.
If you have kids, or just want to get in the holiday spirit, check out the Ruley’s Light Show.
Go to Loretto; turn left on 52 toward St. Francis…there’s a sign. Stay on 52 and don’t get off. Just past the church, you’ll start seeing the “glow”…turn left.
Stop in, walk around, you’ll be impressed!
If you think this is an advertisement, think again! Number 1, there’s no charge to see this Christmas mini-miracle. Number 2, I just want you to hopefully enjoy the show as much as I did.  Finally, number 3, it’s a sure cure for Bah-Humbugism!
So, you might be thinking, “Thought this was an outdoors article?” Well, I got ya there because most of Mr. Ruley’s stuff is…yes…outdoors!
Drink some more eggnog and that might seem funny!
Unfortunately most of our waterfowling spots were frozen last week. Checked the river and most of it had ice skim on it.  So, we spent some windshield time scouting. But, because I don’t like driving on ice, most of my time was spent braiding lanyards for ducks and goose calls.
I may not call good, but I look good with my calls!
This will be one of the first Christmas Eve/Christmas days when I’m not working part, or all or both.
I spent eight years in the military, then over 30 years in law enforcement.
This meant that I/we worked while “civilians” spent the holidays with their family.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not looking for a, “Oh, that’s so sad!”
What I want is for you to remember all our guys and gals in the military and law enforcement who’ll be away from their families so you can be with yours this holiday season.
And please, don’t forget our firefighters, EMTs, rescue personnel and other emergency services workers who hope for the best, while always staying prepared for the worst/
So, to all of you, I extend a very heartfelt “Merry Christmas” and, as always, “Thank you for your service!”
The next couple of weeks, with all the family things, parties and friends, as pleasant as that sounds, is also one of the most dangerous periods of the year.
Increased traffic along with possible poor weather conditions means trouble. Throw in the stress of the holiday season, along with some irresponsible use of alcohol and you have a recipe for disaster!
Simply put, “you stay smart, and watch out for the ones who don’t.”
Finally, from me and mine, to you and yours, best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.
That’s it for now. Get out and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. Stay safe and I’ll see ya next week!