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Ran into my good friend Lois the other day at a grocery store in Harriman. We were both circling the cheese case when we literally ran smack dab into one another. Many "hugs, hi's and how are you's" followed. While we picked through our purchases - I was searching for some specialty goods for a gooey pasta dish my wife was planning, and Lois was on the hunt for cheese ball makings - we did some serious catching up. Her husband, Johnny, hovered nearby. What a patient and great guy! Many of you know Lois as the office manager here at the newspaper for nearly 20 years. Dang it, she retired on me some time back. The day she left the office in her official capacity, I cried. She cried, too. Thankfully, our paths cross on frequent occasions. Every time I see her I remark how well retirement is treating her. Dang and double dang! She looks younger every time I see her. And, um, er, she remarks about the additional gray hairs she spies on my closely shorn head. Johnny's usually somewhere nearby just as he was the day at the store. No wonder Lois looks so well. She occupies herself with his antics, their daughters' comings and goings and their beautiful grandchildren. What a life! Back on the day Lois left us, I admitted I envied her. Some day, I pray I get to clock out one final time and head off into the sunset to take care of my wife, our son … and maybe some grandchildren if our offspring would ever settle down, find a wife and set up housekeeping. Well, that's a whole 'nother story. Back to Lois. My buddy chattered on and on about a recent enjoyable holiday gathering of friends and associates. She then listed off half a dozen other Christmas obligations she was facing. Hence her need for cheese ball fixins.' "I can’t believe it's just around the corner," she declared. Neither can I. As you read this, Santa and his elves are probably waxing up his sleigh and revving up the reindeer. Wow! Double and Triple Wow! Busy as a beaver during the busiest of times in my business, sometimes time literally gets away from me during the holidays. Just the other night I was talking to my 81-year-old daddy and it finally registered. You've never met Joe Teglas. He's been a top-notch dad. He's been a great granddad. And in his most recent years, he's become an even greater Santa's Helper. You see, Daddy "Ho Hos" free of charge at various churches and schools in and around my hometown of Big Stone Gap, Va. It always tickles my heart when I see him in his get up. His eyes literally sparkle. And you ought to see the glee in the faces of the youngsters who hop up in his lap to tell them their secret Christmas wishes. Ditto for the occasional not-so-young ladies whom he encourages with a frisky hug to do likewise. Let it never be said that any Teglas guy shies away from a good squeeze from a girlfriend. Maybe that's why fellow Rotarian and Kingston city manager Jim Pinkerton always keeps an eye on yours truly when I run across him and his wonderful wife Wanda. Paulette Ray recorded such an event as evidence at a recent Chamber of Commerce gathering. Good buddy Jim just snickered when presented with the goods. He takes my needling in stride and knows it is all in jest because I've made no secret of the fact that I hold the Pinkertain Clan in high regard. I've never asked Jim about his feelings concerning the holidays. But I do suspect he and Wanda enjoy them to the hilt. I also suspect that Jim is much like me. We are ruled by our "bosses" at home. And we both seem to be relatively handy when it comes to our spouses' honey do lists. I would imagine he and I could be kids again if ever presented an opportunity to have free reign in a do-it-yourself store. Speaking of that … did you catch the national story on the 4-year-old child caught playing with toys in the store in Beamont, Texas? What a Christmas dream come true! The tiny tot somehow managed to sneak across a busy street, find an unlocked door and slip into a Family Dollar store. When greeted by law enforcement officials responding to the alarm, the little fellow showed him the toys he was playing with. I imagined Jim and me … somewhat older "boys" … in a similar scenario. Jim - ever the engineer - would probably be piddling with measuring devices. I'd most likely be the one holding onto some sort of a saw or fancy wrench. I could even imagine the other Johnny - the one married to Lois - being a partner in the crime. After all, Johnny, since his retirement, is reported to regularly hang out in the building behind their tidy little house in Eblen Estates playing with his power tools. Dear Sheriff Jack Stockton … if you ever get called out late at night because three not so juvenile delinquents are caught playing in a store after hours … well, you know. Go easy on us. What is it they say about men and boys? Something to the effect that the only difference between the two is the size of their toys. Seriously, may God bless you and keep you during this most wonderful of seasons. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!