Merry Christmas Husky Haul Readers

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It seems like life is one crisis after another interspersed with bouts of tedium like the one about to end.  Whoever understated “life has its ups and downs” was asleep on the roller coaster. Life has its ups and downs like the universe has its ins and outs.

A few years ago while behind the wheel during the week before Christmas, I was exiting the building where I worked.  Around 5:00 p.m. in the cold, dark and rain, the traffic was bumper-to-bumper with people either going to or leaving the Bel Square regional mall a couple of blocks away in downtown Bellevue.  As I belligerently forced my way into NE 4th and then sat there in the rain with most of the world’s population waiting for the light at NE 4th and 108th to change, I thought to myself, these people should all be put away.

Anyone who intentionally drives considerable distances in the dark and rain to Bel Square during the week before Christmas is mentally ill.

I waited.  As I sat, I thought about where I was going, who I would be visiting: my brother who speaks at 747 decibel levels as overcompensation for a prolific lack of facts and logic.  Love seeing him.

The light changed.  But the traffic was backed up NE 4th from 405 (which was also bumper-to-bumper) and I moved two car lengths before the light turned red again.

Then came the spontaneous, I-can’t-believe-I-just-said-that, forgive-me-Lord, blurted-out-without-thinking mutter.

“Christmas sucks.”

I spontaneously cringed while realizing my focused-in-the-wrong-direction mind was sliding sideways and was about to be in an epistemic car wreck.

We choose to allow too many potentially annoying things to become annoying, and then take those then-annoying things far too seriously.  Especially around Christmas, life can become more difficult than it needs to be.

I have eight grown children who call me “Dad.”  Four have their acts together.  The other four are still working on it with varying degrees of unsuccess.  In an effort to get one of the latter over here to Bellevue for Christmas, I’ve wasted over $100 in cancellation fees because he is so disorganized at his end.

Interestingly enough, he has an identical twin brother who is the epitome of got-it-together.  The problem child/adult, however, has the reverse Midas touch: everything he touches turns to excrement.

You know people like that.

“Just avoid them,” you say.

You can’t avoid them when they’re your adult kids (if you think little kids can drive you nuts, wait until they grow up).

I can’t be too harsh, however, because my own act took quite awhile before it got together.  During the early 1980s recession, I lost everything I had and the last thing out the door was my wife and kids.  That Christmas did suck.  I remember watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” wishing I was Mr. Potter.  How bad is that?

So what’s important?  It doesn’t take too much to

figure it out.  Things that make life richer and which we can control get top billing.  Things we can’t control – like who the U of W defensive coordinator is and whether he is maximizing the talent he has along the D-line – should not make us behave unbecomingly.  When first hired, Head Coach Steve Sarkisian wanted Nick Holt badly.  Sark’s first big recruiting triumph, in fact, was Nick Holt.  But Nick Holt doesn’t play, and the Washington defensive line problem doesn’t seem to be an Xs and Os thing – watch the rapaciousness of the Seahawks defensive line for contrast.  Watch Kam Chancellor when a receiver goes across the middle – if that still happens.  The Seahawks are playing well.  Sarkisian wants, expects, to win big.  Washington will get there too.

Don James once reminded me there was a time when people wanted his head.  Like Don James, Sarkisian is very well organized.  For all the hand-wringing over Tyrone Willingham, there was nothing we could do to change things even though, in hindsight, Willingham should never have been hired in the first place, and the reason for the hire is an embarrassment.

On the other hand, as the great American general summarized, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.”  Very true but now we’re talking about a college football team that a few short seasons ago was 0-12, and will have been in back-to-back bowl games.  Bless the Husky football coaching staff.

Lorenzo Romar?  You’re less-than-pleased with progress-to-date?  We’re talking about a basketball coach that usually takes his team deep in the season when, before Romar, this didn’t happen.  This team has enough talent to field two teams and, between Romar and excellent Assistant Coach Raphael Chillious, this team will find its intensity and identity.  If you need a blessing to look forward to, look forward to that.

We need to visit our worries on the things we can control…and pray about everything else.  This Christmas, whatever your situation, look for the blessings and enjoy them to the exclusion of annoying diversions, the traffic on NE 4th.

At Husky Haul we have a lot to be thankful for.  Husky Haul started out as one knowledgeable guy, Mark Knight, who had a vision of one-stop shopping for dawg fans.  He picked up a cerebral writer, Jeff Taylor, also a seasoned basketball coach and a statistician.  He welcomed aboard another writer, Carl Munson, who could double as either Charles Krauthammer or Dave Barry depending on alignment of the moon and stars.  Two more bright guys, Joel Condreay and Mitchell Larson, joined the team, providing greater depth of reporting and Washington team coverage.

The Husky Haul team will continue to improve coverage in 2012 and we are blessed to find ourselves in that position.  The advent of 2012 is something to which we look forward, anxious to see where Husky Haul will be at this time next year.  Think of Husky Haul as a new building.  If the building design is meticulous, and the foundation and upper structure are built with attention to detail, the building will have favorable structural strength and functional utility.  Who benefits from the Husky Haul building?  You, the dawg fans Mark Knight envisioned servicing when he began the website.

To Husky Haul readers: Merry Christmas!

Remember the Reason for the season, and have a Christmas full of family, friends and truly important things, large and small, that make life fuller and richer, void of distracting annoyances that matter little.

Enjoy this moment.

And, on behalf of the purple and gold, here’s to 2012.