I met Ed back in the summer of 2002. I was living just north of Sacramento and working for Bill Simon who was, at that time, running for governor of California. Ed grew up in the San Francisco Bay area but moved to Sonora in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 20 years ago to get away from the “drugs” game. He did well in overcoming that addiction. However, when I met him, he still had a love affair with beer. Then one day he said, “No more booze.” And that was the end of that. I do admire him for being able to do that. Anyway, Ed and I became really good friends. When I moved back to Massachusetts in 2003 to take care of my mother we still kept in touch. He even showed up in Reno to be the best man at my wedding in 2004.
This man is a character. He has decided that his alter-persona is that of a moose. In some circles, he is known as Mr. Moose. His email address has Mr. Moose in it and when he calls his ISP with a problem, they indeed do call him Mr. Moose. Of course, we call him “Moosie”. To this day, he visits as often as he can.I say "as often as he can" because Ed drives a 1979 yellow Cadillac – we call it the land yacht. And we often think this car is on its last leg. When Ed decides to visit, we wait anxiously until he and the car pull into the drive.
I digress… So, Ed insisted on not exchanging Christmas gifts. And this is what he did… the week before Christmas, Ed went to the dollar store and bought about $50 worth of small toys and gifts. Then he took them to the local elementary school in Sonora and donated them for the kids’ Christmas party in his name AND in our names. From this gesture, instigated by our friend Ed, we have decided NOT to exchange Christmas gifts, but to use that money and contribute every year to the Sonora elementary school’s Christmas. After the post I wrote on December 15th, I wondered what y’all would think of me agreeing to do this on a yearly basis. My reasoning in agreeing to this is: who better to know what children need than their teachers? Perhaps this will help me get over my paranoia about being charitable at this time of year. So, this is our plan for beginning a new TRADITION in our small family. And I am extremely happy with the decision.