A chat with Santa over an open fire, reindeer replenishing themselves on clover hay and oats, and some surprising insights from Santa Claus.
Desert Heights, Twentynine Palms, CA - During the last week I have busily worked with Santa’s Project Manager, Elf Rando. I got a hold of Santa’s people at the North Pole and inquired if they needed an isolated and safe area to rest and feed DASHER, DANCER, PRANCER, VIXEN, COMET, CUPID, DONNER, BLITZEN, and RUDOLPH
Elf Rando said they were indeed looking for a remote area somewhere in the Hi-Desert to land and take a break before heading into Mexico with toys and dreams for the children of Mexican.
Let me assure you, this was no easy task. I had to submit a GPS Coordinate, send pictures of the landing area and sign releases. When Elf Rando chose my remote location in Desert Height s with five acres of soft-landing sand, I was sworn to secrecy to be mum and keep his landing a big secret until Christmas Day.
Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, I was to have ready for Santa reindeer two bails of clover hay, nine five gallons buckets of fresh TPWD water, nine pounds of oats from the Cowboy Corral Feed Store in Yucca Valley — and an open pit fire for warmth and to light the landing area.
Elf Rado called me late afternoon yesterday on his cell phone informing that we had the green light for the layover at one minute past midnight. The clover hay was laid out, nine buckets of water was spaced out for each reindeer, alongside for each reindeer was a mound of oats. For Sana, green tea with honey was simmering on an open fire.
As stealthily as possible, before midnight had everything prepared just as Santa wanted. Standing over the fire pit I warmed my cold hands while looking north for Santa and his sled. Suddenly, the sled came into view.
I could see the biggest of the reindeer of them all leading the procession Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer lead with a wide 360 degrees turn while Santa reconnoitered the landing site. Standing in the light of the fire, I waved and gave a big thumbs up indicating the stealth landing was a go.
Quite surprisingly, there was little noise but for a few muffled grunts from Santa’s weary reindeer. It was a smooth touchdown.
Quickly I followed Santa’s direction and put two tiers of hay out for the lathered up reindeer. We gathered up the water buckets and placed one each alongside the animals. My dog was huddled up against the fire pit and very claim.
While the reindeer were munching and resting, Santa sat down near the fire sipping on his green tea and honey. He warmed his hands.
Santa: “Who else knows about this rendezvous?”
Branson: “Just us Mr. Claus.”
Santa: “Good, good job. Call me Santa”
Branson: “Would you like something to eat?”
Santa: “Goodness no (…chortling). Since Greenland I’ve been snacking on goodies the kids leave me.”
Santa: “You know, I can tell when kids have been difficult. You know how I can do this?”
Branson: “I don’t know Santa.”
Santa: “Well, you see, I see things. It just happens. It’s part of my job?
Branson: Seated near the flickering fire, Santa sorta looked like Jim Harris but without the red suit.
Santa: “May I have some more hot tea and that delicious Mesquite Desert Honey?
Branson: “Of course”. I poured another cup of the steaming liquid into his shinny red ceramic cup.
Santa: “Blitzen!,” Santa quipped, “Calm down and eat your oats.”
Branson: Unexpectedly, Santa whimsical nature turned serious…
Santa: “Branson, you have y our problems here in Twentynine Palms.”
Branson: “Yes, sir, we do have some salient issues that need be resolved?
Santa: “Just call me Santa,” Sant Nick said. “We haven’t much time. So let me get to the point:”
Santa: “Your tiny desert city is about to make a very important decisions. It can gut the TPFD to one half its size. Public safety will be in the hands of a few volunteer fire fighters. Under this model, people will not be safe in their homes, their businesses, churches or schools. This is not an option. It will stunt the growth and economics of the village.”
“Branson,” said Santa, “what I see is two city councilmen and one city councilwoman taking the lead to fund a perfect model for the continuation of a well-maintained TPFD. Public safety will not be thwarted by your city manager or other cheapskate naysayers.
Branson: “This sounds encouraging, Santa.”
Santa: “This is what I see, however,” Santa said, — “time is running out. Action must be taken very quickly or it will be stalled by people that do not see public safety or a thriving bright future as a priority for your city-village.”
Santa: “The key for your city-village is to move swiftly for a conversation and joint meeting to fund and resolve a soon-to-be gap in public fire safety and lack of planning for catastrophic natural emergencies. Santa added, “Forget about your Project Phoenix. You cannot have both at this time.
Suddenly Santa Claus Barked to his reindeer: “DASHER, DANCER, PRANCER, VIXEN, COMET, CUPID, DONNER, BLITZEN, and RUDOLPH — saddle up. Prepare for your journey!” Santa boarded his sled, and off they went into the chilly winter Christmas early morning sky.
Rodolph’s noise lit up the buttons on Santa’s red suit. Santa worn a big smile. The farts of Dancer and Prancer resonated in the cold air as Santa, his sled and nine reindeer gained altitude and disappeared into the night.
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