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Published on December 21, 2021

Lots of joy at River’s End this Christmas

By Jan Edwards
The Bulletin

River’s End is blessed this Christmas Season.

We have the usual wildlife, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and Rigid Constructors (the company working on opening the river mouth) broke through the dam of sand into the Gulf at 11 a.m. Dec. 9.

By Christmas time, they should be well on their way to dredging out 1800 feet into the Gulf, cleaning up the channel and removing pipes as they are finishing the job.

We’ve already been seeing an uptick in fishes in the river. Merry Christmas to us.

Another thing this year, we are blessed with neighbors who are bringing new life to River’s End.

Not only did they help and look after us all when Hurricane Nicholas came to call, but new people are discovering their Air bnb, introducing them to this magical place.

They bring a touch of whimsy to every holiday.

Iverna hand-raised her free-range chickens (it’s a treat when they come to call) and installed signs to protect them: Slow – Chickens at Play. They’ve decorated their houses to the nines.
The sign welcoming folks to Fisherman’s Isle is decorated. The Fiddler is playing his fiddle to a 6-foot-tall Flamingo (the Spoon bills now have something to aspire to). They are lit up and in holiday dress.

I smile every time I think of this. I laughed out loud the first time I saw it. A joyful Christmas to us!

I’d like to give you all the following poem. The Bulletin ran the poem in Christmas 2019, but it’s my gift of joy to you this year.

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all down the river,
A north wind was blowing, leaving all with a shiver.
The crab traps were placed in the river with care,
In hopes that crab dinners would soon be there.
The wild ducks were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of summertime danced in their heads;
With Roy in his vest, and I washing dishes;
Had just contemplated catching winter-time fishes.
When out on the river there came such a wake,
We sprang to the door to see what boat was the flake.
Away to the deck we flew like a flash and tore open the door, so we wouldn’t crash.
The moon’s silver ribbon on the river and so,
It looked like mid-day to all here below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should I see,
But a bearded old salt, come in from the sea.
That little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than jet skis, his dolphins they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Now, Swimmer, now, Dancer, now Flounder and Nemo!
On Flipper, on Keiko, on Spinner and Gulf Streamo,
To the end of the boat slip, to the edge of the dock,
Now swim away, swim away, please watch the clock.
As the dry sand that before the wild hurricane flies,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the skies,
So up on the deck top the dolphins they flew,
With the boatful of tackle, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a moment, I heard on the boards,
The whistles and clicks dolphins make in Fiords.
As we drew in our heads and were turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He had on a slicker, and a Hawaiian shirt,
And his clothes were all covered with fishermen’s dirt.
A net full of tackle he had on his back
And he looked like he’d bought out Academy when opening his sack.
The lines round his eyes - how they wrinkled, his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were all sunburned, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
His face, it was broad, and he had quite a belly
That shook when he moved like a bowl of Naval Jelly.
He was chubby and plump, like a current-day Beach Boy
And I thought ‘bout their song, Kokomo, that brought me such joy.
A wave of his hand, and that he didn’t run,
Soon let us know we could put up the gun.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings with top water’s and jerks,
Then leaving rods and reels – the ones that Roy chose,
And giving the hooks, up the chimney he rose.
He jumped in his boat, to his dolphins, gave a tome,
And away they all cruised, leaving just the sea foam.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he went out of sight
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD-NIGHT!

(Write Jan in care of The Bulletin. Email: john.bulletin@gmail.com. Snail mail: The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX, 77516.)