December 24, 2016
 by Paul McGowan

The night was cold and temperatures were predicted to drop even further by the time we would head home from a pleasant dinner at my son's.

We laughed as our two grandkids, Henry and Lucy, kept us entertained. Their favorite is the Animal Game: Someone thinks of an animal while the others try to guess its identity. A four-year old's version of twenty questions.

Outside it began to snow and Henry dropped his spoon. "It's snowing! Santa Claus is coming tonight!" With two weeks yet to go, the red-suited reindeer herder was still at the North Pole.

Henry was crushed and no words would soothe him.

Snow triggers Santa Claus.

We each have our triggers. Mine's Tosca's opening overture which fills me with excitement and anticipation.

Perhaps the smell of hot apple pie, spring's first perfume, or the lights lowering in the listening room triggers your own.

I hope for Henry's sake it snows tonight.

He'll be watching, just before bedtime.

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19 comments on “Triggers”

  1. I guess my trigger is poor editing. 🙂 Twenty-four questions? Santa Clause? South Pole?
    Or is that the joke, and I'm a bit thick?
    Happy Holidays to all!! And I hope there's snow for your grandson!

    1. Yeah, I think my head was somewhere else! I corrected them - of course, maybe we needed four more questions to get the answer... and maybe Santa goes first to the South before hitting the North. What do I know?

  2. My trigger for the Season is the movie White Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, we put up the tree. As soon as we start, we put on White Christmas....and it has officially begun. My wife and I started the tradition our first year together (which back then meant married), almost 30 years ago.

    On Christmas Day, it's the smell of pine & coffee in the morning by the fire.

    Merry Christmas to all my "Paul's Post" buddies.

  3. I've put maybe ten xmas music compilation CDs together over the years, but the first was best ('cuz you can choose from anything).

    Our family trigger is putting on that first CD, which starts with "Il est ne, le devin enfant", a song I'd never heard until the middle of my life, but which is a holiday staple in France. It used to bug my wife because she felt it didn't "fit" with the rest of them. But I loved it, maybe because of the French heritage in my family. After a decade or so, she came to love it too. The kids didn't have that issue, as they grew up listening to it. 🙂

    Happy Holidays, all!

  4. My triggers are problems I'm interested in. When I find one I'll grab on to it like a dog grabbing a rag doll and I won't let go until I solve it. That is what gives me the most satisfaction, figuring out on my own how something works. I question everything, make no assumptions, have no sacred cows. My real interest in audio came when I decided I wanted to hear sounds I'd heard live that I'd never heard from stereo systems. That's done. Before, during, and since I've been working on other problems totally unrelated. The payoff comes when the mental bullet strikes a bull's eye on the target. Enjoy the holidays everyone.

  5. For me certain things I smell trigger fond memories. The smell of skunk takes me right back to a Dead show.

    We have had plenty of snow, but now there is the possibility of freezing rain. I'll take a foot of snow or -10 below zero over black ice. I have enough trouble walking on dry pavement, ice is impossible.

    And Paul, thank you for making a tough year, a little better.

  6. I've gotta get home (but baby, you'd freeze out there)
    Say lend me your coat (it's up to your knees out there)

    You've really been grand (I thrill when you touch my hand)
    But don't you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)

    There's bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
    At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pnuemonia and died)

    I really can't stay (get over that old out)
    Baby, it's cold
    Baby, it's cold outside

  7. Check out Debbie Duncan "It Must Be Christmas", title song written by Gerry Mulligan. It is the CD to put on if you are alone with someone you love. Well recorded, and a bunch of great songs. A really hot "Baby It's Cold Outside"

    Right now I'm listening to Rod's duet with Ella. I don't care if it studio created, it is good.

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