Christmas with Tucker **** by Greg Kincaid
I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.
“It is the winter of 1962, and Kansas is hit with one of the worst blizzards in its history. It is during this cruel season that twelve-year-old George is called upon to endure more than even most grown men could withstand—the death of his father and the upkeep of the family that his legacy. When his mother and sisters leave for Minnesota, George has only his grandparents and the companionship of Tucker, an Irish setter, to help him persevere through these most difficult challenges. Can he find the strength to walk the road that leads to healing, find his true self, and ultimately become a man? A coming-of-age story for readers of all ages, Christmas with Tucker is a classic Christmas tale about a young man’s love for his dog, his family, and his farm.”
I know we are tuckered out at my house from the busy holiday season. . .
. . .but I couldn’t let the Christmas Season pass without a review of this book. My eyes were bigger than my tummy AND the 31 days on the calendar this month for sharing all the Christmas books I wanted to share. I’ll finish the year with one final book that will bring a close to the holiday season ending 2010 with this happy tail :-)
Young George has a lot on his plate with his responsibilities helping out on his grandparents’ farm. Snow days may mean a break from school, but there is no rest for the weary on a dairy farm. . .
Dairy cows require lots of water, with each cow consuming 25- 50 gallons of water a day depending on the weather. When the electricity goes out and their stock tanks freeze, their next available source of water is a pond that needs to be ice-free so they aren’t trapped by the ice in their search for water & drown.
I hung my glittery snowflakes on the tree for a snowy effect for this review. . . not dreaming we would be gifted with a White Christmas, the first one here since 1947.
Our snow was not paralyzing like it was for the Northeast. It started Christmas Day and continued through the following day, but quickly melted, but not before providing me with an opportunity to photograph some snowy barn scenes. . .
“There was this vague but growing conclusion settling in my young mind that life does not always bestow upon us everything we want or think we should have. We are forced to move away from hoping others will give up what we want, to a new place where we must discover how to find happiness on our own. Santa was the last vestige of youth where all our wants are magically delivered by some other.”
“It was like being in the middle of a really great Zane Grey novel, and when I got to page 100, just as I victoriously led my mare over the top of the windswept hill after outwitting the bad guys, someone switched in fifty pages of the bleakest scenes by Charles Dickens and messed up my perfectly good life.”
“Farm boys operate machinery, big machinery, by the time they were thirteen, and I was no exception. I’d learned to drive a tractor as soon as I was tall enough to reach the pedals.”
“He kept the harness and the old horse-drawn blade stored in the implement shed along with other McCray prized possessions: an International Harvester and a Massy Ferguson tractor, plows, cultivators, seed drills, rotary and sickle-bar mowers, hay rakes and balers.”
“My guess was he kept the horses and old blades around for a reason. If the maintainer ever broke, he was prepared to clear the roads with the horses, though by 1962 they were far too old to do the job. If the horses couldn’t pull the blades, he owed countless shovels and we would get at it one scoop at a time.”
George’s grandmother bakes chocolate chip cookies to fortify him for his wintry weather chores~
“He backed a few feet away from me and started barking, demanding that I play with him. I started to run away, hoping he would chase after me, but he was so excited that he set out circling the house at full speed, his big, floppy, red ears going up and down as he bounded by me. I wondered if doggie Christmas had arrived early for this pooch.”
“His warm body helped me feel safe and secure. I pulled him close to me, buried my face in his coat, and realized that all I could do was hunker down and get through the winter. I would have to accept that things did not always turn out the way they should. Maybe that was the new rule.”
The author, Greg Kincaid is a pet-adoption advocate who lives on a farm in eastern Kansas with his wife, two cats, and two dogs, including Rudy adopted from a local shelter. My searches for adoptable dogs on Petfinder not only pulled at my heartstrings, but led me to search for dogs named Tucker that ultimately landed me on Dogster.
Dogster lets you create a profile for your dog, upload a photo and show off your pooch. The most popular pet-based social network with nearly half a million visitors each month, you can find advice on dogs, connect with other dog owners, find a breeding partner and even adopt a new dog. Shhhh, don’t tell Chloe & Gracie there’s a place in cyberspace to receive virtual bones & make friends :-)
My search led me to 1,164 dogs named Tucker on Dogster. . .let me introduce you to a few of them~
Blazes of Glory Tuckers~
The Toy Group~
Tuckered out Tuckers. . .
The Sporting Group . . .
I’m dreaming of a white Tucker. . .
To find adoptable pets near you, visit Petfinder.com.
Visit Food for Thought for a recipe of Happy Reading~