On the darkest and longest night of the year —  December 20 — I attended a select board meeting in O’ Little Town of Northwood (where I live) to report on it for the local on-line paper — forumhome.org. It’s a great little paperless paper run entirely by volunteers.

During a lull in the meeting (there are many, like when they sign manifests and approve tax rebates), a story came to me. I hadn’t thought about it in a long time but its coming confirmed the notion that every story I’ve ever told is still in my head, somewhere, just waiting for a trigger to pop it out. It’s not the Greatest Story Ever Told, but it’s a pretty good one for the Solstice.

Here goes:

Two highly competitive brothers tried to out do one another in most things — even their choice of wedding days. One brother bragged, “I’m the most romantic. I married my wife on June 21, the longest day of the year. I wanted our special day to last as long as possible.”

The other brother said, “I married my wife on December 20, the longest night of the year.”

It occurred to me to lead my article on the board meeting with this anecdote, but somehow it didn’t fit with the discussion about the back hoe and how many firefighters and EMTs we need to keep us safe.

Happy Holly Days. May they be safe and joyous and full of stories.