Dark and cold! Very cold! This is morning in Utica, N.Y.

As cold as it is, it is equally beautiful! The snow is a clean white blanket covered this moment by the gray of the sky. The houses are in dark sillouette. An occasional window brightened by the light of someone up early. And best of all, the smoke streaming out of the chimneys! As good a sight as the morning sun breaking over the water at sunrise in Key West!

My father and I had lunch together yesterday and then spent a couple of hours together at his home chatting. He is in excellent shape at 93. God has blessed him!

Before going to lunch we made a stop at Macy’s. Yes, we have one in the Utica area! I needed gloves. I could not find my old pair and the cold has a way of quickly drying and breaking the skin on my knucles and back of my hands. Fragile boy am I!

The purchase of the gloves was an interesting experience!

I wanted a pair of lined leather gloves. A simple lining. There were tons of them. By the way, the store was jammed with people spending money like crazy! It makes one wonder whether we are in a recession. Anyhow I found the gloves I liked. There were 2 different kinds. The only actual difference was the lining. The fleece lined ones were $50 and the cashmere lined $58. Wow! The pair of gloves I could not find at home I had purchased 15 years ago. I am sure they did not cost anywhere near those numbers!

While I was deciding whether I would just walk around with my hands in my pockets till I returned to Key West, I noticed a sign above the gloves. 50 per cent off on ticketed price on all gloves! Well, not bad! Might as well go for the cashmere! At 50 per cent off, the pair would cost me $29. In the reasonable range!

By this time an anxious and helpful sales clerk had appeared. While I was trying the gloves on for size, I told him I had just arrived from Key West the previous evening and was I cold! He was sympathetic, or at least appeared so. He told me that because I was from Key West, I would get another $10 off. How could I resist! I ended up paying $19 for a pair of cashmere lined leather gloves!

I do not understand how something advertised for $58 can be sold for $19. I appreciate Christmas is only a few days away. However in the end I did not feel I had received a deal. Rather I felt the price had been initially inflated. Then discounted dramatically to lead people such as myself to believe they were getting a deal. In reality in the end the fair price for the item was actually paid.

Whether right or wrong apparently is immaterial. The system works for Macy’s and at the same time works for the consumer. So why complain!

I received a warm e mail this morning from my daughter Lisa who I left to languish in the warmth of Key West. A couple of days ago my grandchildren Robert and Ally wrote letteres to Santa Claus. They personally handed them to Bob the mailman. Yesterday Bob returned with letters for them from Santa Claus. Amongst other things, Robert was told to love Ally and Ally was told to love Robert. Both were excited to recieve these responses. Robert especially who Lisa advises was beaming and running around the house all day with Santa’s letter in hand. Nice country America! And nice guy Bob the mailman!

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