We had Christmas from "one to ninty two." Ninty year old Grandma to 4 month old Asa. Mom gave Dad a puppy for Christmas. A blue merle Sheltie. He's beautiful. See picture. We named him Buckeye figuring Dad would go along with that name.
We arrived on Thursday and immediately took Mom to the wood chuck, chuck pile and loaded up with back of Tony's truck with firewood. Rushed home, unloaded (enlisted help of Josh, 11, and Caleb 8.) Rushed back to the wood pile and filled it again with firewood for our at-home fireplace. Man, the truck was loaded down. The man who sold us the wood wanted to know how Tony got his wife to toss wood. He said, "She wants the fire."
I laughed. More than getting his wife to toss wood, Tony got his mother-in-law to toss wood.
The weather was cold. Very cold. That made if feel more Christmasy, but Christmas Eve and day were grey. Tony, Danny and I stayed at Grandma's house, but walked across the street for present opening at Mom and Dad's. The kids were so excited - me, Josh and Caleb. Ha!
Tony got lots of clothes. Needed items. He got me a new chain for my diamond cross necklace and a finally set the tanzanite stone in a beautiful ring. He got me a few other nice things, so it was a good day. Joel's gift of the Ohio State football jersey was great!
Me with Elizabeth (LillaBeth 6 mo) and Asa 4 mo.
Sunday morning we went to Church with Mom and Dad. All of us. We got to see old friends; the Hamiltons, the Mitchell's and others. Chatted with Florida Surpreme Court judge, Kenny Bell. We knew him when he was in law school. Seeing Joe and Ann Mitchell was so fun. We haven't seen each other in seventeen years. They have four kids now, 23 - 10, all beautiful. Funny how Ann seemed so much older than me when she was 21 and I was 17.
I wanted to get with some other Tallahassee friends, but didn't want to take time from the family. I plan to go back in February for a longer visit. Chuck brought Texas Hold 'Em so we played poker all weekend. It was fun. Josh and Caleb were fun to play with - never knew what they are going to do.
David Hamilton stopped by. He lives on Mom and Dad's street, and is an old friend from the Homestead, FL days. He played Texas Hold 'Em with us that night. At the end of the game, all the men were out and it was Women and Children. Then just Julie and me. We played like girls, "I'll bet $75 thousand," when we had millions in chips. Finally, Danny dealt a single hand, best hand won. I had three sixes. Julie had nothing. I won.
We ended the night with a few rounds of Euchre.
Monday we went to Danny's business. Prayed over it, asked the Lord to bless it. We were going to drive home on Monday, but we decided to stay an extra day. Danny came in from work and said, "Joe called. Want to meet him and Karen at the Salty Dog?"
"Sure." Joe is another old friend, David's brother in fact, from the Homestead days. I hadn't seen Joe since he and Karen married four years ago. It was awesome to see them. It was the first time I got to spend time with Karen. She's really cool.
Seeing Joe felt so poignant since I've been reading my diary from '76. Pages and pages of it contain news and thoughts about Joe. The summer we were sixteen and fifteen feels so far away from being forty-four.
Dan and I thought we'd only stay at the Salty Dog for about an hour, but three hours later we left. It takes time to catch up with good friends. Thirty years have passed since we met in Homestead, and you know, in another thirty years we'll sit some place over a Christmas holiday and remember.
Mom, Elizabeth, Dad and Asa
We're home, now, in Palm Bay. Unloaded all the firewood and are settled back into our home and routine.
Dad and Buckeye
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Christmas from "1 to 92"
Grandma, 90, with a happy-looking Asa, 4 mo. ;)
Grace & Grace
Grandma Grace with Elizabeth Grace