Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year

After a super busy week and a wonderful Christmas celebration, Wife and I will head to the mountains of Highlands, North Carolina to bring in the new year.

We will drop Younger Son at the airport early tomorrow morning, then will be on our way. It's about a 5-6 hour drive. The weather forecast doesn't look good, but a cabin in the mountains is always good for the soul -- or good for mine, anyway.

I promise to be back soon with my list of favorite books for 2018, as well as a report on -- and photos from -- our Christmas Eve celebration.

In the meantime I'll share one of my recent columns in which I described a true Christmas miracle.

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas preparation and a belated report from Thanksgiving

It's almost Christmas Eve. Everyone is in town, although everyone is not at our house at this moment in time.

Older Son, DIL and GS2 are staying at her parents' house after arriving last night. We've seen them a couple of times. They'll be over for our Christmas Eve celebration and will stay with us the night of the 25th and 26th.

Daughter, SIL and GS1 arrived this afternoon and they'll be here through tomorrow night, when they'll leave to go back to Huntsville for Christmas morning at their house and part of the day with SIL's family. They'll be back here the morning of the 26th.

Younger Son flew in from Indiana yesterday and will be here until the morning of New Year's Eve, when he'll fly out to San Antonio to cover a high school All American game. If Notre Dame wins their bowl game on the 29th and gets in the national championship game, he'll go from San Antonio to San Francisco for that game which will be played on January 7th.

Here at the house, Wife and I are preparing for another internationally themed Christmas Eve, this year celebrating the culture and foods of India. It will be a colorful celebration to say the least (Wife and I just got the table set), and it should be as fun (and delicious) as the past ten years have been.

Wife, Younger Son and I will take a breather Christmas Day while the others are celebrating with in-law families. We'll take in a movie and late afternoon meal at a burger place we like that's opening at 5 p.m.

On the 26th everyone will reconvene back here where we'll pretend it's Christmas Day and have breakfast, open gifts and play some games. It will be totally unpredictable with the two grands, and we'll just roll with the punches.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope to be back in a few days with my favorite books of the year, and at some point I'll report back with some photos and reports from our Indian Christmas.


Going back to Thanksgiving, Wife had an unfortunate encounter with a mandolin, and I don 't mean the musical kind, the day before.

On that fateful Wednesday, while I was spending time at the Mission where I volunteer and serve on the board of directors, she managed to slice off a chunk of her thumb with this sharp cutting instrument.

Younger Son had just arrived home and he called and reported the accident to me. I met them at a walk-in clinic, where she was referred to another location where she could get stitches.

Only there was nothing to stitch. She was sent home with a huge bandage, with strict instructions not to get it wet or cook.

That's right, on this day before Thanksgiving, when we would be having 17 people at our home for a meal, she was instructed NOT TO COOK.

So . . . . it was all hands on deck as our family kicked into gear and followed her instructions. Fortunately, Wife had prepared a great deal in advance and with that and her recipes being well organized, we managed to pull off a spectacular Thanksgiving meal scarcely 24 hours after her accident. I was very proud of everyone for pitching in and helping.

As for the mandolin, which she had just purchased a few days prior, it was a "one and done," placed in the trash by its victim as soon as she could get her hands back on it.

I'm happy to report, after a visit to her regular family doctor and a plastic surgeon the following Monday, who opted not to perform a skin graft but to let the thumb heal on its own, Wife is doing much better.

She'll have a permanent scar, but the feeling is returning and she's to the point of just having a couple of small bandages on the wound. And she's been actively preparing for Christmas, being extra careful as she slices or dices anything.

Monday, December 10, 2018

A book and a play

Here is my column from today regarding a book I recently read and a play I recently saw. As I say, it’s not intended to be a review of either,  just some thoughts and my hearty recommendation of both.