December 2013
December is always a busy month, it seems, and this year was no different, starting right on the heel of Thanksgiving weekend.  We no sooner had bid farewell to our
daughter and family and Mary was packing her bags for a trip to Michigan.  She flew into Detroit on December 1st for a two week stay with her mom who had just come home
from a 7-week stay in rehab recovering from surgery for a broken hip.  Mary was there to help run errands, provide some transportation to shopping and doctor
appointments, and help Mom re-adjust to her routine at home.  It was also a great opportunity to see our son Reid, his friend Kathleen, and a few other family members.  Our
Ohio friends Dick and Liz even made a trip up to Jackson for a an afternoon visit.  The two weeks were busy and flew by in a flash (and the photographer apparently was on
vacation!)
Meanwhile, back in Arizona, Tom had been hoping to avoid the cold Michigan weather, but it had turned cold in Casa Grande, too.  But he managed to keep busy with a few
repairs around the RV and his duties as starter at the golf course thrown in with a few tennis and golf games.   When he picked Mary up at Phoenix Sky Harbor upon her
return, the Christmas shopping began in earnest.  More unseasonable cold and rain had arrived as well.  Within a few days we'd taken care of a few doctor appointments,
were somewhat organized, had given our Christmas greetings to our neighbors, bridge and sewing groups, and were packed up and heading in the car to Texas for
Christmas.
Its a long 840 mile drive to Abilene, but we were greeted by the smiling faces of our three granddaughters, daughter and son-in-law.  The next day, December 22, our son
flew in from Michigan, after leaving his home without heat and power, and having cut his way through downed icy tree branches from the previous night's storm. (Power was
not restored till Christmas Day at his home, and even later for many Lansing area residents.)  With the McCurdy family, we were well into preparations for Christmas...baking
cookies and pies, doing last minute shopping and wrapping (and waiting for the UPS man who didn't stop at their house till after Christmas!)  
We greatly missed having "Great Grandma Edith" with us this year while she recovered in Michigan, but we stuck to most of the events that have become our family
traditions...making fresh squeezed orange juice and super-duper-French-Toast on Christmas Eve for our Christmas morning breakfast, putting out food for Santa's reindeer
and cookies and milk for Santa himself, reading "The Night Before Christmas" around the tree, and placing our stockings at the fireplace.  Although the girls aren't so little
anymore, Christmas morning still brought plenty of fun and surprises.  We shared a wonderful big breakfast, then played some games and investigated our new gifts, maybe
even snoozed a little, before gathering again at the table for a tasty Christmas dinner.   Before we knew it, Reid was on his way back to Michigan and we started the return
trip to Arizona.
Back in Arizona on December 28 we enjoyed a few quiet, relaxing days with no commitments.  By New Year's Eve, most of our traveling neighbors had returned from the
holidays and a few more who had not been here in the fall began trickling in.  The weather took a wonderful turn to the "better." as we relished some 70* days.  We had a fun
neighborhood "happy hour" on New Year's Eve followed by a great visit with neighbors Harry and Marilou, and then had a quiet welcoming
of the New Year at home.
Looking back on 2013, we feel blessed to be living our somewhat vagabond life, and thankful
for all our wonderful family and friends that are a part of our experience.
We send you all best wishes for a wonderful 2014...filled with happiness and health and all
good things.
The girls decided that making gingerbread
houses is for those who are patient and have
nimble fingers...but they gave it a good try!
Close, Merrick and Coffey took turns with Uncle Reid and
Grandpa on the orange juice assembly line.
Grandpa and Matt were pretty much left in the kitchen
to finish up the French Toast project.
Coffey read us "the Night Before Christmas."
Sibby said she would guard the stockings till Santa arrived.
We had a great Christmas breakfast and dinner.
And later there were plenty of fun board games, card
games and Wii games.
Influenced by activities at a Girl Scout event and the Hunger Games movies, the girls have taken up archery...setting up a
target in the back yard and using equipment purchased with some of their Christmas money.
The McCurdy Girls
Coffey, Close and Merrick  (they "clean up" very well!)
-the best
granddaughters we could ask for!!!
Here's the annual family Christmas photo!
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