December 2015
Our December started out pretty quiet.  We still had empty sites around us in the RV Park.  Tom was having some knee problems, so he was going to physical therapy a couple times
a week.  Mary got in a few games of tennis and rounds of golf, and did quite a bit of sewing. We had a few doctor appointments.  We had our weekly cards and games sessions.  
"Same old, same old."    Mid-month we gathered with some friends for our monthly night of "Pegs and Jokers".    Our neighborhood group resumed it's monthly dinner and game
night.  Tom's bridge group held its Christmas party.  On Christmas Eve we gathered at our friends', the Duncans, with the "leftover" group of neighbors for a holiday Happy Hour.
For the last several years we have driven to Abilene, Texas to celebrate Christmas with our daughter and her family.  This year, the family has taken on a new focus as our son and
daughter-in-law brought our granddaughter Evelyn into the world this past October.  So, we all gathered in Kalamazoo, Michigan to be with Reid, Kathleen and baby Evelyn.  We
flew from Mesa, AZ to Grand Rapids on the day after Christmas and the McCurdys planned to fly from Dallas to Chicago the same day and drive the rest of the way.  Unfortunately,
flights from Dallas were cancelled because of bad weather and a new adventure began as the family got back in their van (after driving 3 hrs. just to get to Dallas) and drove
through the night, another 3 hours to Austin just in time to get on an early morning flight.  In Chicago they had to connect with their dripping wet luggage, which had come from
Dallas, and find another rental car as their original reservation had been cancelled.  They finally arrived in Kalamazoo about 18 hours late.  Whew!

There was a bit of chaos at times, but we had a fantastic time all staying with Reid, Kathleen and Evelyn.  Grandpa and the older granddaughters made our traditional "overnight"
French toast for our Christmas morning brunch (celebrated on the 28th).  Reid squeezed all the oranges for several gallons of fresh juice.  Merrick had the honor of reading "The
Night Before Christmas" to her sisters and new cousin.  The older girls had decided that the four cousins should have matching Christmas PJs, so Grandma used a pair of grown-up
PJs to fashion some for Evelyn.  They made quite a group!  The older girls were enamored with Miss Evelyn.  She had changed quite a bit since we had visited in Kalamazoo a month
ago.  We, too, took lots of turns cuddling with her.   
Reid treated us all to a trip to the movies to see "Star Wars."  We had quite a few rounds of cards and games.  The McCurdys made a day trip to central Ohio to see Matt's family.  
Mary's brother, sister-in-law, and Mom came to spend an afternoon with us.  A last moment decision was made for Grandma and Grandpa to drive to the Toledo area for New Year's
Eve.  Until we started spending Christmas in Texas we had spent every New Year's Eve, for most of 40+ years, with our good friends Kathy and Dennie.  We revived the tradition, at
least for this year, and had a great visit and a marathon game of dominoes.

All too soon it was time for all of us to "get back to normal."  It was hard to leave Evelyn and the McCurdy cousins as we all headed back home.  (Although we're sure that Reid and
Kathleen enjoyed the peace and quiet!)  We look forward to the next opportunity to gather together again.
We wish you all a very Happy 2016 and hope that it
is filled with Peace, Love and Joy!
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"What we've been doing..."
It's not a big "board meeting"...just the neighbors ready for a
pizza dinner and some games.
Tom's bridge group invited spouses to share in their Christmas
potluck...good food and friends!
The "leftover gang" on Christmas Eve...Harry and Marilou, Tedd and
Mary, Ola and Ann, Tom and I, and Bob gathered on Duncan's deck.
We shared lots of good food and drink on a sunny afternoon.
Grandpa and the girls made three batches of
French Toast for the 9 adults.
Merrick had the honor of reading "The Night Before
Christmas" to the family.
Christmas morning (well, almost!) brunch enjoyed by all.
Reid introduced us to the games "Exploding Kittens"
and "Settlers of Catan"
Everyone tried out Reid's 'virtual reality' goggles and videos.
We watched Evelyn sleep on the camera linked to the big screen
TV...kind of creepy :-)
Close (almost 17) Merrick (15) and Coffey (18) with Evelyn (2 months)
(Evelyn did not like the hat that Grandma made for her!)
There were plenty of laughs and giggles from the granddaughters.
The family on Mary's side gathered for a fantastic afternoon
visit...lots of miles represented here!
from the front...Close, Mom, Evelyn and Reid, Mary
Kathleen, Coffey, Bill, Beth, Merrick, Ann
Tom, Matt