December 2008               return to our "home page"
                                                                                                                              return to "What we've been doing...."

This month began our 9th year as full-timers, but with the two of us separated by 2000 miles....Mary in Michigan with her mother, and Tom holding down the fort in Arizona.  It was somewhat stressful for both of us, but it seemed to be the way to handle it all.  Mary was able to give a helping hand to her mother following the death of her step-father.  They enjoyed having some good "mother-daughter" time along with handling all the details that needed to be taken care of.

On December 18, Tom flew to Michigan  -  and awoke the next morning to seven inches of fresh snow.  We were like little kids at the window watching the snowplows clear all the roads and driveways at Mary's mother's condo in Jackson.  After a few days there, and taking Mary's mother with us, we moved on to Toledo to visit with a few friends and relatives there.  Then on Monday, we headed east once again  -  sliding on icy roads across Ohio and into Pennsylvania to Elysburg where we were greeted by our three granddaughters, Coffey, Close and Merrick,  and our daughter and son-in-law, Ann and Matt.  Our son, Reid, arrived the next day.  It was the first time we had all been together for Christmas in over 10 years.  We had a great time and a wonderful Christmas.  The girls were proud to share stories of all their activities since we'd last been together and excited about exchanging gifts they had helped to choose or make.  Lots of time was spent playing various games and we trooped off to the movie theater the day that lots of rained kept the family from a day of snow-tubing.  (Frankly, I think the grandparents and great-grandma were just as glad!)

It was a snowy and icy view of our old back yard in Maumee while visiting our wonderful ex-neighbors Dick and Liz.
We enjoyed a great visit with Mary's brother Bill and sister-in-law, Beth.
On the way to Pennsylvania, we stopped in Wadsworth, Ohio to visit Mary's Aunt Nina.
Her reputation as a maker of great cinnamon rolls meant Mary's Mom had a task for Christmas breakfast.
On Christmas Eve we prepared our special french toast and squeezed a box of oranges for the next morning's breakfast.  It turned into a big sticky project when we discovered the electric juicer was not working.
After many games of dominoes, Uncle Reid thinks the nieces were out to get him...but we all had a good time.
A whole group of new "Webkins" and "Littlest Pet Shop VIPs" arrived on Christmas.  For the uninitiated, they are stuffed animals can be registered on-line to play games with all their animal friends.
Coffey has been learning to play the oboe.
Matt has a passion for jig-saw puzzles
Reid kept in touch with his friends with his computer and his new I-phone.

It was a great family reunion of four generations...
Ann, Reid, Matt, Tom
Close, Coffey, Great Grandma Edith, Mary


On Sunday, December 28 all the houseguests at Ann and Matt's retraced their drive...Reid back to West Virginia and the two of us and Mary's mother headed back to Jackson.  We spent the night and made sure the heat was on and that some new Christmas gifts were in working order.  On Monday it was on to Toledo again and some more time with good friends and family.  Somehow the camera didn't get out of the bag, so we'll just have to remember our good visits with great friends, Dick and Liz Lehto; Jacques Everhart and Jo Gettys; Tom's sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Ron Kaminski; and especially our hosts, Kathy and Dennie Dew.  Our New Year's Eve was spent with Kathy and Dennie - we think its our 37th time in the 41 years we've been married that we've enjoyed their company on that date.  We also had several visits with Tom's mother who is wearing a cast on her right leg after falling and breaking it in two places in mid-November.  She's doing quite well.

We bid good-by to the ice, snow and freezing temperatures on New Year's Day...returning the rental car to the Detroit airport and flying back to Phoenix....
ready to begin a new year and sending best wishes to all for a great, healthy and happy 2009.


sunset at Palm Creek Golf and RV, Casa Grande, AZ