Morning all:

After all the anticipation Christmas is already behind us. Last night we made it back safe and sound from our wonderful visit in Michigan. What a difference in travel. Too many years ago in our little – then new – Volkswagen camper bus it was an 9 to 10 hour event, yesterday, including a nice and relaxing stop for a late lunch it took us just a hair over six hours.

Anyway, its Sunday morning and my usual steaming Maine mug of coffee is already half empty. After staying with Paul and Dia (thanks for the super hospitality) I have come to realize that my little ProctorSilex coffeemaker’s output is not anywhere near the same caliber as their huge Bodum machine. Is this how testimonial ads get their start?

Every once in a while a gift is received which just stands out. This year Marcia and I received one that did just that. First a little bit of history. As our kids were growing up their highlight would be visits to Grandpa and Grandma in Michigan. Once there, everything was different from that which they experienced in our much larger city. Small town life, a lake the size of an ocean, the backyard a huge river with birds and muskrats, and in the winter there were mountains of snow. It was during the snowy season that their favorite toy would appear. Year after year a homemade little wooden track would come from upstairs and handful after handful of marbles would noisily make their way down its chute into a waiting little basket. Sometimes they would just cascade, other times they would be carefully timed, and year after year the kids would never tire of this toy’s magic. Fast forward to 2003, the year of our own grandkids; Derek and Marin. Brother in-law Donn remembered the old toy and very carefully copied the dimensions, then applying his engineering skills and sense of detail carefully replicated a brand new copy of this favorite toy. Thanks so much Donn, we’ll watch our gang create their own memories as the magic of rolling marbles on the chutes spellbinds them too.

This week you absolutely must get to Vince and Kirstin’s blog and see the present Derek gave those two. Now, it’s off for a couple of miles through the neighborhood and then we’ll get ready for our own Christmas get-together at Cathy and Jason’s home. The good times just don’t stop.

Now that the New Year is almost here, be careful and may peace, happiness, and the good company of friends and family be part of your life the whole year long. For those of you with Dutch roots, enjoy your Oliebollen. Happy New Year!

Have a great week.



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