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Such a week since I last wrote for this column! Ron, Arlene, Rex and I made a whirlwind trip to Minnesota and North Dakota to join with the Boeddeker family for the 80th birthday of Willie’s younger brother Henry “Swede”, and to visit with friends and also, some of my relations up north. Good thing Ron did the driving although his NASCAR tactics had this old woman nervous much of the time. It took twelve hours up and twelve hours back. With Reanna chattering away in the back seat, naps were out of the question. Apparently Reanna had to do this on their return from Alaska to keep Ron alert behind the wheel. Ron was in a hurry to be back here for the last day to be in the “deer woods”. Also, I’ve about had it with fast food at quick fuel stops.
We visited the place north Hillsboro, ND where we lived when Randy was born and took pictures of the huge Weeping Willow I planted there in 1958. The Weeping Willows one sees in my yard here are from cuttings of that tree up north. That property was taken over by the government several years ago after being flooded several times by the Goose River and several homes were removed so now that area is designated for wildlife. When we lived there the Goose River flooded but only reached our barn, not the house. This area is adjacent to the city park and Ron was tickled pink when we drove through the park and he saw the pens of deer, two bucks with nice racks and 3 doe. Reanna insisted on using the slide and swings even though it was only 8 degrees but then said her sit-me-down was cold.
Thanksgiving saw fourteen family and friends here, and as usual, the great grandbabies were a delight. We did something different this year by having fried chicken for our meal as I didn’t have enough days to thaw a turkey. Then, on Dec. 3rd, when more of the family will be available, we are having a chili and soup gathering. That is the only day grandson Nick and wife Angel can be with us due to Nick’s job in North Dakota, so there will be some gift exchanges that day. Then there should be some quiet days before the rush of preparing a proper turkey dinner for Christmas. Of course, I shall be roasting two large turkeys for the holiday potluck at church on the 11th.
When Randy was born we already had Ron age 4, Rory age 3 and Ryan age 2. Ornery Willie had these three little ones convinced mommy was going to have a litter of puppies and they were all excited to be able to pick out a puppy for themselves. When I arrived home with just Randy and no puppies there were two very unhappy little ones but Ron was thrilled with a new brother. Randy was 10 ½ pounds at birth so it was like bringing home a 3 month old baby – and he slept the night through from the beginning (a new mother’s dream).
We are now in the Advent Season as we prepare once again to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. I pray that each of you uses this time to teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. When shopping, please avoid those businesses that refuse to acknowledge Christmas and are only out for the dollars the season brings them. Do you believe in Santa and his elves? I lost that curiosity about 70 years ago and then, of all things, I returned from work on Friday to find elves all over my place. They repaired the shingles, cleaned the gutters, deck, porch, front and back yards of leaves and branches, and trimmed some trees. They power washed my house, repaired various and sundry things, got my Christmas decorations out of the attic (I detest ladders of any kind). Then they cleaned out my fridge of everything edible and washed up the dishes afterwards. So, now I must re-evaluate the reason for the season. Oh yes, these elves don’t hire out, just do this work for love.
Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in the presence of the Lord. Let people know by your actions that you are one of His.