Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A Quick Visit to Wisconsin and Christmas in Florida

On Dec. 17th, Mary and I flew from Orlando-Sanford Airport to Rockford, IL. We were returning to Wisconsin to visit family and friends before Christmas. I have to say thanks to Thom and Judy Petree for putting us up (or was that putting up with us) for three nights during the trip. I've known Thom and Judy since my seminary days, 1968-74 (NO, it didn't take me six years to go through seminary! I graduated in 1971 and went to work for the seminary as a staff librarian for three years. Judy even worked for me in the library for a while.) It was delightful to get reacquainted with them during our Beloit years and we continue as friends through our travels.

Another reason we flew back to WI was to see our new granddaughter, Zamaya, born to Karla and Jonah, her significant other. Zamaya is a beautiful baby and I'll let you look at my facebook page for pictures of her, rather than posting them here.

While we were in WI, we were "blessed" with a true winter snowstorm. Madison had 14+" of snow and blizzard conditions. Fortunately we were snuggled in a hotel and just stayed warm and comfortable. Digging out the car required over an hour of shoveling by Mary. Where was Forrest? Doing the wash in the hotel laundry room. Mary thought she should do the shoveling so who was I to argue with my dear wife?!

We spent time with each of our children, saw our grandchildren, and enjoyed a family Christmas dinner with Vini and Krista hosting us. Almost everyone was able to be there, although Karla just couldn't make it. We missed you Karla and family!

On Christmas Eve, we flew back to Florida where instead of going to our home at Crystal River we headed for Lake Wales where my brother Ransom lives. Thanks, Ransom and Helen, for sharing your Christmas with us! And thanks to Helen's daughter, Rhonda, and Rhonda's husband, Brad, for sharing a family Christmas Eve with us. This was the first actual Christmas I can remember sharing with Ransom in decades. I simply was never back home for Christmas since I was always leading a Christmas Eve service at the church I was serving. We might have overlapped our time in the week after Christmas, but it wasn't the same as sharing the celebration of Christmas Day. That made it a very special day.

After Christmas, we went back to Crystal Key for a few days and then on December 31 we moved north up the coast of Florida to Cedar Key.

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