Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,
written December 26+
On to our
Christmas record. We needed to decorate the house, but first we
needed to go out and buy all new lights since we'd left behind our 220v
sparklers back in the old country. It was OK though, because we now can
use modern LED lights. (I would have had a hard time throwing
away sets of traditional lights! I used my folks lights from the
1940's well into the 1990s.) In any event, Marianne worked her
normal decorating magic and we had a most festive home to enjoy.
We no longer have office parties, but our neighborhood provides plenty
of gatherings nonetheless. There are the "normal", spontaneous
evening cocktails, but also real parties. Jean opened her house
to a fun mix of neighbors and her Fresno State swim team coaches.
The very next day we had family and neighbors over for gluehwine (warm,
spiced wine - a German tradition) and snacks. As usual, we
overdid the food part and have been eating leftovers for days. On
Christmas, Nancy and Gene invited neighbors into their wonderful home
for a round of drinks with their families. It was yet another
cheerful celebration and reminder that we are indeed lucky with our new
failed to capture most parties in pictures. Too bad, but it just
seems like intrusion. I did manage a pair of shots of the
preparations for our own party's food and drink tables.
A highlight has been a four-day visit by Gabby, Ava, and Sam. The
kids are just wonderful; full of energy, imagination, and love for
everyone. Good training Mom!
The big family event was a combined Christmas and birthday party at
Babi's on the 23rd. Mamo celebrated 95 years, surrounded by the
chaos of grandkids opening Christmas surprises. A wonderful
Scooters, running, and "medical care" for fallen siblings.
Waiting for mom's dinner, everyone had their own screen. Today's world.
Our Cambridge Avenue neighbors introduced us to their Christmas Eve
tradition of decorating walkways with paper-bag luminaries. This
practice started a few years ago as a charity fund raiser by someone's
grandson, and now it is a street fixture. This year, a small weather
front came through and cut the lighting show short, but it was nice as
long as it lasted.
Now it is December 26, Boxing Day, whatever that British holiday
means. We will start returning to our normal routines (doctor
appointment this morning), with good memories of our first Fresno
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
John and Marianne