Last Christmas Party of the Season

Our family gathering in Charlotte was technically still in the Christmas season, since it was the day before Epiphany. The date didn’t matter, because our hearts were festive. The celebrants were relatives of brother Bob and Beth. Because of illness, Bob and daughter Julie were missing. Those pictured are Susan, closest to the camera, and left to right Bill, John, Kathie, Sam, Max, Kate, and Beth. Husband John was standing with me and out of range. Everyone was smiling, probably because they didn’t have to move or pose formally. I didn’t look, but I’m sure John was grinning, because he avoided being in it.

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We had a lovely afternoon visiting with each other. The hilarity broke out when we played Speak Out. The game has plastic pieces that stretch your mouth. One person reads a game card with immobile lips, and the others try to guess what he is saying. Max and Sam were good sports and volunteered to go first.

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Susan went on the deck with her dog, coming back to tell us a deer was lying there watching them. Four or five of us walked out to see him, and he posed more willingly than humans. We were about 15 to 20 feet from him. He and his herd move freely on the land behind the condos that connects to a green belt. We saw at least six of them walking there. Can you believe I saw more deer in the city of Charlotte in one afternoon than I’ve seen in the mountains in four years?

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I texted Beth to let her know we were home safely. Her drive to Winston Salem should have been shorter than ours to Waynesville. It wasn’t. A tire blew out, and AAA rescued her by putting the spare donut tire on the car. She made it home without further incident.

One day later niece Julie and her friend Tommy picked up our grandson Nathaniel from the airport in Charlotte. He was returning from Christmas break with his dad. They took him out to brunch and delivered him to his dorm. What a kindness that was!

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Everyone is back in place and ready to resume normal living after a wonderful Christmas season.