Monday, January 15, 2007

Dodged a Bullet

Whew! - that was close! We got hit by some of the weekend ice storm on Friday night and Saturday, but overall we came through this one without much worry. By Saturday morning we had about 1/4" of ice on some of the branches and on the deck, but the sidewalk and driveway were just wet. Even though the air was just below freezing, the ground was still warm enough to keep it from getting nasty!

Sunday the temp stayed in the mid-30s and the rain and fog melted the ice we had. The worst part of the storm stayed just south and west of us - and I mean just! Only 15 miles west the trees were snapping and breaking and there are still large areas of power outages. About 20 miles south our church was without power for about 24 hours, so we had to cancel worship services Sunday morning and a fellowship dinner in the afternoon.

There are tree branches down all around our neighborhood, and we lost a few small branches. But we didn't lose electricity this time! Just a few flashes that were enough each time to turn off all of the electronic devices in the house and set all of the clocks flashing (aarrgghh!). Oh, and the cable TV was out again for two days.

Now the rain and ice are gone, the winds are up, it's gray and gloomy, and the temp is right around 30. No snow, but Winter is finally here ... oh boy (?)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

It was a busy but very enjoyable week of Christmas and New Years. After a one-day visit with Greg's parents in East Tawas, MI, it was off to the annual Christmas party with Kitty's extended family. While several people couldn't make it this year, it was still fun to catch up with family members we see only once or twice each year.

Christmas Eve day found us at church with Kitty's sister and family (Carol, Paul and Bradley) and then with Greg's sister and family (Beth, Dennis, Bryan and Kevin) for some more family celebration. Christmas Day was actually quiet and relaxing at Carol & Paul's. Oh, Brad was able to beat his Uncle Greg at several video sports games as well as a basement basketball game. Greg saved some dignity by winning 3 of 4 air hockey matches, but overall the big guy needs some practice before taking on any of his nephews again.

Tuesday we moved to Greg's brother Michael's house near Grand Rapids to enjoy more family Christmas - and then Wednesday's wedding of Michael and Mandy! It was a small but wonderful ceremony and reception filled with warm, personal sentiments from family and friends that added a very intimate touch to this wedding. This was also the only time we saw even just a few snow flakes - very unusual to not have a white Christmas in Michigan.

After a drive home on Thursday, we joined friends of ours for a visit to the Way of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Snows. A wonderful drive-through exhibit of lights and depiction of the biblical Christmas story, as well as singers, decorated trees, and even a petting zoo. Kitty got up the nerve to take a brief ride on a camel! Then it was a drive by the Annheiser-Busch brewery to see the amazing holiday lights and decorations in this historic brewery complex.

Now we're welcoming in 2007 and all the promise that a new year brings. Last year was so very busy but also full of joy and life for us, highlighted by the births of our two beautiful granddaughters, Gabriella and Ruth. We pray that during this year God will bless us and all of you in similar or even greater fashion and give you peace to enjoy the journey!        Happy New Year!