December 31, 2008

A Birthday, a Turkey and a Gift Exchange

One Year Old
 Johanna at One
Birthday Girl
 Birthday Girl
Mom, Dad and Cake
 Cake and Gifts
With Little Friends
 Kids at Party
and Big People Too
 Adults at Party
Thanksgiving Guests
 TDay Guests
Abbie and Johanna
 TD Children
Johanna and Maya
 TD More Kids
Just Johanna
 Johanna Linder
With Her Mom and Dad
 Jo, Seth and Gitta
Jo with Santa
 Macys Santa
Christmas Day
 Christmas Day

A few days after we returned to the vast northern wastelands from Guatemala, we attended the first birthday party for our granddaughter, Johanna. It seems like it is a new tradition in the USA. I say this because I do not remember attending any in my twenties. These parties involve dozens of relatives coming to celebrate the child surviving its year. There was a large turn out for Johanna. There were far too many gifts. There was great food and good feelings. Johanna was as beautiful as ever. Johanna is walking and baby talking. She is a real little toddler. All of which is great, as long as she is happy. She has learned to scream when she is a bit tired and and unhappy. Wait, she does it with a light hearted spirit, too. She is great fun.

We had a house full of people over for Thanksgiving. There was Sammi Thomas, her friend Greg and baby, Maya. My brother Steve and his wife, Ellen came along with my nephew Ed, his wife - Sarah - and their two year old, Abbie. Marleta went to her parents' house, but Dain feasted with us. Our super long-time friend, Mickie Turk, also enjoyed the festivities. Birgitta, Seth and Johanna joined us after dinner. Betty prepared a magnificent 24-pound bird, stuffed with her fabulous sage dressing. We ate mashed potatoes and gravy. We had sweet potatoes and a green bean casserole. The meal ended with pumpkin pies topped with whipped cream and a truly remarkable pumpkin cheesecake. (Betty is a cheesecake goddess.) The American Feast at Thanksgiving is simply marvelous, and Betty is a wonderful cook. Dain and Marleta returned to Santa Monica, but they would be back in three weeks for Christmas and the birth of Lucy.

Bill and Sandra,
Kha, Betty and Kha's Husband

Sandra visited. We met Sandra in Guatemala. She came to visit two friends Ly and Kha, who studied Spanish with her in Antigua in September. Sandra spent a day visiting our home with her friend, Ly. The next night Sandra, Ly, George - Ly's husband, Betty and I went to the Guthrie Theater to see Dickens' Christmas Carol. Betty and I had not been to the new Guthrie Theater before. When the stage we were seated at seemed to be the same as the old one, I was totally surprised. They have three stages in the theater now and another play was being preformed at the other stage. The new Guthrie is an amazing place. The next night we took Sandra out to Pepitos for some great Tex-Mex food. Sandra's friend, Kha and her husband joined us. We have been eating at this bastion of spicy Tex-Mex food for more than 35 years. I won't say that we were the first customers after they moved into the old Colonial Inn, but we were one of the first.

Weeks passed, and the snow piled up. We got at least two feet or 50 cms. Temperatures have been horridly cold, as low as minus 20 degrees. I continually curse myself as to why I am I still in the north. The answer is simple, I was waiting for Lucy, our next granddaughter. I will put up with the snow and the cold, just to see her face.

My old PC has been on its last legs for the past two months. I replaced it with my first Mac. The transition has not been entirely smooth, but little by little I have been learning the differences with the PC. I finally decided that I really like it. I ripped all my CD's with it. I still have to figure out how to replace my vinyl records with MP3's.

Dain and Marleta came back the Saturday before Christmas. They were only gone about three weeks. We exchanged gifts a few days early to make life easier for Birgitta. She was due on Christmas eve, but the baby did not come on Christmas Eve.

We went over to Carol and Doug's house on Christmas eve to eat drink and make merry. We alway enjoy the evening there. The gathering included: my brother, Brian, and his wife, Judy; Judy's mom, Vivian; Brian's daughter, Aricka, and her three children - Athena, Ebin and Eva; Athena's boyfriend, Matt; Judy and Doug's brother Dave, his wife - Cathy - and children - Allyson and Eric; Cathy's mom; my sister - Gay Lynn - and her husband - Randy. We started with clam chowder and shrimp. The main course was a ham served with Betty's sour-cream potatoes. For desert Brian made flan and Gay Lynn made a persimmon pudding.

Christmas Day came and went and still no Baby for Birgitta. Her doctor told her that if the baby did not come in a week, she would have to have a cesarean delivery. She was over nearly everyday. We watched Johanna and she rested or went shopping. Finally the delivery was scheduled for the last day of the year. Dain and Marleta delayed their departure so they could be here for the big day. We took Johanna the day before and would take care of her for three days. What a pleasure for us!

Luciana Delora Linder was born on New Year's Eve!.
She came at 9:52 am and was 9 lb. 1 oz. and 21.5 inches long.
There will be photos of her first day in my next entry.

Posted by bill at 10:20 PM | Comments (3)