Tuesday, December 24

Happy Holidays - 2013

Happy Holidays! Joyful Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Best Wishes! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad! Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan! Glædelig Jul! Gajan Kristnaskon! Hyvaa Joulua! Buorrit Juovllat! Gledileg Jol! Nodlaig Mhaith Chugnat! Buone Feste Natalizie! Natale Hilare et Annum Faustum! Pozdrevlyayu s Prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom! God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt! År Ruumsaid Juulup! Season's Greetings! Peace!

I hope this holiday greeting finds you well.  It does us.  And, importantly, together for the holidays.  With Peter living in Denver and Madeline in Madison our times together as a foursome have been more limited this year.  As we drove to a party last night we had a ten minute "pun fest" beginning with a discussion of a "pan chocolate" and evolving into more and more obscure ice cream jokes - a truly wonderful experience. I wish we had more chances to engage in such group silliness - but I relish the chances we do have all the more.

And we do get chances.  Kate and I visited Peter in Denver twice this year.

The altitude might have been hard for the old folks, but the attitude was wonderful.

Madeline and I made a trip to the wet, cool Boundary Waters in July. The weather was crazy.

Yeah, sometimes a wet sock might fall in your "Splash" cup.  But it's a temporary setback at most. Regardless of the elements, we had a great time together.

As the years have passed, we have more and more great annual events that are such important parts of our lives.  Dinners with great friends.

The Boys wandering in to watch the first weekend of March Madness.  Followed shortly by a similar group congregating at our cabin for a "weekend" (Wednesday to Sunday should be a weekend - and for many of us the day isn't far off when weekend will be a foreign concept).

Memorial Day at the cabin with our bird count.  A late spring made it a record year - 77 different species sited by our intrepid team of bird watchers.

And lots of other groups visited the cabin as well, Gangs of 8, 6, 4 and 2 visited Cranberry Lake - finding a lower lake level this year due to dam repair.  It's still a beautiful place. And by next year the lake will have returned to its normal level and the pontoon will be back in action.

As always, the Labor Day game dinner and get together was amazing.  

Kate and I were able to make our way to Pennsylvania to see Kitty and Bob twice this year (Kate also visited without me).  Here we are at the Accomac Inn - serving customers since 1722.  You can add our names to the "satisfied customer" list.

A very special treat this year was a visit from our friends Chris and Valerie from Paris. They were kind enough to visit for a great week in October. The Twin Cities have some great galleries and museums - but they aren't exactly the Orangerie or the Musee d'Orsay.  So we skipped museums and enjoyed the out of doors in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  A magical week for us.

This year we were the visited more often than the visitor.  Visits from friends are a great joy.  But rest assured that Kate and I may well "darken your door" in the near future.  We probably won't bring lobsters. We might bring wine.

All the best to you and yours!  Enjoy the holiday season, and every season. We'll do the same.

Stan, Kate, Madeline and Peter