It’s time to close the chapter on another year. It’s been eventful and all-in-all a good one.

I was so busy last week I forgot to wish you a Merry Christmas. But, by now, you know what you’re supposed to have or you’ve decided that no one should tell you what kind of holiday to have. I’ll just mention that New Year’s is upon us. I’ll stay out of your business but I hope you get what you want. I’m more into hoping I don’t get what I deserve.

I think I told you that once about this time of year I met a semi as it was headed west out of ElDo. The lighted sign on top of the 18-wheeler cab said, “Mercy.” That’s what I’d hope for if that rig came across the center line.

– Kimball and I did something voluntarily for the first time since the Sun took us over in 1979 – We were out of the office for an entire week. You know what? We have so much confidence in our staff that we didn’t worry.

At the baggage claim in New Orleans airport Wednesday evening, I spoke to a lady who was traveling with a small dog. She asked where we were from. When I told her, she was taken back a bit. Yes, she knew where El Dorado Springs was. She had lived in Nevada all her life and just moved Rich Hill after the death of her husband. She was Bonnie Teel.

You are likely aware of what we were doing – in Baton Rouge getting acquainted with our new grandson… our first.

It’s like this – Van wants what Van wants, when Van wants it. Much of the time, the adults in his life can only guess what, if anything is on his mind. Adrian, as with most mommas, knows when he wants to eat and when he needs changing or something warmer or cooler. In fact, she’s got him on a schedule down to the minute… on paper. He hate baths.

Adrian and Cain, our son-in-law, tried to apologize for the rukus Van caused at times. No apology necessary. In fact, we didn’t even mind in the least. He’s our baby, too.

Friday Adrian mentioned that the weather was supposed to get cold and rainy so maybe I should get the 34 Pink Lady bulbs planted which I had dug here and Kimball shipped them to Baton Rouge. I suffered though 75 degree sunshine with a light breeze to get that done.

It was probably Saturday that Adrian and Cain had a long errand to run and Kimball and I guarded the nest. It may have been the first time they were both away from house since Van came home.

It may have been Friday that I thought the house was cool and Van was crying. I picked him up, wrapped him in a baby blanket Velma Eslinger made for Adrian and then I put a stocking cap on him. Zonk.

Another day, I noticed that Van focused his gaze on me when I got close to his bassinet. As I moved, his eyes followed me. I mentioned it to Adrian and she had noticed the same thing. At eight weeks he is starting to pay attention.

Then there’s Merle, the family dog, who is some kind of poodle/sheepdog non-allergenic mix. Merle likes to bark at imagined boogers outside. And Van likes to sleep through the guard dog’s outbursts.

My sessions with our grandson were nothing compared to how much he likes for Kimball to hold him.

Don’t know the temperature when Cain took us to the New Orleans airport Monday morning. It was 27 ̊ when we landed at KCI. Tuesday morning the thermometer hovered around 20 ̊. Tuesday afternoon about 3 p.m. the reading was 18 ̊ and falling. Tuesday morning, my week old battery was totally dead and I like ta froze my fingers.

We may have to visit the Gilfoils again soon.          KL