Friday, April 4, 2008

Lucy's First Christmas!

Sharing Lucy's first Christmas was a highly anticipated prospect as Dick and I packed the Ford Expedition and headed for our friend Cliff's home. Cliff has graciously volunteered to drive us to the airport and pick us up on our way home. For his generosity he could enjoy driving the Expedition while we were away.

A little flag went up as Dick was driving along as I read the latest Good Housekeeping magazine and Dick said, "Was that Cliff's exit?" as we passed number 98. Since I wasn't paying attention and didn't know the number I couldn't answer so we drove on. When we started seeing signs of the town of Covington I knew we had gone too far so told Dick we needed to turn around. That was not an easy feat as we there was construction and lots of traffic to maneuver so it took a few w minutes to find our way back onto the freeway. Fortunately we always allow time for small mistakes so we had plenty of time and I called Cliff and told him what had happened. When we arrived at his house he was waiting in the driveway and we were only 5 minutes past the time we were supposed to meet. Cliff brought his latest toy, a Tom Tom navigator which he place on the window and the voice proceeded to give us directions on our trip to the airport. Too bad we hadn't had it earlier.

We arrived in plenty of time and that was a good thing as the lines to proceed through the security gate seemed like a mile long. After all it was the Christmas season and everyone in the world was going somewhere by way of Atlanta. We finally made it to the check point and took everything out of our bags including my laptop which seemed to take forever and I knew the people behind us were not happy campers. I had placed all my liquids and various asthma inhalers and sprays in the required 3 oz. containers. Off with my shoes (how unsanitary is that?) and I was ready to proceed. For the first time ever Dick and I both made it through the x-ray machine without one of us setting off the alarms and having to go through the embarrassing "wand search" with a thousand people watching to see if we carried a weapon or explosives. So I turned around to collect my belongings and when I picked up my bag with all the bottles I noticed a sticky red liquid covering everything in the bag and also running down the outside of the bag. Then I saw the Benadryl bottle in jagged pieces and knew that was the cause of the disaster. Unfortunately the bag was in the same bin as my knitting bag, but thankfully only the outside was affected and Lucy's blue dress that I was knitting was not infused with a new red dye. So we collected everything in the bins and Dick found some paper towels and we were able to clean most of the Benadryl off my other medicines and knitting bag. Our hands were a different matter and we had to wait until we rode the underground train to our terminal before we were able to find a restroom and wash our hands. I'm sure we left a trail of red sticky goo on the posts of the train where we held on to keep from falling. That's a good reason to always wash your hands after riding the train because you never know what people have on their hands when they touch those poles. I learned a valuable lesson and that is to pack liquids in plastic bottles, but I still don't understand how a tiny bottle could get broken just sliding through the conveyor belt.

Well since we are always 2 hours early when flying I had plenty of time to purchase a sandwich for the plane as I knew the Delta snack pack isn't very appetizing. It was finally time to board and we were both ready to be on our way to see Lucy. The in-flight movie was "Hairspray" with John Travolta dressed in drag as an obese mother. Now that movie got rave reviews when it premiered but for the life of me I can't understand why and especially why John Travolta would want to play such an unflattering laughable role. Maybe because he got to dance and sing and was trying to relive his glory days of "Saturday Night Fever". Believe me he should have stayed home.

The flight was uneventful except seemed extremely long since we were anxious to reach our destination. As luck would have it, sunny Los Angeles was being deluged with rain when we landed. Ron was out of town so we told Kerri we would take a taxi since they are only 8 minutes from the airport. All of our luggage arrived intact (miracle of miracles) and we easily found a taxi. When we arrived at Kerri and Ron's condo, the taxi driver opened the trunk and stood there while Dick lugged our 4 pieces of heavy luggage up the steps to the condo entrance. Guess they don't get paid except to drive. I'm sure Dick gave him a tip but I would have thought twice before being generous.

Since we know the code to enter Kerri's building we went in out of the rain as quickly as possible and made our way to their condo. She let us in and I immediately grabbed Lucy and gave her a big hug forgetting to hug Kerri which did not go unnoticed by Kerri. What kind of mother is that??? I gave her a belated hug while still holding Lucy. Lucy was awake and happy since she had just been fed so she favored her grandparents with lots of laughs and smiles. She had grown a little and in our eyes is still the most beautiful baby in the world.

Shortly after we arrived one of Kerri's friends brought dinner over. She is still getting meals frequently until after the first of the year so that is a great blessing. This meal was from a Mediterranean restaurant and consisted of roasted chicken, couscous, pita bread, and several delicious dips. Since by then it was 6:00 and we were hungry I decided to fix our plates so we could eat. Just as I had my plate filled, the door bell rang and one of Kerri's neighbors with a 2 year old and 9 month old baby came to visit. Apparently they had already eaten because they stayed and visited for at least 30 minutes. I tried to be pleasant and make a fuss over the babies, but my stomach was saying "hurry up" and come back later. Just as they were leaving around 6:30 another neighbor came in to visit. Now this particular neighbor was letting Dick and me stay in their condo while they were away during our stay so we felt very indebted and tried to be very nice which would have been easy if not for my growling stomach. We even offered her some food, but she declined saying she had to go home and cook for her husband. So it was 7:15 before we sat down to eat and by then everything was cold and had to be reheated, but it was delicious to our famished stomachs. The doorbell rang again and I moaned thinking it was another neighbor and I was too tired to be pleasant but it was the UPS man bringing 4 packages. Two were boxes we had shipped and the other two were presents for Lucy. What a blessed little girl to still be receiving presents.

Since Ron was out of town Dick and I planned to spend the night with Kerri. We would also stay the following night as after that we were moving across the hall to her friend's condo. I was exhausted so went to bed at 10:00 their time which was 1:00 A.M. our time. Of course I woke up at 4, but just stayed in bed until 6 as Kerri was sleeping on the couch and I didn't want to wake her. She had graciously given Dick and me the bed and slept on the couch so she would be close to Lucy's crib in the next room. Now that sounds like a grand concession except that they have a sleep number bed with one side broken. It pumps up just fine until someone lays down on it and then it collapses so Dick was the lucky one to get that side. I woke up several times during the night and pumped it up but that only lasted a few minutes. As a result of that experience Dick decided to buy them a new mattress in case we spend more time with them in the future.

Friday before Christmas: We helped Kerri do a few chores around the condo in between playing with Lucy. Kerri feeds her every 3 hours except for the 8 hours that she sleeps at night so it's a time consuming occupation, but Lucy is thriving and is such a happy baby. She only cries when she's wet or hungry and has the sweetest disposition so I spent a lot of time just watching her smile and coo. I played with her and talked to her for long periods of time so she would recognize my voice. Ron said he wants her to have a southern accent so I have to practice with her. Does that sound like fun or what??? Kerri had warned me before we arrived and after we arrived that she had Lucy on a strict schedule and I was not to upset the apple cart by picking her up every time she cried. I made no such promises as I see no reason to let my precious granddaughter cry for any reason.

Ron arrived home Friday afternoon after his plane was delayed. I don't think he's ever had a plane that wasn't delayed or cancelled. Dick and I had not finished our Christmas shopping so we went to the mall to buy some last minute presents. Even though we had promised to limit our gifts to mostly gift cards, Dick feels that everyone has to have several presents to open on Christmas morning. To him several mean about 15.

Mark called in the afternoon to say that his school was in lock down mode because a gunman had been spotted in the neighborhood. No one could leave or enter the school. Now that was a piece of news I didn't need to hear. I could have said "that's California" but it's happening all over the country so I couldn't blame it on California that time. Thankfully he called back later in the afternoon to say they had been able to get the kids out and he was on his way home. Don't know what happened to the gunman.

That night Dick and I baby sat with Lucy while Kerri and Ron went out to dinner and movie. They really needed a night out and of course we were happy to spend the evening with Lucy. Before they left I was given all the details about when to feed, how long she should stay up, and when to put her to bed. Was I ever a mother???? Just as they were leaving the neighbor across the hall came over with 2 big boxes of Christmas cookies. Now Kerri calls Ann, Martha Stewart because she loves to cook and decorate so you can imagine that the cookies were beautifully shaped with different kinds of jam in the middle. She had ordered special boxes with her initials to put them in so it was a very special gift. While she was there she gave us the key to her condo since they were leaving early the next morning. We thanked her profusely and were really looking forward to having our own place.

The evening went well and Lucy was a doll. Of course Kerri phoned several times to make sure I was following orders and I assured her that Lucy was doing just fine. I didn't tell her I had spent quite a bit of time rocking her just because I wanted to. Of course Grandpa Dick is very good with her as well and is a very excellent diaper changer and I don't mind delegating that responsibility. When Kerri and Ron got home after only being gone about 4 hours, Kerri said she knew she couldn't leave her any longer than that as she missed her too much. Then she asked me if I had felt like that with her and I said of course all new mothers feel that way. I do seem to remember being thrilled when Dick's parents wanted to baby sit and we could have a night out.

The next morning Dick and I moved our belongings over to Ann's condo and got settled in. It is very contemporary and comfortable and even though just one bedroom, it was wonderful for us to be able to use it.

That evening we accompanied Kerri, Ron, and Lucy to a Christmas party given by a single man who goes to their church. They had told us that he was Italian and owned a construction company so was quite wealthy. They had never been to his home so we had to search for the address, but when we saw a home with lights on the roof line, every tree in the yard, and several lit up displays all over the yard, I said to Kerri, "oh I hope that's the house, because it reminds me of the Griswald home in the movie. "The Christmas Vacation". I wanted to meet the person who decorated the home. When we read the house number, sure enough that was our destination. It was hard to see the outside of the house because of all the lights, but I knew that it was quite large in a neighborhood of very modest homes so it must be new. When we entered the huge foyer we were greeted by the noise of many people talking and laughing and what seemed like hundreds of children of every age running wild. I forgot to mention that Kerri was supposed to take a dessert so she decided to take the cookies that Ann had made since they were homemade and so pretty. So I was carrying the plate of cookies when a young woman came up and asked if she could take them to the dining room and I thanked her and handed them over. Kerri explained that she knew many of the people, but those she didn't know were probably friends of the owner from the neighborhood or his work.

We had met some of their friends on our earlier trip so made small talk and met new people while we partook of a wonderful Italian buffet. Then all of a sudden there was a loud noise and Santa Claus came down the winding staircase. Kerri explained that was their friend who owned the home. He seemed to be the right size for Santa and proceeded to sit down and have each child come up and after sitting on his lap, gave them each a gift. I thought he must be a very generous man. Later he took off his Santa suit and Dick said he looked like Clemenza from the "Sopranos" which meant nothing to me as I've never seen that show. Actually Dick doesn't like it either but he knew who Clemenza was. This Clemenza was very nice and offered to show us the outside of his home which has a huge pool with guest house and the large patio and outside kitchen. The patio connected to the main house had ping tables and other recreational items so it was obvious he liked to entertain. He explained that the home had been built in 2001 and he bought it when it was new. Quite a bachelor pad!

After awhile Dick and I gravitated to pool room where some children were playing with the pool balls with no adult supervision that I could see. I sat down and started talking with a young woman who was a friend of Kerri's and Dick and her husband were standing up talking. All of a sudden a pool ball came flying through the air and landed on the top of my knee and almost knocked me off the chair. The pain was horrendous and I was trying to act like it wasn't bad all the while wondering if I could walk. Thankfully it didn't hit the knee cap but I could just envision my leg turning black and blue and being the size of a watermelon the next day. Dick and the other man quickly told the children to stop playing with the pool balls and they ran out of the room. I tried to assure everyone I was okay when in fact I felt like I had a knife in my leg. I was thankful that the ball hadn't hit me in the face or head because it felt like a brick hitting me and it could have knocked my teeth out or me out for that matter. Then I wondered why I was the fortunate one to have been singled out to carry a souvenir home from the party. In a few minutes I tried to stand up and the pain shot down my leg like fire. I truly wasn't sure I could walk, but managed to make it to the kitchen and signal Kerri that I thought we should go. Standing there waiting while she and Ron said good night to everyone and had a group picture made seemed like an eternity, but I didn't want to make a scene by screaming in agony so I just smiled and pretended nothing had happened. Boy after that act, I should be on the stage.

While I was standing waiting a young mother and daughter came up and the mother said she loved my cookies because they reminded her of her German grandmother's cookies. Her grandmother had died the previous year and she kind of teared up as she told her daughter about the cut out cookies with the jam fillings. I didn't know what to say because I thought maybe Kerri had told her that I had made the cookies and I didn't want to get Kerri into trouble so I just smiled and said "thank you" all the while praying she wouldn't ask for the recipe. Thankfully she didn't. Later I asked Kerri if she had told anyone that I made the cookies and she said no and then it occurred to me that the young woman must have been the one who had taken the cookies from me in the beginning of the evening and just assumed that I had make them. "Lord I said, get me out of here before something else happens".

Finally we exited and Dick helped me out to Ron's SUV and climbing into the car was quite painful to say the least. Once I sat down the pain seemed to subside and when we got home and I looked at my leg there was no sign of any bruise or swelling so I hoped that was a good thing. We said goodnight and went to our condo and my leg felt better so I thought maybe it wasn't as bad as I had thought. Well, I bent down to get something out of my suitcase which was on the floor and the pain shot through my leg so bad I thought I was going to faint. Dick helped me to the couch and got some ice and put it on my leg and that seemed to help. We then just sat and discussed how much worse it could have been if the ball had hit me somewhere else or hit Lucy who had been in the room earlier. So should I have felt fortunate just to have gotten plummeted on the knee??? I would answer that the next day depending on my walking capability.

Okay, so the injury could have been worse, but my leg still hurt and I couldn't bend it without extreme pain. I wondered if I could sue Santa Claus; just kidding. We spent the day with Lucy and in the afternoon decided to take her to the mall. Ron put her in a mesh sling which was in front of him and she immediately went to sleep and slept the entire time we were shopping. It looked very uncomfortable to me, but he said it positioned her like she was in the womb and she loved it. Apparently he was right.

Kerri had promised Wendy one of her girlfriends that she would take her to airport that evening and since Ron had some last minute shopping to do he volunteered to drive her. The plan was for Kerri to keep Wendy's car while she was away so Ron drove her car. Well after several hours of shopping, he came out of the mall and couldn't find his car. After searching for quite a while he called the security guard and reported his car stolen. The guard drove him around the entire parking lot but no car. Just when they were getting ready to call the police, Ron remembered that he had driven Wendy's car and told the guard who took him to his car. Now I know I have "senior moments" and forget things, but Ron is too young for that so we just figured he was under a lot of stress which caused his temporary memory lapse. I just hoped he hadn't forgotten to get my Christmas present.

That night on the news, all the broadcasters were reporting an increase in the Santa Ana winds for Christmas Day and therefore the danger of wild fires was present especially in the canyon areas. You can imagine what was going through my mind about that time. Were we going to be subjected to more California wild fires? I was ready to board the plane home. We were planning to spend the next 3 days at the Lawrence Welk Resort which is in the middle of the area where the worst fires were in October and is also surrounded by canyons. When I told Mark about the news, he said "don't worry, Mom there's nothing left to burn around here". Comforting thought!!!

The next day, Christmas Eve Dick rented a GM Tahoe since we needed a large SUV for our trip and there were no Fords available. The plan was to pack the car and leave around 1 to have early dinner with Ron's parents on the way to Lawrence Welk. Ron's mom had called the night before and I heard Kerri say "yes definitely ham". She explained that the meal was going to be Korean but in our honor Ron's mom was adding a baked ham.

The car was packed to the ceiling with luggage, gifts, and things that Lucy would need. I had forgotten how much "stuff" a baby requires. One of Ron's single friends was joining us so Ron asked him to come by and take a few things in his car so that helped. Dick rode down with Tommy and that also made our car less crowded. Lucy slept the whole hour and a half so was ready to entertain her other grandparents when we arrived. Mark also drove up from San Diego to Laguna Beach where Ron's parents live.

As expected the meal was a feast of about 8 delicious Korean dishes and a wonderful ham. For dessert we had pecan pie from Costco and Dick thought it was one of the best he had ever eaten. After dinner we opened presents and visited for short while and decided we needed to leave around 5 as we still had an hour's drive to the resort. Ron's mom packed up most of the leftovers for us to take with us as well as giving Tommy a large package to take home with him. After goodbyes we were on the road and by the time we made a short stop at grocery stores for few staples, it was very dark. Mark had decided to go home and drive back up the next day. That was to avoid having to sleep on the couch.

When we arrived at the resort Kerri went inside to check in, She came out to say that our 2 bedroom condo would only be $25 a night because it was a time share and she and Ron were going to obligatory meeting. Sounded like a good plan to me! We had stayed at the resort 2 years earlier and knew that it was a very nice facility. We had the address and Ron finally stopped in front of the building that he thought was ours and we got out of the car taking Lucy with us. Well there was no number on the building to match the one that we had been given. By that time it was freezing and we didn't have warm jackets. Kerri finally walked down some steps and said she found it, but when she went in she said it was a one bedroom unit. Oh my goodness; now what? Were Dick and I going to have to share the sofa? While Kerri was on the phone with the desk we took Lucy back to the car where it was warm and waited. In a few minutes Kerri came out and said they had found a two bedroom unit for us but we had to go back to the check in building to get new keys. That took awhile, but finally we had the keys and went in search of the new condo. You would think with a map and directions that would be easy, but it's a huge complex and it was dark so we made a few wrong turns before finally arriving at the right building. By that time we were all tired including Lucy so she was the first priority. I'm sure if she could talk she would have said to get her out of that car seat contraption, feed her, change her, and let her get to sleep. But instead she was very good and only made a few whimpers until her mother got her changed and fed. The rest of us unpacked and Ron set up Lucy's pack & play bed while I put away the food that Ron's mom had sent.

The condo was very spacious with 2 large bedrooms with adjoining luxurious baths, large living room and huge kitchen with dining area. There was a TV in the living room plus one in each bedroom so everyone didn't have to agree on one program to watch. How spoiled can we be? However that night, Dick was the only one who stayed up and watched television while he wrapped presents.

I woke up at 6:00 the next morning and enjoyed my coffee and toast while everyone else slept. Mark called at 10:00 to see what time he should come up and I told him to come now and maybe the rest of the crew would be up by the time he arrived. Of course Kerri had fed Lucy at 7:30 but they went back to sleep. Mark arrived at around 10:30 and by that time the others were stirring so we managed to start opening present around 11. We read the Christmas story first and then spent over an hour in the opening process. Normally it takes us 3 hours, but as I said we had downsized on the number of presents.

I was very excited about Mark's surprise gift because I had taken many of his tee shirts, sweat shirts, and jackets and had a lady make them into a quilt. Several years earlier I had a quilt made for Kerri and she thought it was the most wonderful present she's ever received. So I was expecting the same reaction from Mark. Well when he opened the package and looked at the quilt his first outburst was "you cut up my favorite tee shirt that I made and was saving for my son one day" Then somehow one of Kerri's shirts was on the quilt. How was I to know that since it was with his shirts? All I know is that the last time Mark came home and we went through his things, he didn't want to save anything and I just put many of the special keepsakes away knowing that one day he would thank me. So I never imagined there was a tee shirt he wanted to keep. After he really looked at the quilt and settled down I think he was pleased and the next day he told me he had put it on his bed so that was a good sign. The trials of motherhood never stop no matter how old children are.

Lucy received a special "Hallmark Baby's First Christmas" ornament, a "grandma loves me" piggy bank, and several new outfits which she really didn't need. She slept through most of the gift giving, but her dad videoed the whole procedure so one day she'll be able to look back and envision her very first Christmas.

Mark gave each of us a web camera so we can set them up on our computers and talk and see each other. That way I can see Lucy every day. That is if one of her parents will hold her in front of the camera. I looked forward to using that present.

Since there weren't many choices for Christmas lunch, we all agreed on a buffet at a local restaurant. Ron put Lucy in her sling so she wouldn't be exposed to any germs and we enjoyed the quite lavish buffet. That evening we snacked on all the leftovers from Ron's mom so by bed time we were all stuffed and exhausted. Mark decided to drive home again rather than sleep on the couch. As it turned out that was a good decision because when I got up at 7:00 the next morning I found Ron on the couch. It seems his snoring was keeping Kerri awake so she gently "suggested" that he sleep on the couch. Of course that meant I had to try and be quiet in the kitchen until Kerri came in around 8:00 and told him he could go back to their bed.

Mark arrived around noon with a gallon of tea from Chick fil A which I had been craving for a week. That is the only restaurant in southern California that serves sweet tea. I've learned not to even ask since the waiters look at me like I'm from outer space. That afternoon was spent in the mall with Lucy in her favorite sling around her dad's neck. Everyone in San Diego was in that mall because we could hardly walk much less get to a register to pay for something. Kerri found a few things while the guys sat and waited and Mark complained as he hates shopping.

We stopped on the way back to the condo at a very good Italian restaurant and everyone enjoyed the meal except Lucy who decided that she didn't like Italian food. For the first time we took the car seat into the restaurant and since it wasn't moving, she wasn't happy and proceeded to let everyone in the restaurant know that she was present. I suggested a pacifier but her mother thinks that's a crutch and will only use it in emergencies. To me that was an emergency. Finally Ron went to the car and got the sling, but Lucy didn't want any part of that either. So he ate a few bites of his dinner and took her for a walk. Actually she was just tired from a long day and being juggled around so we hurriedly ate and took several "doggie" bags home and finished our meals at home.

The next morning before checking out, Kerri and Ron had to go to the time share meeting so Dick and I played with Lucy and packed the car. When we picked them up, Kerri told us that the room was free so that was certainly a nice Christmas present. We had enjoyed 3 days together in a beautiful setting and contrary to predictions there had been no wild fires so we were blessed indeed. We stopped at a few malls on the way home so it was after dark when we arrived back at our condo. Dick and Ron returned the car to the rental agency while Kerri and I played with Lucy. Ron's parents came over later to spend the night so Ron could take them to the airport the next morning. They were visiting their son and his family in North Carolina and had a 7:00 flight.

The next morning, Dick and I were both awake before 6:00, but stayed in bed to try and get more sleep. He dozed off right away and in a few minutes I noticed that the air purifier and bathroom light went out. Since it was still dark outside the condo was pitch black. Well my first thought was, "no coffee this morning" and then "no heat or lights". In just a few minutes a light in the kitchen came on, but not the one in the bathroom so I decided I'd better wake Dick so we could see if maybe a fuse had blown. I had no way of knowing if the entire building was affected or just our condo. It was strange that only part of the condo seemed to be affected by the power outage. I thought about calling Kerri but thought they were probably sleeping as I knew Ron had taken his parents to the airport at 5:00. So Dick and I got out of bed and found the fuse box behind the bedroom door, but since it was dark we couldn't see to tell if a fuse was blown. We found candles but had no matches. Dick tried to turn on the gas stove to light the candle but it didn't work either. I went back in the bathroom and started flipping switches and the lights came on. Then I turned on the bedroom light and it came on and when we checked the fuses, none were out. The air purifier hadn't come back on and the heat seemed to be off, but most of the lights were on. The mystery deepened and then all of a sudden we heard clicking noises and the rest of the power came on. We both said a thankful prayer and went back to bed. Why do strange things always seem to happen to us in California?? When we saw Kerri later in the morning she said the whole building was without power and she was awake and alone since Ron was still at the airport with his parents. No one ever told us the cause of the outage and we just chalked it up to the weird things of California.

That afternoon Dick and Ron babysat Lucy and Kerri and I went to the mall. Are you getting the idea that we visited every mall in southern California in 7 days? Not so, but we tried. We had a nice lunch and spent most of the time in Macy's as I had lots of money off coupons. Kerri tried on tons of clothes and bought several outfits. I only tried on a blouse which I didn't need so didn't buy it. As we were leaving the store, Kerri noticed that her sweater was missing and I made some comment about not looking after her things. She went back to the dressing room and luckily the sweater was there. After that we went out into the mall and as we were getting ready to leave I realized that I didn't have my sweater. To her credit Kerri didn't say anything about my lack of responsibility and I hurried back to the Macy's dressing room praying that my sweater coat was there since it was the only one I had brought on the trip. Plus it was one of my favorite sweaters. Once again God was good and after waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the dressing room to empty so I could look, the sweater was laying under a pile of clothes. After that Kerri and I decided we'd better go home before we lost anything else. Actually it was time to feed Lucy and my back was hurting.

That evening was bittersweet as we knew we would be leaving early the next morning so had to say goodbye to Lucy. She just laughed and tried so hard to say "I'll miss you Nana" and finally I just had to give her a big hug and kiss and said goodbye. I knew we'd be seeing her in 3 weeks when her parents brought her to Georgia so that made the goodbye a little easier.

Dick and I finished packing, left some presents and note for our hosts and went to bed. The alarm rang at 5:15 and we wearily climbed out of bed and got dressed. Ron came over about 5:45 to make sure we were awake and then we went over and said goodbye to a sleepy Kerri. I peeked in Lucy's nursery and she was sleeping peacefully so I didn't go in although it was very tempting just to give her one more kiss.

We arrived at the airport in less than 10 minutes and managed to get through all the security and screening with no broken bottles or alarms going off. Dick sat down and went to sleep and I walked around until time to board the plane at 8:00. Well we were seated and ready to go when the pilot came over the speaker saying there would be a delay while a mechanic went to get a part to repair the air conditioner. Now as much as I hate delays, I certainly wanted to have cool air while we were flying. Also the individual reading lights were all out so it was hard to see my crossword puzzle. Dick just put his head down and went to sleep. That delay was about 45 minutes and when we finally took off, heat started pouring out of the vents and everyone started shedding sweaters and long sleeve shirts and I was worried about being able to breathe. My asthma doesn't do well in heat. On the other hand Dick was saying how good it felt to be warm because he always freezes on air planes. Finally the flight attendant or someone got the heat turned off and the air on, but still no reading lights. Dick was so cold that I gave him my jacket to put over his shoulders. The movie "No Reservations" which I had seen but thought I would watch just to pass the time, started and had no sound. Did anything work on that plane??? After a few minutes they turned the movie off and announced that they would try and fix the sound and the lights. They were eventually successful and I watched the movie as best I could with people walking up and down the aisles blocking my view. That was okay since I had seen it anyway.

The flight was less than 4 hours and we were thankful to land safely in Atlanta only about 15 minutes past our scheduled arrival time. Our friend Cliff was there to meet us with a luggage cart and after a few minutes our luggage arrived and we were in the car heading home. It was good to be back in Georgia and even better to be back in our own home and own bed. It had been a wonderful Christmas although very different than others we had shared with family at our home. The important thing was being together with loved ones and celebrating Christ's birth. This year we also celebrated precious Lucy's birth. God is indeed good!!!