Happy Holidays to one and all. This year the Minnesotans for Global Warming are having a significant impact on our weather. As I write this in December, it is 67 degrees outside - just a tad warmer than in the house. A whole new meaning to "basking in the winter wonder land".
Family State of Affairs
So lets start with the big news. Lock your doors. Scoop your kids off the streets. Review your auto, life, and home insurance. Diana is driving. The same state that provided us the opportunity to elect Jesse as our governor has gone and bestowed a drivers license to the demon that from sprang from our loins and onto your public highways.
Yep! The day after her 16th birthday (a golden birthday), she was down at the testing station madly trying to figure out what all those pesky knobs do that decorate the dashboard. The radio was a breeze, but those other icons must have lost their meaning in the translation from Japanese. Well, in the end she can't back up too well and her parallel parking was less than desirable, but she passed.
That kind of takes the wind out the rest of the year's events. But lets see what dirt we can dig up.
Mark left Computing Devices Intl. in February to join BFGoodrich Aerospace in Burnsville. They make sensors for aircraft to answer the pilot's questions - such as how fast are we going, is there ice on the wings, and (the ever present question) are we about to stall. Mark says he is happy, but he still looks forward to his days off.
Mark just got a glimpse at the new auto insurance premiums and it looks like Erik will be taking the bus until he turns 25. Last year at this time we were joking about this. But now that reality has hit us in the bread basket ... Ahhh, how times have changed.
Speaking of Erik, he and Laurel went down to Texas this past Spring to visit her sister - and go to Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie (just south of Dallas). A very good time was had - and we have the video tape to prove it. They are vowing to return with or without Diana and Mark.
Erik took his Dad to cub scout camp this summer. Very interesting time. Dad can still build a fire. All those cub scouts love fire. The cub scouts loved Dad. Maybe it was that big knife he was carrying around. Anyway, canoeing, first aid, archery, BB guns, and lots of other fun.
Erik is now playing the baritone. He has a very nice (Yamaha) horn. It is on loan until the music store can find a cheap one. I just saw his report card too. Very nice. It seems like music and band are very kind to Erik. His other subjects are doing well too. In November he went up to ELC (Environmental Learning Center) for school. They learn such skills as rock climbing, wilderness survival, and traveling on rope bridges.
Oh, and did you know that Laurel cast the Plymouth Voyager onto the salvage heap. Yep! Dad has a "new" van. The old one was totaled - twice! It was not a good year for the van. Laurel is still working at Lynn Temporary in St. Paul. Business seems to be picking up.
The more mundane news on Diana is she and her dad went up to the boundary waters for a little bonding trip. She survived. He survived. The snake did not. She also got to the MAGE wargaming conventions and continues to play Sasha in a Society in Shadow LARP game. This winter, SiS will be in Minneapolis for Con of the North. She is hoping to get her friends to take advantage of the close proximity and do something she wants to do. Then there is her participation in Girl Scouts, Band, and the ever present academic life of high school.
Spot's campaign for presidency was taking a downward spiral, but got a shot in the arm this past election. Inspired by Jesse Ventura's successful bid for the office of governor of Minnesota, a dog as President of these United States does not sound so far fetched anymore. She has been taking photo-ops with Diana. Diana needed a subject for photography class in school and Spot needed the extra publicity. It seemed like a natural win-win arrangement.
Shadow (the cat) continues her laize-faire life. Even the bird has been left alone.
Looking Back over the Year
Mark did a bit of travelling this fall - Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, a journey into Chicago to see what the big city had to offer, and finally out to Washington DC to visit family and friends. After last year's visit to Boston, it is clear this family needs an east coast adventure.
Of course, Laurel thinks that means Disneyworld so she planned that for this coming January.
But Mark was thinking more of the historically significant parts of the country. We will see.
The garden just gets bigger. Laurel discovered people will buy cornstalks. Laurel says ours are free - if you come get them. The kid's favorite was the 3 turkeys. Yep! Laurel tried to name them Tom (obviously), Dick, and Harry, but I think Diana won with the names of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Dispite the fact the kids were disgusted with caring for the turkeys, none could bear to watch the "assasination". We had the smoked one at Thanksgiving - makes my mouth water for the next feast.
Mark pressed more apples for apple cider. He had his brewing club over one Saturday to press apples. It was a wonderful year - we pressed about 110 gallons. He has settled into the ciders and meads more than the beers. Be sure to ask for some. Laurel wants to get rid of some of the bottles.
May you find the peace and salvation offered by the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Glewwe Family in Prior Lake
Mark, Laurel, Diana, Erik, Spot, Shadow, and Tweetie