Wednesday, December 30, 2009


One of my favorite meals is a fried, broken-yolk egg on toast. It is quick, easy, cheap, nutritious, and I almost always have the ingredients. Today as I was frying my egg and toasting my toast, I remembered some eggs of my youth. Most of the time our meals were very consistent: meat, potatoes, vegetable, bread and dessert. But occasionally, probably on a weekend, we would sit down to the table and mom would bring in a big platter...a very big platter...of eggs. I can see it now. It would start with the person sitting in the NE corner and go all the way around the table, with everyone sliding off a few eggs. Everyone, that is, except me. All those eggs had soft yolks, and I have never been able to stand soft-yolked eggs. I wonder how many eggs mom fried for a meal. She used the lefse plate and I'm sure she covered it more than once. Funny, I can't remember what we had to eat with the eggs. I just picture that big platter of soft-yolked eggs going around the table, stopping at each place, and depositing some eggs onto the plates. I wonder...what did I eat? I'm sure it wasn't eggs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Special Gift from South Africa

As some of you know, a hobby of mine is to collect teacups and saucers. But not just any teacup and saucer. I only want ones from different countries. My goal is to have twelve cups and saucers made in twelve different countries. Right now I have Russia, Germany, England, Poland, Greece and the USA. I am halfway there! When Amber and her Dad went to South Africa in November, my only wish was that they would bring me back a teacup and saucer made in South Africa. They returned just before Thanksgiving. When they came over to celebrate the holiday, I was trying to control my excitement, expecting my teacup and saucer! But, alas! No such thing. Instead there were the stories of how they looked here and they looked there, and they tried to buy one from a coffee shop (they were in use), and they went to malls and stores and could not find any teacup and saucer that was made in South Africa. "They aren't much into making those in South Africa," said Nik. I was starting to feel guilty for even wanting it; they worked so hard to find it for me. I was afraid their entire trip was ruined because of my teacup and saucer obsession. But, no problem, everything is okay. Then came Christmas. I opened my gift from their family....a massage! Hey, that's cool. I love massages, though I've only had one in my life. One more gift -- you guessed it. A teacup and saucer made in South Africa!! I was overjoyed. But didn't they tell me they could not find one? Now the full story comes out. They were correct in saying all the things they did; couldn't find it in the malls or stores. What they didn't say was that at the airport, as they were leaving South Africa, they found this teacup and saucer. Whew! Thanks, Nik and Amber. I love it and have used it many times already!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

In Defense of the Prairies

Today we drove hundreds of miles across the prairies of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. It was as we were going through Iowa that I tuned into the beauty around me. Many of my sophisticated urbanite friends (and probably some relatives) find a trip like this boring and ..... well, very boring. "Nothing to look at," they say, "It's just too barren." Let me tell you what I saw today. I saw thousands of acres of rich farmland hidden beneath a thick blanket of snow. Snow that will melt and water the earth. Water the earth that will produce food to feed us all. Or produce grasses and grains to feed the animals that will feed us all. Dotted along the highway I saw roads leading up to cozy homes. Homes with houses, barns, sheds, garages, large yards, and acres to call their own. Homes that brought back memories of the days when I lived in a place like that. I saw trees barren of leaves, but clothed in a thin layer of ice that glittered in the sunlight, as if they were made of glass. As we drove by I noticed one of the glass trees had a lone bird perched on a glass branch. I saw trees that were coated in frost, each branch and twig pure white. For several miles, along the roadside, I saw snowdrifts that looked like the wave of the ocean coming to shore. Boring and barren? Not so much. We just need to open our eyes and understand the cycles of nature that gives us all life. And where else can you stretch your soul from horizon to horizon, with nothing to obstruct the view or to restrict the feeling of freedom?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Memories: My Last Childhood Christmas

1969 - my last Christmas living in my parent's home. This seems like a good ending to my series of Christmas memories. And what a memory Christmas 1969 was! I was almost 18, a senior in high school. After months of begging, pleading, cajoling, I got my biggest wish - I was going to fly to California to spend Christmas with my sister Evie and her family. This was a very big deal. I had never been on an airplane. I had never been to California. I had never taken a trip by myself. But I was full of confidence and had no fear of the unknown. My world was about to expand exponentially. Some of my favorite memories of this trip:
  • Changing planes in Minneapolis, having to go to the bathroom and discovering you had to pay. (I did not pay because I caught the door when someone else was leaving.)
  • Seeing Evie and Bill at the airport in Los Angeles as I came off the Jetway.
  • Little Annette and Billy; they were so adorable and loving to their Aunt Audrey
  • Palm trees
  • Warm weather
  • Spaghetti on Christmas Eve
  • Opening gifts on Christmas morning (can you believe it??)
  • Disneyland
  • Subs and Suds (never heard of it before)
  • Montovani music
  • Cheetos
  • Cute guys
  • Long talks with Evie
  • Traffic, traffic, traffic
  • Pacific ocean
  • Christmas dinner in the garage ... with doors open ... in December
What a long way life had brought me. I went from cozy, familiar and safe Christmases to a whole new and different world; strange environment, different customs and traditions, strangers. Over the years since leaving home, Christmas has been so many different scenarios. As good or not-so-good as any of them were, every December 24 my mind and heart takes a short trip back to the little living room overflowing with presents under the tree, the tables laden with food, and my large family gathered together. And I thank God for how blessed I was in my formative years. Come on, ring those bells! Light the Christmas tree! Jesus is the King....born for you and me. Come on, ring those bells! Everybody say, "Jesus, we remember this, your birthday."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Memories: The Best Ever

Little did I know that the next Christmas would be very a good way. You wouldn't think so the way 1967 started. The first months of the year I was one very miserable teenager; extremely disillusioned, feeling like my life was restrictive and repressive. I was questioning everything. And we were at war. In fact, I had three brothers connected to the military....David was in the Navy and Tom was soon to join. Don was in the Army. And Vietnam was very real. It was the days of Peter, Paul and Mary, the days of love-ins, the days of the flower children, the days of pot. Rebellion and cynicism was everywhere, and my own heart was swept along a sea of discord and discontent. And then.....the unthinkable happened. The "Hound of Heaven" wouldn't leave me alone. Finally, on June 30, 1967, I let it all go and invited the Prince of Peace to reign in my heart and in my mind. Instant change. Discord turned to peace, discontent turned to joy, rather than feeling restricted and repressed, I felt freedom. Rather than feeling like no one loved me, I felt loved like never before. A teen aged phase? I don't think so. It has stayed with me for over 40 years - through the best of times and through the worst of times. And I will never forget Christmas 1967. By now Don was in the trenches of Vietnam and there were reports every day of soldiers being killed. Would Don be the next one? What was he doing this Christmas eve? As we shared a good meal and later opened our gifts, I remember feeling such an overwhelming peace and joy, for now the ceremonies and traditions had meaning. I finally understood what we were really celebrating. I put on my new watch and tried to calculate what time it was in Vietnam -- it was already Christmas Day there. And I prayed the prayer yet again, "Lord, please bring him back to us soon, even if he has to have a small injury to do it." I figured a small injury to bring him home would be better than getting killed any day! (Don, I take full responsibility for the bullet in your leg!) Somehow, I just knew he would be okay, and he was. Yes, I had experienced lots of wonderful Christmas celebrations, but this was the best yet. And I know that whatever Christmas may hold in the future; if I am ever alone, if there are no gifts, if there is no feast...I know that I will still reflect on what happened and still have peace, joy and love in my heart. Because I will always have the Christ of Christmas with me. Joy to the World!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Early Christmas

We had a wonderful early Christmas with our middle daughter and her family on Sunday night. The ham dinner turned out nearly perfect, the kids were well behaved, the Christmas story was meaningful, the desserts were yummy and the family time was priceless. The first thing the kids said when they came was that it really wasn't Christmas Eve. But it sure felt like it as the evening went along! Now we are on our way to see youngest daughter, her husband and grandson Archie. Everything would be complete if only we could also see oldest daughter and her family!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What's This All About???

Holidays aren't turning out to be the best of times for my sister, Sylvia. When I went to North Dakota over Thanksgiving, she decides to get pneumonia so bad that she spends Thanksgiving in the hospital. She was soon back home, feeling much better, although weak. And here we are, the week of Christmas. And my always healthy sister is back in the hospital! What's the problem this time? She has CHF, also known as congestive heart failure. It was so hard for her to breathe that she could barely move around the house. They've taken a lot of water off her, so she is feeling better again. But I've got lots of questions. Thankfully, she has an appointment in a couple weeks with a cardiologist in Grand Forks. I sure hope we get some answers. (Karen - we're counting on you being with her...) Meanwhile, looks like she won't be doing much for Christmas this year. Take care, Sis. We don't want you in the hospital for Valentine's Day!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Memories: Correction

I called Mom today and she gave me more information about the Santa visit. Actually, the first time Santa came only Dad and Mom knew about it and Dad was the Santa. They got the idea when Dad got some red flannel pajamas. Mom put cotton around the edges to make it look like Santa's outfit. Then they found a Santa mask. The second year was the one I blogged about earlier - Mom was the Santa and we had the red flannel stockings. The third year my brother Tom acted as Santa, but by then everyone knew what to expect. It was all a lot of fun. So now the record is straight....remembered better by my 93 year old mother than by me!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Memories: So Different

It was soon December once again. It was with apprehension that I approached Christmas Eve this time. It would be like none I had ever experienced. No overabundance of people, presents and food. I was also beginning to go through teen-age angst. Did anyone really love me? What is Christmas all about, anyway? I'm sure of it - no one loves me. Christmas is meaningless. Church is meaningless. All is vanity. As the day progressed, I set the table. No kids tables this year; we all fit around the dining room table just like every other day of the year. I wondered how my nieces and nephews were feeling, knowing they would be in their own small groups as well. After eating, we again gathered around the Christmas tree in the living room. I don't remember if Dad moved from his place at the dining room table to the living room. There certainly was room for him this year. Everything went okay and we had a good family time. Two things made it special: (1) Bob and Jim were still little enough to provide the child excitement; and (2) my big brother David was on leave from the Navy and was able to join us. David was my hero and I was so proud of him. Yes, Christmas this way turned out fine. Except that I felt a little empty and .... lonely. Little did I know at that time that the next Christmas would be very different.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Memories: Change

Oh, how I loved Christmas Eve with all the family gathered together. It was a time to look forward to all year. It was a time of magic. The glow lasted all during Christmas vacation. It was a tradition I thought would last forever. I will never forget the huge let-down feeling I got when I was told, "This is the last Christmas Eve that Vivian and Sylvia and their families will be coming over." What crushing news! It was time, I was told, for them to start creating their own Christmas traditions. And there were too many people. And it was hard to carry all the wrapped gifts over and the unwrapped home again. It was hard to be out late at night with all the little ones. I certainly understand that logic now, but back was all about me and my loss. All year I tried not to even think about what Christmas Eve would be like without all of us together. The months rolled by, and it was soon December once again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Memories: My New Sister

A present I will never forget - a present I still have. In the months leading up to this Christmas I was one very unhappy girl. Things weren't going my way and there was no way I could change it. And every day there was a very clear reminder of the unfairness of life. You see, when I found out my mother was going to have baby #10, it made perfect sense to me that it would be a girl. That would make us 5 girls and 5 boys. And it would also give me a break from being around only boys all the time (the other girls were all much older). Well, the baby turned out to be a boy. I was devastated. And, frankly, a little peeved. I guess I took it out on my mom a lot. I kept begging her to have another baby, and it better be a sister! My friend, Judy, just got a baby sister and she already had a bunch of sister and no brothers. Not fair! So here we are again, all of us gathered around the Christmas tree in the living room. I had a really big box with my name on it. I eagerly opened the package and there....was this very big doll. I wasn't sure what to think, as I had not received a doll for the last couple of years. But I soon got the message as I heard my mom say, "Here's your new baby sister." I don't know if she said it or not, but the message I heard in my heart was, "I don't want to hear any more about getting a baby sister. This is what you get and there aren't going to be any more babies." I named her Mary Ann. Not quite the same as a live sister, but Mary Ann became a good friend; she has been with me for a very long time now. A year ago I took her to the doll doctor and got her a wig (a lot of her hair had fallen out), got her eyelashes repaired, and gave her a good cleaning. I also bought her some new clothes. She now sits in my living room day after day. She looks pretty good for being close to 50, doesn't she? By the way, the glasses she is wearing did not come with her. She is modeling my new glasses. P.S. There did come a day when I fell in love with my baby brother :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Memories: Surprise!

I was sure of Christmas would be better. Well, I'm not exactly sure if it was the next year or not, but this is a story of the Christmas of the Big Surprise! As usual, the tree was overflowing, the food was in abundance, and the family was large. In great anticipation all the children and most of the adults were gathering in the living room. Dad was at his usual place at the dining room table; mother was at her usual place in the kitchen. Suddenly - a knock on the front entry door. Now what was that all about??? No one ever used the front door. And who dared interrupt us just as we were gathering around the tree??? Someone finally opened the door and we all heard a hearty "HO! HO! HO!" And there appeared a real live Santa with a sack over his shoulder! What a surprise. Several of the younger children ran and hid, with their little heads peaking out from under chairs, around the corner, behind their mother. I was really mystified, as I was old enough to know that there was not a real Santa. But who could this be? Santa, with help from my sisters, reached into his sack and pulled out a large red stocking for each child. I cannot remember what was in the stockings, but I can still see them. They each had a name done in glitter, with cotton at the top. After all the stockings were distributed, Santa wished us all a merry Christmas, and departed back into the night. It wasn't until much later that I found out who Santa was -- my Mother! She sure did a good job - I didn't even recognize her voice. Mom, Dad and my sisters planned this for weeks, making a Santa outfit out of red flannel pajamas and each stocking made from red flannel. I don't think any of us who were there that night will ever forget when Santa showed up for Christmas eve! It reminds me of a present I will never forget - a present I still have.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What a Trip!

Flight - one hour late.
Drive - 125 miles
Weather - freezing drizzle, about 15 degrees
Destination - Storm Lake, Iowa
Time - 3 1/2 hours

I tried everything, but could not keep the ice off the windshield. Hours of highest temp, full-blast, on the windshield. That makes for a very hot car and a very hot face. I finally discovered that if I kept the back windows cracked open, at least the back of my head was cool and it was bearable for a few miles. Had to stop many times just to thaw out. And I learned to be content looking through only the bottom third of the windshield. (I'm going to have a very stiff neck tomorrow!) I had to come to a complete stop about 10 times just to rest my neck and de-ice. As I drove through some of the small towns I could see people in their nice, warm houses. I thought, "I sure hope the adults are happy and the children aren't cranky. Because they are very blessed to be where they are!" This trip reminded me of the time, a few years ago, when I drove from Denver to Scottsbluff, NE, in freezing rain. Same story as tonight. I finally got to my one-hour meeting with the three doctors. Except that two of them didn't show up. And the one who did, had already seen my presentation. That was a very stupid trip to take. Tonight's trip is much more important. Ouch - neck already hurts. And I bet that tomorrow morning my car will be covered in ice!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Knife Sharpener

Tonight I am giving this knife sharpener to my brother, Bob. From my earliest memory, this knife sharpener was in the utensils draw in the kitchen of our farm home. Periodically, Dad would take it out of the drawer and vigorously sharpen all the knives in the kitchen. He made sure each was razor sharp. When we were cleaning out Mom's apartment and deciding who would like to have what, I asked mom about this item. Long, long ago mom and dad had someone come to the farm to do some work for them. I can't remember exactly what they did. But they had a sharpening stone that was operated with pedals to whir it around. They also had this sharpening stick. Long after the job was complete, one of the older boys found this stick laying in the grass. It was left by the workers. My brother brought it to the house and it was used from that day until we cleaned out the apartment. I hope Bob continues to use it to keep his knives sharp. And every time he does, I hope he remembers the dad he lost when he was only 13 years old.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Amber's Passion

Last night we drove 35 miles in an hour and a half (very slow) to go to Amber's (10-year-old granddaughter) Christmas concert. It is amazing what someone can do with a bunch of 3rd - 5th graders. It was really good! After the concert we went to Amy's house for pizza. I spent some time with Amber in her room, just talking. She revealed that she didn't like being in the choir and would probably drop out next year. And she didn't much like Girl Scouts anymore and would probably drop out next year. Trying to find her interest, I asked, "If you could do anything in the world that you wanted to do, and you didn't have to worry about time or money, what would you want to do?" Her face turned into a big smile, her eyes sparkled, and I just knew we had finally found her passion, her interest. "Go shopping!" she said.

Christmas Memories: Too Sick to Enjoy

Christmas was.....almost normal. It was sometime during the day Dec. 23 that I began feeling a little "off". Surely, all would be well by morning. Not to be. Throughout the day, I felt more and more rotten. Lying on the sofa by the Christmas tree, I tried to capture the special feelings that came every Christmas eve. But bed felt best. Too sick to help set the tables, my fever continued to climb.. The house began to fill up with people, food, and noise. I tried to join, but ended up lying on Mom and Dad's bed in the dark downstairs bedroom. Unable to participate, I could hear the sounds, smell the food and picture the scene. It was so lonely. I was offered food, everything from dessert to crackers. Nothing was appealing. When it came time for the presents, I moved to a chair and managed to open my gifts. I took them upstairs to the room that wasn't as clean or organized this year. As I laid the gifts on my desk, I looked at my bed and immediately crawled in. Sometime during the evening someone took my temperature and I heard something about how high it was. I heard that dad was worried and said that if I wasn't better in the morning we would have to find a doctor. I was too sick to care and fell into a deep sleep. I never went to the doctor; my fever broke before morning. I had all Christmas vacation to recuperate, but always felt a little cheated out of a special Christmas Eve celebration. I was sure of year would be better.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Viola's Care Conference

Yesterday I attended Mom's quarterly care conference via phone. Overall, it was good. Her skin tears are healing, her pulse is staying stable at 50-60, her weight is stable, her labs are mostly within normal ranges, her lungs are clear (though I don't trust their lung assessments), and she is doing some walking during physical therapy (5 - 15 feet times two). The bad news is that her legs are swelling again. She was very aware of what was going on and took part in the conversation and continues to make her own decisions. We are trying to identify high protein foods she will eat so she can get a little better nutrition. I have to admit she is the fussiest eater I have ever known! Worse than any of my kids ever were. Keep those emails going to her. It is almost becoming legendary how many emails she gets and how much she enjoys them. The activities director said she gets more emails than anyone else!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Memories: The Crack

The pain was much closer than I could ever have imagined. In the midst of all the activity and noise I heard someone say, "It sounds like someone is knocking on the door." No one saw any car lights, no one saw a car in the yard. There it was again. How strange to have an unexpected visitor on Christmas eve. I got to the kitchen in time to see mom and dad talking, then dad disappeared into the entry and closed the door. Soon he came back into the kitchen with Mrs. L., our neighbor from about a mile and a half away. She sat on the kitchen stool, warming up, while dad started the car, then they both went off into the cold night. I caught bits and pieces of the story. Mrs. L. had walked from her place to our place, in the dark, in the cold, through the snow, by herself, on Christmas eve. Why? Because.....her husband was drunk, had a gun, and was threatening to kill her. Dad took her home; staying long enough to be certain she was safe. To this day I'm not sure how he did it. But to me, it was incomprehensible that a man would be less than loving and respectful to his wife; especially on Christmas eve, the most wonderful time of the year. That evening, a crack appeared in the protective shell in which I lived. Little did I know that over the years that shell would have many cracks and some day completely crumble. I would be left standing alone, vulnerable, assaulted by the ugliness of life. That would be later. Now it was time to return to the festivities. Children were playing with their tractors and trucks, their dolls and books; teenagers were working puzzles and playing pick-up-sticks; the men were talking farming; diapers were being changed; hands of all sizes were reaching for another cookie, a piece of fudge, a chocolate bon bon. Once again Christmas was....almost normal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Memories: A Perfect Evening

I could see the car lights as the first guests began to arrive. Soon sister Sylvia and family were piling out of the car, bearing arms full of gifts and food. The house was suddenly filled with activity and little children. A little later, the next car arrived, carrying sister Vivian and her family. They, too, burst into the house with gifts and food, and more little children. It wasn't long before we were all sitting at the tables enjoying a delicious meal, all the children brimming with excitement over the activities to come; always impatient that the adults did not seem to be in any hurry. Children were then sent to the basement while everything was cleaned up. No dishwasher in those days - except human ones. I remember going through several dishtowels, as they would get too wet to dry any more dishes. Finally - everyone gathered around the Christmas tree. Picture, if you can, a tree in a rather small living room....presents spreading out far beyond the branches, with many children of all ages and sizes gathered around. I will forever remember seeing my dad sitting at the dining room table, cracking and eating nuts, and visiting with (I think) my brothers-in-law. He sat in the same spot every year where he could watch what was going on, but yet be removed enough to have a little space around him. Some gifts I remember getting during those years: Nancy Drew books, Trixie Beldon books, paint-by-number kits, always a sweater, games, puzzles, jacks, a wrist watch. Finally all the gifts were unwrapped, everyone was sharing, looking, basking in the glow. Then.... my sisters and mother would open the door to the front entry and bring out unending goodies to enjoy for the rest of the evening - fatimund, rosettes, cookies, bars, candies; all beautiful, all homemade, all delicious. At those moments I thought every home, every family, enjoyed Christmas eve the way we did. I was soon to find out that while we had joy, others had pain. And the pain was much closer than I could ever have imagined.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Memories: Anticipation

The day of Christmas Eve. Ahhh, what a long, lovely day it was. It was the slowest day of the year. Christmas eve was the biggest celebration ever and it took forever for nighttime to come. First thing on the agenda was cleaning my room. Before the day was over, I would be bringing new things, my presents, into that room. Everything had to be spotless and orderly; every pencil laid straight, the bed made perfectly, the dolls in their rightful place, my drawers organized and even the hangers in my closet had to be perfectly spaced (blame my dad; you should have seen how organized his tools were). Then there was time spent lying on the sofa, looking at the beautiful tree, and waiting. As soon as the boys brought the tabletop up from the basement (to lay over our dining table to make it much bigger), we could begin setting the table. Oh, so many table settings, and done with such care. After the big table I set the "kid's tables". I began to smell the food. The excitement within was so hard to contain! But I was a big girl now, and had to act like it. The boys went to the barn to do the chores a little early. Then......I could see the car lights as the first guests began to arrive.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sugar Everywhere!

What a fun day! On Saturday I made lots and lots of cut-out sugar cookies. Today the 6, 7, and 10 year old grandkids decorated them. We had many colors of frosting, sprinkles, M&M's, tubes of gel for detail and three creative kids. Julia counted them to be certain everyone had the same - 37 cookies each. The aprons were full of frosting, the tabletop was full of frosting, and the floor was full of colored sugar. But it's hardwood, so it was easy to clean up. While they were decorating Amy and I made an assortment of other goodies. It was a good day. But, oh, how I missed my other girls and their kids. Will we ever again be able to share days like this as a complete family? Why do they have to live so far away????

Friday, December 4, 2009


Two very long, tension-packed, tough-decisions, emotionally and mentally draining days sandwiched between two very long days of travel. Travel that includes hours of driving, hours of flying, hours in airports. This week left me drained, fatigued - mentally and physically. But at the same time I am feeling excited and jazzed in my spirit. I find it incredibly exciting and fulfilling to investigate, find solutions, motivate for change, build relationships and truly make a difference. Oh, the job is far from over. But this week, one of my clinics turned the corner and is poised for a much better 2010! And tomorrow I won't be quite as tired.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Gabby is a beautiful cat. She is gold and white with lots of soft, fluffy hair. I've always been a cat person, but due to their hair and the yucky litter box stuff, we decided to not have any more cats once the kids all left home. Besides, the poor thing would spend way too much time all alone. But last weekend I stayed in a house with Gabby. It didn't start out very well. As I was running out the door to go see Mom, Gabby snuck through the door and into the cold garage. Gabby, of course, was in no hurry to be caught. She went behind a cupboard sitting in the middle of the garage. She peaked around the left corner and I started reaching for her. She quickly turns to go the other way so I run to the right - and there she is peaking around the corner on the right. Then to the left, then the right. I was getting a little frustrated because I was in a hurry. It crossed my mind to just let her spend Thanksgiving Day all alone in the cold garage, but I didn't think Jeri would be very happy with that! So I get more aggressive and Gabby runs behind some other stuff in the garage. As I head to the door to put down my stuff so I can get down and dirty, she comes out and stands in front of me. Ahhh. I grab her quickly and hold her away so I don't get fur all over. That little imp was purring like a motor and I could see by her eyes that she was laughing. Well, by Friday night she won me over. We cuddled together on the sofa, she licked my hand and purred on my tummy. And she left lots of hair on my clothes. I felt myself falling in love again. Don't know if I will ever see her again, but it was good while it lasted.