The year 2021 came to a quiet, peaceful close for me. A winter snow storm came in and I was stranded at home for the most part. I put chains on the truck and was able to get to Christmas Mass. I arrived early to be sure to be on time so took a photo of the church which was beautifully decorated. Teagan and Latah were in Vermont. Taylor had the week off from work so was gone. Jason’s gang was involved at Pebble Creek so I was on my own. I didn’t mind as I was able to concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas which is often lost in the hustle and bustle of preparations. One day I looked out the window and a coyote was standing in the woods right across the road from the house. It was healthy and fluffy looking. It curiously watched the house and then turned and went back in the direction it came.

Jason’s family were without power for days as a storm swept over their area. So they hunkered down at home. They have a wood burning stove to keep them warm and a generator they ran off and on to keep things stabilized.

Jason relaxing with a book
Sophie snuggled under the blanket, invisible
Sam heating bath water

Two days before Christmas Jeremy’s family invited me to dinner. Steph’s mom, Sunee, provided the prime rib and Stephanie prepared it to perfection. Thank you Baenens and Sunee for the delightful evening, my one Christmas social event. It was great seeing all you again.

I didn’t take photos at the dinner so added Sunee to the Baenen’s Christmas card photo.

Jason’s family, days without power, started me thinking when I was a child and we first received electricity on the farm in North Dakota. Our neighbors had electricity and I could see their lights a mile away. Inquisitive, I asked dad why we didn’t have lights. He explained that the power lines didn’t reach our farm yet. I remember that like yesterday. I was in first grade and was told, one day, there was a surprise at home. We gathered around the dining room table and “Wa La,” hanging down on a wire was one light bulb lighting the room. It was magical. Remembering that so clearly I wondered if I really remembered it or was imagining. So I researched and the timing is right. Electric power came to Stutsman County, North Dakota in 1946 at which time I was 3 years old. However, it took awhile for the lines to reach our farm so I most likely was in first grade when it arrived and I do remember it. I also remember tiring of the harsh electric lights and asking if we could have the soft glow of the kerosine lamp again.

North Dakota rural power line map -1946

Below are a few photos people sent me about their lives closing out the year.

Teagan & Latah skiing in Vermont
Deb shared a photo of their manger scene
The girls spending time with their cousin Sabin
I have been making lots of soup like this potato soup with bacon, green onions and cheese
I have been chaining up to get in and out of my place

I took the Onewheel out to try it in the snow. Actually it worked well in the snow except there was ice under my boots and my back foot kept slipping off. Before I had a chance to remedy that problem the weather got nasty and I haven’t been able to give it another try. Mike sent a photo of himself looking tall and handsome.

Worked well when staying on the track
Mike, tall and handsome

Jason received a video drone for Christmas so flew over my house when he was here.