I knew life was getting ready to take an unusual turn when our Air Force grandson called to tell me that he could not find anyone in Panama City, Florida who would take care of his three cats and two ferrets. (Imagine that!) “Grandma,” Dalton asked, “May Rachel and I bring the animals with us when we come for a Christmas visit?” I heard my mouth say, “Of course they may come. We’ll all have fun playing with them. Ferrets will be a new adventure for us.”


And so from the east came Grandson Dalton, his lovely girlfriend, Rachel, two ferrets, three cats, and multiple cages. From east of us in Austin arrived Lane, his sweet wife Margie with their three dogs. (Lane and Margie left their two chinchillas at home. What a shame. How silly of them.) Additional grandchildren — nine-year old Elliott, twelve-year old Aidan, thirteen-year old Chandler, sixteen-year old Catherine, and eighteen-year old Samantha joined the chorus of animals to add their own joyful noises.

To say we had a jolly Christmas would be a vast understatement. Together, we feasted, opened gifts, petted animals, and sang songs. Aidan blessed us with his marimba while Samantha challenged her dad to a wicked game of pingpong. Chris and I treasured every minute of Christmas. The next day we slept until 10:00!

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