In a commentary on CBS, actor and writer Ben Stein said that his family really got into Christmas even though they are Jewish. How could one not like a holiday with all those beautiful trees and lights; a celebration all about peace and love? The Holidays are a wonderful time of year! Peace and love are a focus and we can truly be grateful that the vast majority of people across the planet live in peace (if not love) every day of the year. If they did not, the entire world would be in chaos. However, we do recognize during this season, that some people do not possess what they need and many reach out and help. They write a check to pay off a lay-a-way, drop coins in the kettles, volunteer in a soup kitchen, buy a toy for an unknown child or deliver some homemade cookies to a neighbor. Despite all of the commercialism, the Holidays are of time of peace, hope, love and giving. And of course, the season is one of great spiritual meaning for Christians around the globe!
We've been wanting to get Gary and Laurie on a beautiful ride through the orchard country in Nelson County so last Saturday we headed north. When Gretchen and I first did the ride it was 12 miles but we scouted out a route that extended it to 20 miles and took in Bland and Leonard's own stomping grounds around Massies Mill and Pharsalia. Pharsalia was a plantation owned originally by Thomas Massie of whom Bland is a descendent.
This week's ride took the TOF Brothers to Altavista for a 36 mile loop east of town. Beautiful day to ride with temperatures in the forties, lunch along a briskly flowing Staunton River in Long Island, a great 6 mile roll and of course, a few hills to make it a worthwhile ride. The boys do scare me. We have already lowered our cold riding threshold to below 40 degrees this season and David and Gary are talking about riding all winter. How low will they go? Will I need down booties, a full face mask, hand warmers?
The big news this year was announced via Henry's tee-shirt; he's going to be a big brother! Katie is pregnant and is due in July! What a joy! Katie will graduate in May, take Boards in June, deliver in July and be able to stay at home for a few months with the baby. That is the plan. Congratulations Katie and David. We hope all goes well!
On Friday, the Alexander's go to the Fire Department to buy their tree and we decorate it listening to Christmas music. Traditions continue on Saturday as we eat breakfast at Elmo's and watch the UVA-Tech football game. Not good for the Wahoos this year, but maybe next year is our year! We had a great time as always this Thanksgiving. We know the same is true for Kelley, Seth and Maggie as they celebrate the holiday with the Hill clan in Monroe, NC!