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Monday, December 31, 2012

A Stroll Through Savannah

Today was an eventful day!  We started with a propane/CO2 leak detector that we thought might be possessed, and we finished with a demented ghost tour of the City of Savannah!

The story of the leak detector is a long one.  Some months ago, David accidentally spilled some lemonade, and it splashed on our leak detector, which is mounted low near our refrigerator.  The lemonade ruined the detector's element, so we bought a replacement on Amazon.  It arrives a couple weeks later.  We install it.  Within 2 weeks, it goes bad for no apparent reason.  So we return it with a warranty claim.  Some weeks later (again), the manufacturer sent us a third one.  It wouldn't power up when we attached it to the power source!  We checked everything:  the wires we hooked it to had power; the unit would turn on when we connected it to another 12 volt source; the fuse wasn't burned out.  We were stumped.  So we finally called an RV serviceman, who stopped by, and in 15 minutes, he determined that, while our fuse wasn't burned out, it was defective and was only letting partial voltage through to the leak detector.  The serviceman said he hadn't seen that before.  Mystery solved.  Our leak detector is working.

It was about 11 am and we decided not to waste the rest of this beautiful day.  While the temperature had fallen to 28F last night, today it was to rise to 64F!  And sun, to boot!  We decided to drive into Savannah and walk around.  After a brief stop at the visitor center and history museum, we ambled over to The Distillery, a great beer pub, to have lunch.  The beer selection is extensive and the food good.

Stomachs full, we then set out across town on foot.  The first thing we spotted was SNOW (!?!) in a parking lot.  Kathy solved the mystery:  it was piled up outside the back door to the civic center and (probably) some zamboni had scraped it off an interior ice rink and left it in the back of the lot.  Here's Kathy building a mini snowman on the mystery snow:

Savannah is laid out on a grid, with 24 squares (parks), each with a small ward, or neighborhood, surrounding it.  Each ward contains private homes and public buildings.  We mapped our walk out to see as many of the surviving 22 squares as we could.  Working our way north to the Savannah River, we sojourned along River Street.  To the west we could see Savannah's famous bridge --

-- and to the right we saw sternwheeler riverboats.  Sailboats were moored all along the docks.  Back up the bluff into the heart of town, we walked through the Old City Market.  Kathy spied a bronze gentlemen reading a newspaper and decided to join him.  Are those his sunglasses?

Just past the bronze man we found Paula Dean's famous restaurant, "The Lady & Sons," shortened from the name of her original catering business, "The Bag Lady," and expanded to include reference to her two sons, who joined her in the business.  We inquired about whether we could make reservations for dinner.  Sorry, lunch is sold out, and dinner is sold out until 9:30 pm!  Oh, well, it was probably going to be too expensive - and just a buffet, anyway.

Continuing our walk, we found the Unitarian Universalist Church where James L. Pierpont, the author of "Jingle Bells," was music director.  He wrote the song in 1857.  This is memorialized by a plaque in Troup Square across from the church:

It seems we were following a church theme.  At Lafayette Square, we encountered the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the first Catholic church in Savannah.  The original colonial charter for Savannah prohibited Catholics from settling in the colony, out of fear they would sympathize with the Spanish, whose colonies lay immediately to the south.

As another religious first, we stumbled across Temple Mickve Israel, the only Gothic style synagogue in America, built by a Jewish congregation originating in a group of 42 Jews from London who arrived in Savannah in the 1730's, which is considered the third oldest Jewish congregation in America.

Our walking tour ended (more or less) at famous Forsyth Park, built in the 1840's.  It's centerpiece, the Forsyth Fountain, was erected in 1858 and is considered the most photographed site in Savannah.  We happened along just as two weddings were being celebrated.  One was of a young couple shown to the right in the photograph below:

From Forsyth Park we worked our way back to dinner - again - at The Distillery.  In addition to good beer, Kathy tried alligator tail and fries and David had a spicy bean burger.

This whole day was a prelude to the climax:  a Ghost Tour of Savannah!  We boarded a tour trolley.  We grew a little uneasy when the bus driver, a twenty-something self-professed Cajun girl, started apologizing for no heat on the trolley.  We got a little more nervous when she seemed to have trouble maneuvering the trolley out of the parking lot.  But eventually we were on the road.  Our narrator was a young man who seemed a little hallucinogenic - not quite all there.  He narrated ghost stories as she drove - but the stories didn't match anything we were passing on the streets!  Eventually, they drove the trolley into an empty parking garage (!?!), asked us to get out, and told us a story of a gruesome triple murder that took place in a rooming house that had stood on the site of the garage.  All of this in the hallucinogenic tones of the young narrator.  As we got back on the trolley, he suddenly jumped out and ran to a lavatory.  The bus driver reported that the narrator was running a 106F fever and was sick as a dog!  A woman passenger piped up that she didn't want him on the trolley anymore, as he was likely to infect all the passengers.  The bus driver agreed and called a supervisor, who rushed over to pick up the narrator.  With that, our bus driver took over a narration which consisted mainly of reporting that the tour was over and that she was driving us straight back to our starting point.  She said that in view of the narrator's illness, the tour company was offering to refund our money.  She was kind enough to let us out where we parked, and we left her a tip despite the very strange experience.  Certainly the oddest tour we've ever taken!  We may be haunted by it the rest of our life.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fort McAllister

Dear Blog.  We got up this morning and took our coffee cups for a walk around the campground.  We said hello to our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Bald Eagle.  The Eagles are renting the penthouse loft on a peninsula that juts out into the middle of the campground lake.  From their loft perch, they have the perfect vantage point.

This morning dawned clear but icy cold - 32 degrees.  It did warm up some when the sun rose, but not enough to ride our bikes.  We ended up driving over to Fort McAllister - a Confederate earthwork fort built to protect the mouth of the Ogeechee River, which leads to Savannah. On the way, we stopped at Fish Tales a local seafood restaurant on the river. Dave and I felt like we were in Key West!

Here is Dave with his big gun. Oh, and that black thing is one of the cannons that protected the fort.

The whole fort reminded us of Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings.  All of the buildings were dug into large mounds of sand.  Because the sand absorbed most of the shell shock, the Union Navy was never able to bombard the fort into submission. It wasn't until the Union Army arrived after sacking Atlanta did the  fort surrender.

Here is what it looked like inside one of the mounds.

After the Civil War, the area was pretty much abandoned.  Henry Ford had a hugh winter home nearby and bought the property after visiting the area and started work restoring the fort.  The area is now a state park and houses a small Civil War museum.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and we are looking forward to our New Year's Eve Party at the Rec Center.  I am sure there will be something to blog about.  :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Out and About in Richmond Hill

Today was our first day in Richmond Hill, just south of Savannah, Georgia.  We took our usual walk about the campground first thing in the morning, sipping our cups of coffee.  This morning was unusual, first because we have a lake by the campground, and, second, because the lake is rife with wildlife - fowl - swans, geese, eagles, egrets, herons, loons, and more!

Here is a photo of the many swans (and their geese friends) populating the lake.  The campground owners put seeds out in large buckets for the swans.  The swans can reach into the buckets with their long necks and reach the seeds.  The other birds cannot.  But the geese and swans have solved this problem:  the swans reach in and grab the seeds and spread them on the ground for the geese to eat!  It seems the swans like each other less than they like the geese.

Late this afternoon, we walked a mile and a half over to Molly MacPherson's Scottish Pub & Grill, an establishment that lives up to its name, and more.  Along the way, Kathy saw one of her first palm trees on this trip South, and we had to capture a photo of it for posterity:

Molly MacPherson's specializes in single malt scotches (one of our favorite libations).  You can purchase any of nearly 100 single malt scotches by the single serving; or you can purchase a flight of five half-shots, each different, along various themes.  Kathy picked a flight called, "Mike's Flight," a selection of the owner's favorites.  David picked an Islay/Campbelltown flight.  Here's a photo of our flights, along with our scrumptious appetizer, known as the "Scottish Combo," a sampler of Scotch Egg, Meat Pie, and Guinness Onion Rings:

We shared an entree of Steak & Guinness Stew (yum!) along with another shot of our respective favorite scotches (Kathy had an Auchentoshen, David had Peat Monster), and rounded the meal out with a scrumptious, if somewhat dry, "Molly's Scotch Cake."

We walked back to the campground under the rosy glow of a Georgian sunset in a clear sky with puffy grey clouds.  We ignored the traffic on Route 17 and concentrated on the rosy glows inside and outside.

Eddie and George Wake Up in Savannah GA

Eddie:  Dude, I am so glad we made it to Savannah.

George:  I know what you mean. That traffic yesterday from Wade to Savannah was terrible. I never experienced such bumper to bumper manic driving - EVER!

Eddie:  I know, man, it must be all those snow birds heading to Florida.

George: Yeah! I am glad that all the cool birds decided to stay at our camp ground.

Eddie:  Did you bring any swan chow with you?

George:  No, but there is a big bucket of it there on the beach.

Eddie:  Did you see how the swan can reach into the bottom of the bucket and pull out the chow and then share it with the Canadian geese.  Poor geese, their necks aren't long enough to reach the bottom of the bucket.

George:  Yeah, it's good to have friends.

Eddie:  Just like us!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Goodbye to North Carolina

Today was our last day in North Carolina.  We'll fondly remember Dave and Kris, who befriended us and provided cheery conversation.  Here's a photo of Kathy with Dave, acting in his official capacity, as they sit in the KOA golf cart:

We finished our campground stay with a campfire, and while the fire was burning, we watched the sun go down and the moon rise.  Both were quite picturesque:

...and now, on to the Heart of Dixie.  Savannah, Georgia, here we come!

Arrived Savannah South KOA @ 3:40 pm

Sent from my iPhone

Departed Fayetteville-Wade KOA @ 10:45 am

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Christmas in Philly

Ho, Ho, Ho - Merry Christmas! After the family pollyanna party on Sunday, we stayed at Barb's B&B on Bedford Avenue in Collingdale, PA. Christmas Eve dawned with a list of chores and shopping to do as we got ready for the big day. We attended the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass at St. Joseph's Church. After mass, Barb prepared a lovely dinner of assorted mini quiche and tossed salad with almonds and cranberries - yum. We then stuffed our stockings and settled in to watch a Christmas movie.  However, by the time we finished checking our emails and wishing everyone a merry on Facebook, it was too late to start the movie.  (We didn't want Santa to have to wait before delivering our presents, so we went to bed early.)

Christmas morning started with a great breakfast of pink grapefruit, scrapple and cheese omelette. We then started the Christmas dinner prep while we waited for Katie, Deb, Laird and Risa to arrive. At 11:00 a.m. we left to pick Katie up at her Mom's house in Delaware.  Katie got a ride down from New Haven by her step-brother, since she was still suffering from vertigo which came on after coming down with the flu.  No sooner did we get Katie back to Barb's house, then Deb called to say she had the flu and couldn't make it.  This was definitely turning out to be an interesting Christmas.

Laird and Risa drove down from Albany and arrived without incident. Also joining the party was Sue and her clan - Vicki and Mike (and Mike's friend, Matt), along with her fiance, Dave Laroche. Everyone quickly tucked into the munchies spread across the coffee table.  The wine bottles were opened and the beer began to flow. As soon as everyone relaxed, caught up, quaffed and noshed, we gathered around the tree to exchange our presents.

Here is Katie's dog Maggie being very good.

Here is Maggie being mostly good.

Maggie just couldn't resist the little wooden stick arms on Barb's mechanical snowmen collection.  Luckily, the sticks didn't taste as good as they looked and she soon settled down with her bully sticks.

We started by opening the stockings.  Here is Risa showing off one of the tiny books we got from our friend, Carmen Carter, who's mom worked for the publisher and did the bindings by hand, as well as the cover art work.  We knew once we saw these tiny little books that Laird and Risa would love them!

Here is Laird showing off his new brain cell.

When our turn came to open presents, we quickly grabbed the box from Matt, Weina, William and Bubu and tore into it. Inside was a beautiful, soft, cuddly hand-made wool blanket from Ecuador

No sooner did we get the presents unwrapped than it was time to sit down for dinner. From left to right - Dave S., Sue, Barb, Kathy and Dave L.

As you can see, there was nothing left but crumbs.  There was great debate over the best part of dinner. Was it the filet mignon, Barb's homemade mac and cheese, or Risa's homemade Christmas kugel. Since we couldn't decided, since it was all so good, we decided to put off the vote until next year and then do it all over again.

After dinner, Dave, Kathy, Laird, Risa, Katie and Maggie retired to the Hyatt House Hotel for an evening of chuckluck and wine.  After two games, the day caught up to us and we all settled in for a long winter's nap.

Maggie got us up early by launching herself up onto our bed and licking our eyes, ears, nose and face.  Guaranteed, you won't sleep through that wake-up call! We met up with Laird and Risa for breakfast before we hit the road before Winter Storm Euclid caught up with us.  We dropped Katie off in Delaware on our way back to North Carolina.  Unfortunately, our 7 hour drive ended up being an 11 hour 45 minute drive. While we missed most of the snow (we did see some flurries between Baltimore and Washington), we didn't miss any of the traffic. While it wasn't fun, we did make it home, unlike the folks on the 1,300 flights that were cancelled.  So, all is well that ends well.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pollyanna Party!

Ho Ho Ho!  It was a Pollyanna Party for The Ages.  The McNee siblings and their extended family were there, plus significant others and Aunt Jane. The place - Miller/Scranton residence on Paxon Hollow Road, Broomall, PA.  (We finally got to spend some time in our cupboard under the stairs.)

We decided to rent an economy car for the drive up from North Carolina. Enterprise gave us a Fiat. It is just about the size of a smart car.  To say it was tiny would be generous. Minute would be a better description. By the time we stuffed in the bags of Pollyanna presents, Christmas presents, stockings, stocking stuffers, food, wine and clothes for a few days, the tiny trunk was packed and the back seat was filled from floor to ceiling.

Seven and a half hours later, we finally arrived. The party was in full swing.  Christmas Carols on the radio, Eagles game on the TV and mozzerella sticks, chips and dips on the coffee table. Everyone was making merry.

Here are some 20-30 somethings - from left to right - Vicki, Jen, Drew and T.O.

Here are Eileen and Tom sharing some cuddle time with nephew R.

Here we are.  Don't ask me what Dave is doing with the Christmas Bear.  After three mugs of mulled wine, I have no further memory of what happened.

Time for the Miller family Christmas photo - L to R - Tom, Eileen, Drew, Jen, T.O. and Michelle. They actually took several very nice serious shots, but we felt this photo was more in keeping with telling the true story of the Pollyanna Party.

Next came Aunt Jane with the McNee sibs - L to R - Eileen, Barb, Aunt Jane, Kathy, Sue, and (seated on the floor) Steve.

Matt, Weina and William joined in from Skype to share in the fun. Unfortunately, Katie was laid low with the flu. She stayed at her Mom's house hoping the vertigo would go away in time for Christmas. Our nephew, Michael, worked through the night and slept through the party. We had to soldier on without them. The mulled wine helped.

The highlight of the party is the secret santa present exchange. R, being the youngest gets to go first and so on until Aunt Jane. After presents, we then tucked into some great homemade desserts.  Nick made his now famous Jewish Apple Cake. Michelle also brought her red velvet and chocolate carmel stuffed cookies.

As the pollyanna party wound down, Jen invited all of her bridesmaids over for a meet and greet.  What a great way to get rid of the left-overs. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Harley Moment and Visit from Alaetra

Today we are just getting ready for our trip up to Philly, and hosting our niece Alaetra and her friend, K.C. at lunch.  She's expecting and we have a little present for her.

We took our usual morning walk today.  We expected it to be very cold, but it didn't feel as cold as we thought it would be.  We started our walk just after 8:30 am and the sun was already up, so the sun undoubtedly warmed us.

We were back in the RV and starting to think about breakfast when Dave, our campground neighbor and, with his wife Kris, who work at our campground, started his Harley Davidson.  He had told us yesterday that he planned to run it a bit today in order just to keep it healthy.  We had told him we would surely hear it, and when we did, we'd drop over.  Kathy was especially excited to see the bike.

So we ambled over and Dave showed us all the features on the bike.  Here are Kathy and Dave with the Harley:

Just as we got over to their campsite, Kris and Dave were out putting their Christmas tree back together after the heavy winds of the last two days.  Their tree is a natural tree that they put up outside their motor home.  It had many fragile ornaments, and some paper ones.  The winds took the paper ones who knows where.  The fragile ornaments were left, blown off the overturned tree, but amazingly very few had broken.

Kris and Dave have been favoring us with some salad and spinach greens.  In the winter, we love the chance to get out in the sun, and fruit and veggies also improve our humor.

We got a call from Katie last night.  She has the flu - has had for the last week, and it has gotten into her ear canal, giving her a not-very-pleasant case of vertigo.  She can't drive and now it looks like the flu will keep a grip on her for at least several more days.  And vertigo to boot.  No fun.  And poor Katie, being in New Haven only three weeks or so doesn't have anyone to look in on her or to walk Maggie.  So Maggie gets one or two little flu-limited walks with Katie, but not the longer outings she loves so much.

Katie was to see us over Christmas.  Now it's iffy the extent to which she'll be well enough to join in the festivities.  One of her stepbrothers has volunteered to drive her down to her mom's house, so we will get a chance to at least see her.  We just wish she didn't have to be sick over the holidays.

Alaetra and K.C. arrived at lunch time. We quickly dug into tacos and nachos. We had a great time catching up. We took a walk around the campground and enjoyed the warm sunshine.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bopping Around Fayetteville

On Thursday, we ran a variety of errands and bopped around Fayetteville.  In the morning we rented the car we'll drive up to Philly for Christmas, then did some shopping.  After a little lunch, we headed out to do some more Christmas shopping.  When that was done, we stopped by the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in downtown Fayetteville.  It's quite an impressive museum:

There is a 20 minute movie explaining the function of the airborne troops.  The museum exhibit itself is huge and traces the history of airborne troops from World War II to the present day.  There really was too much to absorb, and we came away with Division numbers dancing in our heads.

After the museum, we drove over to Fred Chason's Grandsons, a buffet restaurant that locals say provides the most genuine down-home Southern cooking.

The restaurant has a ranch-style feel.  Buffet trays were piled high with fried chicken, baked chicken, sausage, meatloaf, ribs, pulled pork and beef, as well as a wide variety of cooked vegetables, a salad bar and desserts.  It didn't take us long to get stuffed!  Dinner for two:  $22.00.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What's Up With THAT???

It's almost Christmas. It's sunny and 65F. Are we in New Zealand?

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Get Your Hands Off My Cotton Pickin' Pecans!

Today we took a walk west across the Town of Wade, North Carolina.  We wanted to explore the community and we hoped to catch a glimpse of the Cape Fear River, which runs north and south to the west of the town.  We got a lot more than we bargained for.

No sooner did we leave the campground than we passed a field that was littlered with white fluffs.  Here is Kathy checking what they were:

As it turns out, the fluffs were cotton, and the field had been filled with cotton shrubs, which had been harvested, leaving behind some cotton balls.  It was fascinating to pull them apart, finding the cotton seeds in the middle, and twisting the cotton strands, imagining that they might become thread for cloth.

According to Wikipedia, cotton was first cultivated 7,000 years ago in India.  It was brought to North America by the 1600's.  Without belittling the much larger issues, one could argue that the Civil War was fought in part over cotton.  After the Civil War, cotton continued to be a decidedly mixed blessing to the South and the rest of the U.S., bringing profits but also the practice of sharecropping.  It wasn't until the 1950's that reliable equipment was introduced to replace manual labor.  Again, a mixed blessing:  the evils of manual cotton harvesting ended, but many jobs were lost in the South.

Walking along, we pondered these weighty thoughts, until we came across a group of people hauling a manlift to a small grove of trees along the road.  It turns out they were picking pecans.  Here is the group's organizer showing Kathy a pecan and how they pick and open the nuts.

We hadn't thought about pecans as a crop, or that they grow so ubiquitously, but, as it turns out, they are native to the southern United States.  They were gathered by colonial Americans but weren't commercially grown until the 1880's.  Now, the U.S. is the world's major source of pecans.

Again, we pondered THESE weighty thoughts as we walked on, and arrived at the Main Street Grill, at the main crossroads of the Town of Wade, where we decided to have lunch.  It proved a good choice:  Kathy had scrumptious chicken and pastry, with black-eyed peas, a biscuit and green beans.  David had really tasty, homemade chicken salad.  We walked out stuffed and perhaps hiked along a little slower for an hour or so until we digested our meal.

On we walked out toward the Cape Fear River, past horse farms, turf farms, two churches and a cattle farm.  We never saw the river, but enjoyed feeling the cool wind, the sun on our faces, and the fragrances of herbs and pines in a South Carolina winter.

As we returned, Kathy spotted a hazelnut tree and picked up a couple of those nuts.  It seems that hazelnuts are also a cash crop in South Carolina, although Georgia is said to be the largest hazelnut producing state.  Here is Kathy examining her two new nut friends:

So, as it happened, our casual walk through the town of Wade introduced us to four North Carolina crops:  sod farms, cotton, pecans and hazelnuts (not to mention cattle and horses and corn).

We returned to the campground with new eyes.  Now, everywhere we turned, we spotted hazelnut and pecan trees.  Here is Kathy examining a very large pecan tree.  Incidentally, the owner had planted cactus (? yes, cactus) at the foot of the tree, and the cactus appeared to be thriving:

By the time we finished our walk, we had logged 9 miles.  All of this, on pavement, produced feet that knew they had walked.  We were happy to get home to kick back in our recliners and savor how much we had seen and learned today.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wii Bowling

Hi Blog! It's been raining for two days now.  The first day, we planned to see a movie - Lincoln.  Both of us thought it was great. However, we didn't want to spend two days straight in the theater, so we decided that today would be museum day. When we looked up all the museums in Fayetteville, they were all closed on Monday. So, we decided to go bowling instead. However, when we got to the bowling alley, it was closed on Monday!!! There is absolutely nothing to do in Fayetteville on a rainy Monday other than go shopping.  Since all our Christmas presents are already bought and wrapped, we headed back to the RV.

Upon returning to the RV, we realized there was an other alternative - Wii.  The Wii system had been packed up and stored behind the sofa in the RV since the beginning of our vagabond days.  It was never set up because there was always some outside activity that kept us busy.  So, today is the day to set up the Wii system!

It really wasn't as hard as we thought it would be.  We plugged into the existing auxiliary slot of the satelite receiver, pushed a few buttons on the AV system and we were good to go.  Since we wanted to go bowling, that's were we started.

Here is Kathy getting royally trounced by David in game one

You can't tell by the score board, but Dave lost game two.

However, he did come back and win the series two games to one.  Kathy was a good sport and kissed David in congratulations, so we think we BOTH won!

Now, if it rains again, we are ready.  We have Wii Sports, and Wii Fit, and even Mario Bros. and some other games.  We've heard that other senior citizens really love Wii, so we think it has a big role to play in our future.  <g>

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Letter from Kathy and David

Merry Christmas everyone!  Here is our holiday card to you, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore. We think it will give you some idea how we celebrate Christmas in our mobile lifestyle.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the camp
Not a campfire was glowing, not even a lamp;
Our stockings were laid by the fireplace with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The kittens were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of mousies danc'd in their heads,
And Eddie in her 'kerchief, and George in his cap,
Had just settled their brains for a long winter's nap —

When on top of the rig there arose such a clatter,
Baxter sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he sprang like a flash,
Flip opened the blinds, Luckie spewed on the sash.

The moon on the rest of the campground in snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:

"Now! Baxter, now! Luckie, now! Flip and Vixen,
"On! Eddie, on! George, on! Donder and Blitzen;
"To the top of the truck! To the top of the trees!
"Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, please!"

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the tree-tops the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:

And then in a twinkling, we heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As we drew in our heads, and were turning around,
Through the roof vent St. Nicholas came with a bound:

He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And we laugh'd when we saw him in spite of ourselves;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of a cat
And giving a nod, outa the trailer he gat.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But we heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Merry Christmas to all from Kathy, David, Baxter, Flip, Luckie, Eddie, George . . .

. . . and the Troll