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Happy Birthday Colin!

After a wild holiday break, visited by fire, flood, power outage due to falling trees, and illness-- blessed by visiting loved ones and their two golden retrievers who joined our own minor league menagerie of one big black dog and one odd little cat--we had a lovely on-demand (by the birthday boy) dinner last night. We started with a salad with baby leaf lettuce, goats' cheese, and apples. The main course was a lovely "from scratch" fettucini alfredo with chicken marsala and peas with baby onions. Miranda had spent the afternoon baking a wonderful Red Velvet sheet cake, and we added in some vanilla ice cream for dessert. Just before dessert, Colin opened his few presents, culminating in a little box wrapped up with earplugs. Thanks to friend Jon Elliot and his sweet wife Loren, Colin opened the box and found two tickets to the January ACDC concert January 31st at the Sommet Center here in Nashville. Yay!

I'm writing this on the Sunday night before we head back to school and work tomorrow. It's been a memorable break...

Fire? The resident in the Wessex Towers 507 left to take a friend to the airport and, by report, something fell over onto his stovetop, turning it on and igniting adjacent newspapers. The fire and smoke grew heavy enough to activate the new sprinkler system, which ran full-blast, emptying the pool into the building (Wessex Towers is at the top of one of the highest points in Nashville, and last summer an expensive sprinkler system, tied to the pool, was installed). The new system worked, but apparently no one knew how to turn it off. By the time my mother-in-law, who lives in 207, called, pleading for us to come up with all our towels and sheets to help stem the inch of water seeping from the ceiling into her condominium, soaking antique rugs and hardwood floors, the damage was irreversible--Flood. So much for the Christmas Eve dinner at their place!

The next day, Lee Ann and Amy were cooking for the relocated dinner, and Jim and I were wrappng presents in the basement garage, blasting ACDC's "Black Ice" out of my computer in my adjacent office. Suddenly the lights surged, flashed, and failed. I looked out the garage door windows and saw beautiful fireworks floating down to the ground from the sky.

A neighbor's dead tree had achieved ultimate unbalance in the equation of rotting root system, weight, soil erosion, and angle and had fallen down to the ground, smack across the street, taking with it power lines, cable lines, telephone lines, and all the power to the neighborhood. The fireworks were from the transformer at the end of our driveway, exploding with its 14,000 volts of energy.

Long story short, we ended up relocating to TGI Fridays for dinner. That was our choice partly because that's where my lovely Lee Ann and I met, oh, so many years ago, me slinging drinks and she waiting tables without a notepad. It was a good, well, okay dinner and we got home to candlelight present wrapping until the lights finally reignighted, thanks to the efforts of the Nashville Electric Service workers, hard at it on Christmas Eve, thanks to gravity, weather, and nature.

Christmas morning was wonderful, as our picture album will verify. Now we're off to the new year and I'm hoping for a nice few (relatively) uneventful weeks!



Oh! Read a great article in the Nashville Tennessean newspaper about the play that Colin's in, Shakeapeare's Richard III! It runs February 15 through February 1 at Belmont University's Troutt Theatre!

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