Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day

Jacqueline could not sleep for tomorrow was Thanksgiving day and with that she would once more, maybe for the last time, meet her Grandparents.

She had not often as of late seen them. For they lived in Paris. Paris the city of love and lights. Jacqueline does not remember the many sunny summer days spent at their villa by the lake.

She had been but a young child then and happening and memories seem to ever fade.
Now they were coming and she so longed for their arrival

Nana was beautiful by all counts and the lovely photographs that her father had shown her and Papa was of course as handsome as she was beautiful. They had always lived their lives in Europe, in one country or another. How they had raised her father, she would never know.

Now that she was the magic age of thirteen, they had promised to come once more to celebrate her life in Thanksgiving.

Mara and Theo were coming to see her. She wished she could magically fly away forever. Back to Paris. Away from this nothing town and nothing life. She would bring him, Will with her. That she knew for certain . Not that it was bad for them but she wanted to grow and she wanted Will to be with her.

Together they would roam Europe and see all the wonders that there were to seen. To be a part of Nana's and Papa's lives to the end.

(Written by Melanie)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Christmas Letter

Dear Will,

We just decorated the Christmas tree, and I couldn't help thinking of you. Watching Tad and Ellie taking handfuls of tinsel and carefully placing clumps of them on the lowest branches of the tree reminded me of doing the same thing with you. Remember how Mom always told us to put one strand on at a time? And we couldn't manage to do that. Bless her heart, it must have just killed her to leave our clumsy clumps, but she loved us enough to do it anyway. And now I look at my tree, no tinsel at all on the top 2/3's, and huge clumps on the bottom third, and think of Mom, and think of you, and it makes me cry because I know the day will come all too soon when I'll have a perfectly decorated tree with tinsel evenly strewn over the whole thing.

The twins are really excited that you're coming for Christmas this year. They have all sorts of surprises planned for you, none of which I'm at liberty to reveal. I will only caution you to be careful when you get into bed. Tad recently learned the art of short-sheeting when he went to a slumber party at a friend's house. He's tried it on everyone in the house. But be gentle with the little guy, and yell as loudly as if you'd broken every one of your twelve toes, okay?

Michael's been working hard, as always. If he knew I were writing, he'd tell me to send you his love. He's a good man, Will. I can't believe how blessed I am, to have found someone like him. He's wonderful with the children. He spins the most fantastic yarns, and has them more than halfway convinced that they're true.

Oh, and Will, you've got to hear what he did last week! We thought it would be fun to take the children to Six Flags. Michael decided to surprise them, so we pretended that we were just going out and running errands. You remember how boring that used to be, when Mom and Dad dragged us all over town, and we had to sit in the car and wait for what seemed like hours. Well, we did run a few errands, and then Michael pretended that he was running out of gas. He didn't notice that he was right next to Six Flags, until the kids began screaming with joy, pointing out where he was. "Why, that's perfect!" he said. "I'll just pull into their parking lot, and you three can wait in the car while I walk to a gas station." You never saw two such crestfallen faces. He pulled into a parking space, rolled down the windows, and told me to keep an eye on the kids, and he'd be back just as quick as he could. He actually got out of the car and started walking away. He got maybe ten steps away, before turning around and coming back. The kids perked up as quickly as anything, and when he said, "You know, I think I have a better idea. Why don't we go to Six Flags first. I can get gas anytime," they started screaming for joy. It was a lovely day to go, not too cold, and they had artificial snow hills so Tad and Ellie got to ride on sleds. It's fun to visit Six Flags in the summer, but I think I enjoy it more when they have their Holidays in the Park in the winter.

I told Mom about it, and she told me that we should move back to Iowa, and we wouldn't have to pay to let the children play in artificial snow. Maybe someday that will happen, but it's just not in the cards right now.

I'll close this letter with one last memory. Do you remember the only time that either of us would voluntarily clean our rooms? Christmas Eve Day? Well, that's one more thing that Tad and Ellie have in common with us. I mentioned to them today that Santa Claus does room inspections when he comes down the chimney, and Ellie casually remarked that she has plenty of time, because Christmas isn't for two whole weeks, and that's forever!

See you soon, little brother.



(Written by Faith Stencel)