"Time For a New Year"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, December 31, 2012

It’s over; it’s over – Christmas is over, returns are on the way to the stores, relatives have left and those that were expected to call have reported in. Some may still be in recovery or preparing to visit it this weekend.

The eggnog is almost gone and since I like it, I received a gallon to drink, a half-gallon to eat (eggnog ice cream) AND in a Christmas box six eggnog flavored white chocolate truffles! It’s a good thing I lost a few pounds before the holidays. Last year after Christmas when I stepped on the scale it announced: “One at a time please.” I hope to avoid that embarrassment this year because the scale is in a large supermarket.

Our Christmas was totally different than ever before. A few years in the past we had to wait a day or two after Christmas for family to arrive, but this year we were without any family members visiting. Our families have scattered all over the country and now populate Arizona, Connecticut, Florida and a few are left in Michigan. We were delighted, however, to receive gifts and lots of phone calls and e-
mail from all over the country and the cheerful, happy voices made our Christmas Merry.

After all the calls and gift opening, we so enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner of ham and all the trimmings, followed by traditional desserts with our Key’s neighbors. Unless you have sat outside at a picnic table, wearing shorts and dodging the sun in 80° weather, you just can’t appreciate how terrific it can be.

The first call we received on Christmas morning came from Bad Axe. Our great friends Gordy and Cathy Miller explained they had to fire up the furnace and dodge some snowflakes. We confessed our temperature here in the Keys had also dropped, way down to the 50s. We had to get out the big blanket, but the next day we went right back to the 70s and soon 80s.

I often tease about the Huron County cold while living winters in the Keys but in truth, I really miss it. Our family grew up enjoying winters together in the snow; snowmobiles, sleds, ice skates and weekend snowmobile rides through the woods. When we arrived and set up our bonfires, we cooked hot dogs and roasted marshmallows. When we made S’mores, they made a real mess all over our fancy snowmobile suites but the gooey stuff washed off so no harm done.

Some of our trail rides included as many as 10 or 15 machines and we rode from Port Austin to Caseville to watch the snowmobile races there – some of our group even participated. As the years pass, the old bones don’t enjoy the cold, not even the chance to go ice fishing, which certainly produced the best eating fish and gave new meaning to “fresh frozen.” I wish good luck to all of those who still enjoy it!

I hope all my readers had a Merry Christmas with family and friends, or both. Before we pack away all the Christmas displays and tree trimmings we will all enjoy welcoming a New Year! I hope 2013 will be a prosperous New Year, filled with good health and joyful events, each greater than those before.

P.S. Santa decided to spend a few extra days in the Keys, he explained those Christmas Eve storms were hard on him and the reindeer so they were going to take some needed R&R.




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