The last time we saw any of our family was in August and we were looking forward to flying back to Michigan for Christmas. We took the “Super Shuttle” to the airport. This is a great service that is available in many cities. For a reasonable fee they picked us up at our site in the RV park and dropped us off at the airport. Less expensive than a taxi service and you don’t have to inconvenience friends or neighbors.
We met our son, Dave, as soon as we arrived in Lansing to go shopping and had dinner together. What a great way to start a Christmas visit! We stayed at the home of our friends, Susan and Gary Aten. Great friends who said, “Make yourself at home,” and truly meant it. We finished our Christmas shopping and made popcorn balls and “Buckeyes” to take to Bad Axe. We had plans to meet Bob’s sister and brother in law, but a big snowstorm hit their area, they lost power, and were snowed in. Hopefully we will have better luck when we return this summer. Sue Aten invited other friends to her house for dinner – it was a wonderful way to share the holiday with friends.
We discovered our nephew, Adam, was flying from Iowa into the Lansing airport so we stayed in Lansing a day longer and picked him up on our way to Bad Axe. Christmas in Bad Axe is a highlight of the year as the Smith side of the family comes together from Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and in our case somewhere else to share the Christmas celebration together.
Christmas morning was like a picture postcard. We had about an inch of new snow overnight. Not enough to make driving hazardous, but enough to provide a clean blanket of new snow to enjoy. The extended family had Christmas dinner at the Elkton Civic Center Hall with our traditional huge potluck dinner. It is a perfect time for the family to get together. As kids grow and begin their adult lives in new jobs, with marriages and births, it is harder to stay in touch and this event creates an opportunity to reconnect. After dinner at the hall, it was back to Geri and Marcia’s to exchanges gifts with the immediate family. Of course the center of attention was the newest member of our family, Ben and Tara’s daughter Adalyn, whom we call Addy. Geri and Marcia have a big house, but how they manage to house all of us is a mystery. Thank you, Marcia and Geri for your hospitality!
After a few days it was time for us to move on and we flew to Hattiesburg, MS on December 28th to visit Scott, Sandra and our granddaughters. It was quite a change to leave Michigan with snow and 10 temperatures to arrive in 600 and rain in Mississippi. Our daughter, Elisabeth, had driven from North Carolina to spend Christmas with them, so we were able to see all of our kids. We spent a couple of fun days, visiting and playing table games with them. The big news was that Scott is leaving the active Army to take a fulltime position with the Army Reserve in Salt Lake City, UT. He should be making this move shortly after the first of the year. It looks like we may be traveling out west again sooner than we expected.
As all good things must come to an end, we had breakfast with Scott’s family and headed to the airport to fly back to Phoenix on Jan 1st.