It’s a Bit Chilly Here!

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Stopping on the way home from trapping to chase down some grouse. If you can see, you can shoot

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The cold settled in Christmas eve as the temperature plummeted to 40 below. We’ve been locked in a deep freeze ever since and the mercury stands at -50 degrees F today. Christmas day I roasted some ducks and walked over to share a wonderful dinner with friends. Lindsay couldn’t attend; she is visiting family in Dallas for the holiday.

The first year I was here I went walking at 50 below. Been there, done that. I’m staying inside today.

Fairbanks for Christmas

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Well, we made it to Fairbanks. Air temperature was 45 when we left the village but it has already warmed up to 9 since we left. Ha! We should leave more often. We shared our Grand Caravan with the pilot and one other passenger. About 20 miles out of Fort Yukon, we spotted a small fire on the flats at the edge of a lake. It was a wild, lonely place and the sun was setting fast. We banked hard to port, then to starboard and came in for a closer look. Somebody was stranded and had enough sense to build a fire and write “HELP” in the snow. It was a good spot, with woods to his back for shelter. We radioed it in and then headed to town.

Above you can see our final approach to the East Ramp runway, Fairbanks. I thought it was a pretty nice view. This was taken at about 4 pm. The Alaska Range towers in the distance. We have already had halibut and chips for dinner, shopped for snacks and tucked ourselves in to our very comfortable bed. Good night!

Thinking of You, Jay and Sarah

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You and Dad had the best of times, Jay. I think you traveled every forgotten country lane in Texas and more than a few in Oklahoma. You got your car stuck in muddy ruts more than once. And I know the two of you sampled Hunger Busters in nearly every Dairy Queen in the state. Sarah, I’m hoping this Christmas finds you and Jay close and deep in love. Joy to you both and all your children!

Generous Spirits

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Don’t let the frost buildup inside our window fool you, our home is nice and warm. Outside there are dozens of Christmas trees all living and naturally flocked while inside there is plenty of coffee and hot chocolate. I wish you could visit, but of course, we have put ourselves a bit out of the way. But we eagerly read every card and message you send.

We received a quite unexpected gift today. A knock on the door! – there was Dan Sastic, our doctor, holding a huge box with “Chill” labels all over it. No problem with that!  He explained that a kind man in New Jersey sent a check to purchase every family in our church a Christmas dinner. In the twinkle of an eye Dan was off to make his next delivery, so we tore into the mystery box and, wow! A monstrous ham showcased the interior, surrounded by potatoes, rolls and butter, apple pie, chocolate chips and even cookie dough. I don’t know the man from New Jersey, but I do know what he is – thoughtful and generous.

He has come, the Prince of Peace:
Come to bid our sorrows cease;
Come to scatter with His light
All the shadows of our night.

from the carol He Has Come, the Christ of God

For Our Sons & Grandchildren –

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I can’t begin to tell you how much we miss you, only that we do. To Chris; to Jordan, Kari, Elijah, Scout, Noah, Lola, Bryce, Chelsea, Lexi, & Treyce; and to Ben, Gaby & Linna – our thoughts and our prayers are with you. May Christ rule in all our hearts this holiday season & joy keep us close!

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

 Hail the heav’n born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild he lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Merry Christmas, Ralph & Virginia & Chauncy!

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Canon Powershot SX130 | 50mm | ISO 400 | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | nov 2012

Probably taken early November, but the camera wasn’t tracking the date correctly. I didn’t add color or saturation, so this is about what it really looked like. You can walk over there now, of course. I can imagine you, painting your days away up here, Mom, while Ralph and I hunt for rocks. But I am not sure Chauncy would know what to do with himself. Many blessings to you all!

And This One’s for You, Evelyn!

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Fall along the Porcupine River. The Porcupine pours into the Yukon a few miles from our village. From there it whips its way like a snake all the way to Canada. I love the Porcupine, and one of my hopes is to travel its distance someday, fishing all the way. All the trees here remind me of your place, Evelyn. We have our spruce and aspen and willow, you have your pine and sweet gum and oak. This picture reminds me of a spearhead. Merry Christmas, auntie, to you and yours!