white belted advent calendar tumbles into cardboard furnace

It is hard to believe that it’s already December.

“Actually, Dan,” Nazy interrupts. “It’s already the middle of December.”

“Well,” I replied thoughtfully. “
By the time I finish this letter, it will be the end of December,” I thought.

We’ve had a lot of things going on this month, but one of those was not the furnace. It decided to fail a gas company inspection just before a cold snap. Aware of the coming cold nights, I tried negotiation..
furnace door

“Can we just use it a little. Say, until the replacement arrives?”

“No.” the mechanic replied.

“What would happen if we did?”

“Are your carbon monoxide detectors working?”

“Of course!” I replied disdainfully. “
Make a note to buy new batteries,” I thought.

“Good. Do you have practiced escape routes from all rooms in the house?”

“Escape routes?”

“In case of fire.”

“Hmm.” I replied articulately before turning to Nazy. “Do you think Melika has some space heaters we can borrow?”

The furnace has been replaced. They had to demolish the frame on the access door to remove the old one. Thoughtfully, they covered the hole with a piece of cardboard.

“Where did they get the cardboard?” Nazy asked.

“Amazon Prime.” I replied.

As December dawned, Nazy put up The Martin Family Advent Calendar. Tiger and Arrow enjoy opening the doors and getting little treats. Azelle is too young to …

“Azelle doesn’t open little doors,” I noted.

“That’s right, Dan,” Nazy replied.
advent calendar 2019

“She goes after big doors and middle shelves, she dismantles ‘child proof’ safety features, and heads for ‘out of reach’ items that are only ladder accessible …”

“Don’t show her the hidden safe.” Nazy noted, wisely.

“Of course not,” I replied as I plucked Azelle off the ladder.

This week Tiger and Arrow began Aikito lessons. It’s a modern Japanese martial art which is a combination of martial studies, philosophy and religious belief. Tiger and Arrow are the youngest in the class. (And, since Arrow is two years younger than Tiger, Arrow is really young relative to the other students.

Tiger and Arrow at aikito for TWL

However, although they are young, they are also alert and active. They try everything and they follow the rules. Arrow places himself right next to Tiger and, even though he can’t yet do some of the moves, he does try. Tiger can do most of exercises. It’s fun to watch them work out and exercise together.

This week they both earned their ‘white belts’. Tiger is already planning an assault on ..

“… the black belt is the best, right, Dan?”

tiger getting his white belt

“I believe..”

“My favorite color is yellow,” Arrow interrupted.

“That will be easier,” I replied.

“I want a black one.” Tiger mumbled. (He's getting his white one in the photo at the right.)

As part of the normal holiday tradition, the Crane Country Day School had their annual outdoor musical performance. And as tradition goes, the Kindergarten children began the performance with a recital of “T’was the night before Christmas.” Tiger had line two..

“I know that, Tiger!” I exclaimed. “It goes like this: The Easter eggs were hung from the ceiling with hair; I hope they don’t fall and break on the chair.”

“No Dan.” Tiger replied. “It goes: The stockings..

“… were sliding right down past my knee; If I trip and I fall, I’ll get stung by a bee.”

“No, Dan.”

I tried several other variations, but Tiger was convinced that he knew best. The show was well attended — a fact that we discovered when we tried to find a parking place within walking distance of the event. Naturally, the weather was beautiful (It is Santa Barbara, after all). And Tiger pulled it off without any miscues.

Tiger Crane concert outdoors Dec 2019

We are looking forward to the arrival of Darius and Christiane (and the lovely little girls) later this week. It will be a crowded, but very fun time for everyone. In the meantime… Have a wonderful holiday season.

For last week's letter, please click here


Arrow at mesa cafe

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