Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - My Cousin Laurie

Christmas 2012

Christmas time...the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem, by one-consent, to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. - A Christmas Carol

I am not sure why I love the quotes from A Christmas Carol as much as I do, but whenever I think of Christmas it's the first thing that pops into my head, well along with how am I going to keep my calorie count down. There are quite a few that speak to that issue as well but I will spare us all! 

Another year has flown by and though I would love to wax on about that I will just run by a few things that took place in our (Loken et. all) lives.

As many of you may know my father, Bob, passed away in January. Paul and I had the fun of spending last Christmas with him and mom and my brother Bob in New Mexico, he was the last of the Van boys and the last Patriarch of the clan. The baton has been passed...

Mom is doing well and as the Matriarch keeping tabs on everyone, so mind your Ps and Qs as she would say. Mom is still working harder than any retired person I have ever known! Singing at the church and pulling volunteering hours at the hospital like a crazy woman, but the last adjective goes at the end of any sentence involving mom so there you go.:-)

This year Paul and I will be traveling to Florida to see his parents and we will be joined by Andrea who will fly down from Virginia. This is our third Christmas on the road, it is so nice to spend this time with family but I do find myself missing the twinkling of my tree in the corner. Do they have an App for that? 

Andrea finished up with school this summer and is now a RN at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Virginia taking care of cardiac patients. How lucky are they? Eventually she would like to end up back in Texas where all the fun is.

Stephanie is now working at the University of Texas, Arlington as the assistant conference coordinator. She needs to keep her TCU purple hidden for the most part but she puts out a few things just because, well and because their colors are blue and orange, really? Go Frogs!

Richard works very hard at his business but has now taken up woodworking and is rather good at it. This means of course that the garage is more a workshop and not a place for the cars!

We have the kitchen finished now! It looks great and cooking with gas is so nice. No remodeling projects in the hopper other than the kids (Stephanie and Richard) want help with a few things...yikes! Well, they're still young, right?

And as always I am here (Texas Christian University) working my fingers to the bone. The kids here keep me on my toes that's for sure. Time goes so quickly when you measure it by semesters, graduations and students moving on (didn't they just start!)

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza (I once wanted to become an Atheist but I gave up they have no holidays!) and find everything you hoped for under your tree (last year it was Paul in my Christmas stockings, still trying to erase that one) Hey, but I kid. Someone said, "Next to a circus there aint nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit." Let's all try to be like my friend E. Scrooge -- 

Scrooge was better than his word, and it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us


Laurie Loken
December 16, 2012