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Flying High into the New Year

The countdown to finishing the last seven dolls for Christmas was a

marathon but one I won. It is not any different from those busy years in the late 70s and 80s when the living room was full of boxes, bills and dolls to ship. Our own personal Christmas was always contrived (ask our girls) and comical in many ways. Two dolls mailed in one box; zero in another box shipped empty! Ink marks on the forehead of a doll by a member of the household who was not getting a full bedtime story; the reader was falling asleep. Dolls were sometimes slipped into pews at the Christmas Eve service while the girls tried to get home the mile and a sixth with their candle still lit! Was it different?

Well, let's see. Saturday morning Lew was heading out to the post office with four dolls in three boxes, and that was correct - delivery expected to all by the 24th. Daughter Kelly called at 11 a.m. that morning as Lew headed out to make sure all the shipped orders were on their way! There were two Susannahs to finish, one being hand delivered to South Carolina to a great grandma while the second was the doll reunion prize to her grear granddaughter. The first was delivered by the grandson who got it to mom who drove #46 (I did a limited edition of my 100th doll design.) south to Gram.

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With two to go, we had to stop to clean and cook for our special guests from Mississippi who were coming to pick up Belinda and share our friendship over a meal. Our fur visitor, Olive, meanwhile ran after Silvio and generally added joy. The Montgomerys gifted us with this beautiful hand-painted ornament of our house that we cherish. Emma's daddy came back during this time to pick up Crissy, her special gift, and engulfed me with a joyful hug. Emma had parked herself in my booth at the Chester Green Sale just hoping she'd get the Bundle of her dreams for Christmas. I tell you, our connections are incredible. Even the wild turkeys showed up in the backyard to entertain the Montgomerys. That evening as I put the finishing touches on the second Susannah, the special King Family stopped by with their gram from Ohio.

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It's Sunday. Clean the church. Susannah, #47, was taken to church to

pass secretly; but when the family did not appear, our friend Margie took her home to wrap her up and pass along that evening. Overjoyed Susannah got it the day after Christmas when they found the package hidden safely in the car. Then the last order. Poor Kamryn, the owner of nine Bundles and to be the recipient of her wolfman, was ill with a 104 fever. I prayed for that child as I created her special creation, with wolf eyes howling at the moon. Ironically, it got spooky when there were 117 winds around a National Geographic for the hair-- total of my three girls' ages and that July 1974 magazine that arrived in our NJ mailbox with an job offer that sealed our VT move. Too, just enough green fleece for the vest; and then to use the fur for the collar from a 50-year-old torn hat I bought in Macys in the NY days was the crowning glory. Now Kam's mom is sick, so her grandmother stopped by on Monday to pick up the finished gift while we shopped homeschool supplies for the grandkids at Staples in Keene. It's Christmas Eve, for heaven's sake!

The packages arrived to NJ, WI and MA and the fairy, Francie, was a hit. Off to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we tidied up the sanctuary afterwards of that familiar candle wax. Exhausted, we came home to wrap and enjoy comforting Shepherd's Pie and a well deserved glass of wine.

And the abounding joy was the trip north to celebrate Christmas with our wonderful Vermont family, eat luxuriously and sleep like rocks, only to travel home the day after to beat a real northeaster with 10 inches of beautiful snow. Flying high days into the near year for sure!

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