Abby's Christmas Surprise, 2004

The aging gent who does occasional chores around here broke the last of his new year’s resolutions at the end of 2004.

He’d been determined to sit down on Thanksgiving Day for his annual telling of the Lorenz family’s notable events, and he did. Then something else came up.

Maybe a nap on the couch. Maybe the carcass of a turkey to be dumped in the garbage before the cats made off with it. Whatever it was, the 50 or so words that had danced off his fingertips remained in the computer, like that bowl of leftover cranberry sauce abandoned in the back of the refrigerator.

Then came the feast day of St. Fortunatus. Abby and Neil knocked on the door. She had been in Tampa for a seminar, and they just thought they would stop by and say hello on their way home from the airport, she said.

That was nice, but a bit odd; they aren’t in the habit of dropping in like that.  But we all sat down in the still-to-be-holly-decked family room and chatted for a minute or two about nothing in particular until Abby suddenly stood up and said that she had brought souvenirs for the missus and the aging gent.

She reached into a pocket of her jeans and handed each of them miniature Florida license plates. Her mother got one with “#1 Grandma” stamped on it; the aging gent's read “#1 Grandpa.”

There may not be much joy in the rest of the world these days, but it is overflowing in this household.


And there was even more joy when Sullivan Lorenz McClure, pictured above, with his mother, was born on July 20, 2005.

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