At the moment things are peaceful in my corner of the world. I am sitting at one end of a large wooden dinner table and Marlene, Linda and Martha (Linda's mother) are working on a jigsaw puzzle I picked up in Lancaster, PA, in Amish country, during our visit to Lancaster Bible College in October. Each year I give Marlene a jigsaw puzzle that she puts together during the week between Christmas and New Year's. I try to find something that will challenge her, which isn't easy because she doesn't mind spending hours spreading the pieces out and then fitting them together. I found a puzzle called Snow Tunnel. You can see from the picture that it's all black and white with lots of pieces that look alike. When Nick told her mother that there was no way she could finish the puzzle, Marlene smiled and said, "We'll see about that." She and Martha have been working for the last several hours, and I would say they have at least 35% of the pieces in place. Just now Martha said, "Have you had a break yet?" "You mean from puzzling? I can take a break when I go to bed tonight," Marlene replied. All true puzzlers understand.
Last year I commented that I have reached that point in life where Christmas gifts tend to fall into two basic categories--books and clothes. This year I received two books I'm looking forward to reading:
The first book became a hit movie by the same name, and I heard about the second by watching a special feature on Primetime several weeks ago. Those two books will go along with the bag of books I brought with me to Gulf Shores. Plenty of good reading material for the last week of the year.
Josh and Leah gave me a Chicago Bears hoodie that I'm wearing at moment. Then I also got a blue sweater than I can take with me on the Holy Land tour next month plus some flannel pajamas and some warm socks. Really, what else does a man need besides good books and warm clothes?
A few days ago Linda came out to the cabin and took this picture that we used for our Christmas card. You can see the lake behind us. And of course we couldn't send out a picture this year without including Dudley,our one-year-old basset hound. Dudley joined our family on Christmas Eve last year when he was just five weeks old. For the record we had to take about 25 pictures to find one where he wasn't looking this way or that way or trying to crawl off the table. He's a fine boy, but posing for pictures isn't high on his agenda.
Mostly I am doing this entry because after nearly four years of blogging, I finally figured out how to have text wrap around the pictures. Marlene has her puzzle and I have the weblog. We sit at the same table, separated by perhaps three feet, she in her world and I in mine, happily enjoying a relaxing afternoon.
Thanks to everyone who visits my Crosswalk weblog. You are appreciated more than you know.
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About Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 27 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 37 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and two grandsons--Knox and Eli. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
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