Everybody is out getting door buster deals. I am happy my wife has returned with the majority of our holiday shopping completed. Yesterday was a wonderful afternoon. I truly enjoyed the company of my Mom, cousins and and Aunt and Uncle in Grayling reminiscing of days when we were younger and less intuitive. The time we framed my younger brother for floating moss and large bullfrogs down the stream that fed Ol’ man Ben Cushley’s water pump in Canada and plugged it up. When Uncle George drove Grandpa Harry’s ’52 Ford straight into the Creek off Thendara Road, and used his then girlfriend with a cast on her right leg to take the barrage from Gramps by explaining she was driving and got her foot stuck on the accelerator. A time when Grandpa Harry came running out of the out house yelling obsenities at us kids for throwing rocks at the latreen, when my little brother thought we were out there scracthing at the side of the potty, when we all really were inside playing cards and something else paid him a visit while he made a deposit. The colorful metaphors used in all outdoor tall tales have widely enriched my seven year olds vocabulary. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Some of you have uncles and cousins who describe stories so rich in detail and highlighted with the most wonderful use of vernacular, they really should be recorded for future reference or at least ‘Funniest Home Video’ productions. We had many good laughs and plenty of great food. After the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, casseroles of various vegetables and glorious pies, I sat and contemplated how grateful, lucky and thankful I have such a wonderful family so rich in history and a multitude of good memories. We also have a few empty chairs around the great table, their names are in our hearts and in our prayers, many can relate as a few families have suffered losses similar in nature. I look forward to our time together every year, watching neices and nephews grow, and my child as well. It warms my heart when they run around outside playing hide-n-seek much the same way we did as children their age. I leave you with warm thoughts of spring, trout rising and sipping mayflies, while I shall go downstairs and continue to tie flies for those moments on my favorite headwaters. The trout of these beautiful sacred places have six months of respite to grow in size and wisdom so we may dance again next year when the sun sparkles on the ripples and glances off the current seams. Happy Holidays and Tight Lines!!