We had a great time kicking off the new year with our son and his lovely bride and our charming granddaughters. Since they'd done Thanksgiving with us they stayed in California to celebrate Christmas with her family. Let me tell you, this sharing the kids stuff is hard! It was the first year our son didn't come home for Christmas so that was a bit of an adjustment. Of course, the trade-off was a fabulous new daughter-in-law so I figured I shouldn't really complain. And I consoled myself by inviting Gerhardt and myself down to Sunny CA to help them ring in the new year.
It turned out to be a great idea (said she modestly) and we had a fabulous time with the kids. Of course, they entertained us royally, taking us to the Griffith Park observatory in Los Angeles and to the Santa Monica pier to kick off our New Year's Eve celebrations. That was fun, fun, fun. The magician doing tricks on the pier was good enough to give David Copperfield a run for his money. He used my lovely daughter-in-law as his assistant and of course I filmed the whole thing with my handy, dandy iPad mini.... on fast speed. Sheesh. I'm hoping we can figure out a way to slow it down since I'd planned on posting it on my little Youtube channel. Darn it all! I get so irritated with myself when I do dumb things like that ... dumb things that could be avoided if a girl read up on how to work her new toy. I wondered what the deal was with that little, red, swirling circle icon. Sigh.
In between sight seeing there was much conversation and many games, including one called Black Peter (the original Old Maid invented in the nineteenth century by some German crooks - the loser of each hand of cards gets a mark on his or her nose. The one person who comes out unscathed is the winner - you can see by the picture that the participating grown-ups all lost, which delighted my granddaughter.) I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and never got over the novelty or orange trees growing in people's yards. (Maybe people who come to Washington feel the same way when they see us with our apple and pear trees.)
Anyway, our new year has begun splendidly. I'm looking forward to some small trips, hanging out at the Romantic Times conference in Las Vegas as well as the Romance Writers of America convention in San Diego (hope to be signing books at both of those!), and, of course, seeing more Sheila books hit the shelves. ("Home on Apple Blossom Road" will be out this spring.) I am also trying to take good care of myself because one of my goals for 2016 is good health. (Actually, that's a goal for the next several years but I'm planning to take it a year at a time and be grateful for every year I get with family and friends.)
So, here's to a new year. Here's wishing you a wonderful one, too!