November 22, 1997: My 51st Birthday Party
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December 22-28, 1997
My Sister Judy Visits Us for Christmas


This was the first Christmas that Mom has spent in Dallas, and we were very pleased that Judy wanted to make the trip out here to visit with us over the holidays. I sent her an airline ticket so that she wouldn't have to drive, although I know she doesn't much care for flying. She arrived in Dallas on the 22nd, and she stayed until the 28th.

Judy had not seen her Mom since the summer when she visited us shortly after Mom moved here, and most of what we did during the time she was here involved Mom in one way or another.


Christmas Day at My House

For a long time, my tradition has been to do a turkey on Thanksgiving (Judy and I have a long-distance competition to see who can find the largest one) and a ham at Christmas. The leftovers from these two big meals, securely stashed in the freezer, allow Fred and I to duplicate each meal a number of times throughout the following year.

At Christmas, I often like to invite other friends over, but now with Mom and Jeffie both here in Dallas, and Judy here for a visit, Fred and I thought just a family gathering was called for. That included Chip, of course. We took a couple of pictures with the tripod, and the best one is at left. You can, however, see another one here.

Judy was staying with me, of course, and we went over to pick Mom up early in the afternoon. Jeffie arrived in mid-afternoon after getting her horse squared away, and Fred arrived last night after his traditional Christmas Eve out at his brother's house.

Before we sat down to eat, we took a couple of photos. We probably should have used the tripod again to get everybody in, but instead we have two pictures. I don't recall whose camera we were using, but whichever one it was, one of the pictures came out fuzzy:

We didn't get around to opening stuff until after dinner. Unlike when we were little, we adults can wait until late in the day to do the whole present thing; particularly since Mom doesn’t like to get an early start.

Fred took a couple of pictures of the rest of us gathered around the tree opening stuff, but one didn't turn out well. The other was OK, but I found it necessary to add some flash, do some sharpening and do some color and contrast adjustments (all in post production) to make it better. You can see the resulting picture at right.

Fred took two more pictures while we were around the Christmas Tree, and if you would like to see them you can click on the thumbnail images below:

Although I know it would have been hard for him to do, but it would have been nice had Ted been able to join us for this, Mom's first Christmas in Dallas, but at least we all talked to him on the phone. It was a great day, and a nice end to Mom's first year here in Dallas with me.


Visiting Mom at Her Condo

Of course Judy, Jeffie and I spent a great deal of time, visiting Mom at her condo almost every day that Judy was here; and on the days we didn't visit there I brought Mom over here, or we went and visited Jeffie at her apartment or at the stable where she keeps her horse.

On one particularly chilly, windy day, we took Mom out to lunch and when we picked her up at her condo, I happened to have my camera along and we took pictures of each other standing out in front of her building. One of the best is at left, and there are clickable thumbnails below for some of the others:

We all enjoyed my sister's visit, and she certainly got a lot of visit time in with her mother and her daughter. I am very sympathetic to the fact that Judy now has to travel so far to see her mother, and I would have been OK with Mom living close to Judy, but there really weren't any good condos nearby that she could have bought. Plus, when the time comes, Dallas has lots of Senior Living places and Mom will have a wide choice.

Judy left on the 28th, and Jeffie and I took her to the airport; Fred had gone back to work. My sister's relationship with her daughter has sometimes been a bit strained, but I think that on this visit they got a good deal closer; they certainly seemed to enjoy each other's company. And I was happy about that. Other than one picture of Judy in the airport gift shop, all the pictures we took were at the gate:

(It struck me as I was doing this page how much things change. For example, if someone were to look at the above picture of Judy and I at her departure gate, they could deduce that the picture was at least ten or fifteen years old- even if they didn't know me or my sister. The reason is that shortly after the events of 2001, it became impossible to go through airport security to a departure gate unless you actually were a ticketed passenger.)

Here are the last two photos we took at the airport as my sister left for Greensboro:

We were sorry to see my sister go, but we'd had a great visit this holiday. I have one final picture I want to include on this page- a picture I had Fred take of Chip and myself on Christmas morning just after I'd gotten the Christmas tree set up before Judy's arrival:

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

November 22, 1997: My 51st Birthday Party
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