The mailbox has been full of surprises and Christmas cards this week but only a few, such as my annual box of gaily wrapped chocolates from MPA, a California based repossession firm I freelance for during the year, actually pertained to the holiday at hand. As an example, my summons for jury duty with the federal court just didn’t do much to raise the festive holiday spirit. As the federal court is in Prescott, a drive of 140 miles, it looks as though at least the first week of February has been planned for me.
I fully understand the importance of performing this service, and the privilege of having a jury system such as ours. I also understand that all who are called are inconvenienced.
Still, the timing could not have been worse. I am short staffed at the job that supports the writing habit and never know if the scheduled day off is a day off until twenty minutes before the store opens.
More than likely this will also be the period when I will need to finish the final edit, and write captions, for the Route 66 encyclopedia. Then, this morning, the publicist, Steve Roth, informed me that a major book signing in Albuquerque has been approved – for late January or early February.
As getting time off from the office is a bit difficult right now, the plan is to take the train to Albuquerque and then return the same day. Now that should be fun!
But all of these issues pale in comparison to the most important one. Grandchild number three is due in February.
Meanwhile, I will continue developing the Route 66 in Mohave County exhibit for the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman,  continue planning our trips to Amboy Crater and the ghost town of Swansea and, after the holidays, will be again present my case to the publisher in the hope of gaining approval for the next project. And I will also continue filling the 2012 schedule with signings, speaking engagements, and now, photo exhibitions.

But for now, all of these things can be postponed until Monday. This is the holiday season and for us that means the blessings of Christmas tradition that includes family, and laughing, screaming, grandchildren.
It is our sincere hope that you and your family are richly blessed this holiday season as well as in the year to come. See you on Friday.

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