December 26, 2011

In some places, today is known as ‘boxing day’.  But here, it is known as ‘put away Christmas decorations day’.  Most are now back in their places, waiting their turn to come back out about Thanksgiving 2012.

Ross and Rhoda are preparing to depart for their winter home in Florida.  They’re packing up their ‘stuff’, and getting the house and horse barn prepared for their absence.  Even though the days have been sunny and nearly 50 degrees, they are longing for the warmth of Winter Haven.  I expect them to leave sometime today or tomorrow.   Even from that distance from the farm, he will handle all the marketing decisions for the corn that remains in the bins.  He communicates his sales to us, and we get it delivered.  With the internet and his cell phone, he is never far from his advisors and he is quite adept at the marketing of the grain.   John and Philip will return to delivering corn tomorrow when the local elevator re-opens after their Christmas break.  Ben will not be here to help for a few days; he is now on his way to Detroit with some of his Purdue buddies to be there for the Little Caesar’s Bowl.  It’s really neat that the Boilermakers are still playing football, and that he can be a part of the event.  Philip is also traveling soon to go see his Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl game.  It will be a little different this year, since the game is on January 2 instead of New Year’s Day.  But how nice for Philip; he was at the National Championship game in  Phoenix last January, and now the Rose Bowl!    Soon the Carnahan family will be scattered nearly coast-to-coast!

Last Wednesday, we approached a major decision.  We are discussing the upgrading of our grain dryer to a larger and more efficient model.  We have settled on a GSI X-Stream 2326.  It will use 30% less electricity and LP gas, as well as having increased capacity.  It is now a matter of working the details out with the dealer, and working through a grant process with USDA.   That seems cumbersome, but it will help us make this major change.

We trust you had a very happy Christmas weekend.  It was a happy one here.  The church services at Wheatland Christian Church were very special, the singing and sermon were especially meaningful.  Our family shared the noon meal with ‘Aunt Lynn and Uncle Bill’, and then we returned home in the evening.  Pat made her traditional ‘breakfast pizza’, but it was for supper this  year, not breakfast.   It was special to have all our sons and extended family here.  Philip, John and Ashley, and Ben with his girlfriend Amber Ellermann,  shared the evening with Pat and me.  Even though we were all a little low on energy, it was fun.  As we drew our gathering to a close last night, it struck me what abundance we have, and that we should recognize how blessed we are.   To remind me of this, I received a message from a dear friend in France; her granddaughter was seriously ill last week, but is now recovering and they are hopeful.   I am certain of how different their ‘Noel’ was this year, but their experience tells me to rejoice!  No, it was not a “white Christmas”, but it was a  happy and healthy one.  Let us approach the new year 2012 with a grateful heart.

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