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December 26, 2021: A Holiday Letter to a Neighbor

Dear Karen,

Tonight you came over for dinner. Pete made Indian food, and you made Nan bread. After, we ate Pete’s pumpkin pie. The dogs chewed on their holiday bones, and they were needy and greedy for very brief periods of time. It was raining and snowing both when you got here, but the skies were clear when you left. You know all this, so I will cut to the chase.

Being a dental hygienist, you have become very adept at talking to people. I listen when you talk because you do have interesting things to say. You remain a dedicated athlete, and this is something I admire. You also are very politically astute, which is something that I can’t say of very many of our acquaintances.

Hrimmi ready to drive

I have, over time, become adept at remaining quiet when you talk. Tonight I talked some, but realized I didn’t get around to saying what I meant to say. So I thought that now, I’d fill you in on what was a most amazing day here at Squalor Holler.

It was one of those days in which the weather was such that it was easy to appreciate the landscape. The temperatures were in the 20s, and it was overcast. Snow from a few days ago still hung to the branches. I first took Tinni for a walk – he was very chipper and moved along at a good clip. I remember when I first got him – you then had Bea, a small black Arab. We did several rides together. Riding Tinni with you and Bea increased my then low level of self-confidence.

I next rode Raudi and Pete rode Tyra. It had to have been the best ride of the entire year. The horses broke trail – I’d not been on them since the last snow. The horses moved out in the deep, powdery snow and several times cantered nicely. Sometimes I do wish, that like you, I had the time to bicycle, ski, and hike consistently and long distances. Instead, I spend what would be my exercise time tending to and communicating with these amazing animals. In part, it’s because I spend so much time with them that they are so obliging.

I was sorry to see this ride come to an end. It is one that I won’t ever forget.

I next took Hrimmi for a walk because it was getting late. Once again, she told me that she wants to be a cart horse. I’ve just been waiting for someone to come along who knows about horses and carts and would be willing to give me an assist. I’m just not as experienced a driver and cart groom as I’d need to be.

Later, after dinner, I showed you Ranger’s new goat coat. We then went and looked at the website of the woman who makes them. I saw your interest was waning so I next attempted to show you some goat agility videos. Neither kept your (or Pete’s) attention, although there was a glimmer of interest.

Lastly, what I didn’t get to say but would have said was that this was one of the best Christmases ever.

Next: 357. 12/26/21: Bleak Day

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