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First of all, I have throughly enjoyed all the jokes, phone pranks and the Christmas memories you all are sharing. You are never too old to laugh at things like that. It brings out the kid in us.

Some of my Christmas memories include getting bundled up against the cold Il. winter and going shopping for ingredients to make my Potica bread and my Bouche de Noel logs. I was six, and first my dad would take us downtown to "Santa's house" where we would wait for what seemed like an hour to get in,with a lists tightly gripped in our mittens and trying not to think about the icy cold wind making our eyes water,or the fact that our noses were running like a garden house under that itchy woolen scarf wrapped around our faces. On the way home, I can remember looking out the frosty glass car window and noticing how the powdwery white snow took on a bluish tint from the light of the moon. Once getting out of the car I lovrd the sound of the flakes and their crunhing sound as we walked aroungd the partially browned and sharp evergreen bushes as we strung hundreds of tiny italian Christmas lights on them and the joy of seeing the soft glow as the snow would start to fall on them. Mostly, I miss my dad bringing me in geyying the wet clothes off and bundling me back up with warm pajamas he would throw in the dryer for a few minutes...the ones with the feet in them. I can smile know when I think of those times but not without that lump in my throat.

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I hardly ever use my landline anymore. For the past 6 moms., it has been political soliciting, but last week took the cake. Mind you, I know these people are doing there job. but the 8a.m. calls and especially the dinner time ones are more than anyone should bear. I got a call last Tues. offering a weekend stay a a spa-resort in Sedona for 2. Before he got into his next paragraph, I told him my husband left me for another man the week before. He stuttered, apologized and hasn't called since. The No solicitor sign seems to mean nothing, so I took that one down and put MRSA infection inside. Either gardners other than my own can't read...or just don't care.

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