God bless the board gamers, every one!

anonymous giftWe have a lot of Game Days at our house: some Friday nights, some all-day Saturdays, some (when Q and I are at Scout Camp) weekend blowouts. Our many tables (and many more shelves of games) are put to good use.

At the Saturday Game Day in November, there were quite a few games of Caverna played. Billed as “the new and better Agricola” by some – not by me; Agricola is my favorite game – Caverna was at the top of David’s wish list, so I’d gotten it for him for his birthday. (With a $90 price tag, he never would have bought it for himself.)  The game was left out on the table at the end of the night, all set up and ready for future play. Alas, someone also left a large plastic tumbler of water on the table, and sometime in the wee hours of the morning, one of the cats tipped it over.

Caverna, for the uninitiated, is a game with a cardboard playing board… and many, many cardboard tiles… and lots of cards. None of these, of course, do well after sitting in a lake of water for countless hours. The board swelled, the tiles separated, and most of the game is now an unplayable mess.

It was a sad time in our house. There was no saving the waterlogged pieces. Of course, the ruined game was the newest and most-expensive, just as car accidents always happen in the nicest car a family owns. We set the parts aside with the hope that we might be able to order replacement pieces from the publisher for somewhat less than the cost of a whole new game.

Last Friday, I was vacuuming – getting ready for another game day – when Bones started barking madly. I tried to shush him a few times, then peered out the window to see if he was distracted by someone walking by, but I didn’t see anyone. Hours later, when I took out the trash, I saw a shopping bag on the doorstep with a wrapped gift inside. There was a typewritten note attached:

David,
Thank you for hosting as often as you do.
Also, I am guessing you can guess what this is, so I will not hide it. I was just so sad to hear about your loss.

It was unsigned.

We were both so touched by the thoughtfulness of someone to anonymously replace a $90 game that was damaged by our cats. I have to admit, I smiled at the tragic tone of the note, but David was seriously disappointed when it happened. He is even happier, though, to have such kind friends. I’m thankful for that, too. The people he plays with truly are good friends and have been a real blessing to him over the years.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well around here!

Trees for sale!

Q and Maude 2005Advent is here!

I love this time of year. I love to sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” I love to deck the halls. I love to hang up our outdoor lights (which I did at 7 AM yesterday after “running” at the Wilson track in 30-degree weather). I especially love to get our tree.

We had an opportunity to purchase one from Tree Salesperson Quinland this year, as he was selling trees for Wilson Drama, but we love our Century Farm tradition (as modeled above by tiny Quinland and his adorable friend Maude) far too much to give it up for even one year.  The Drama department will have to be satisfied with selling me some swags instead… but if you are in need of a tree and have no tree-lot tradition to maintain, head down to A-Boy on Barbur and pick one up. The sap that Quinland was covered in on Saturday attests to their freshness!

runners? hi!

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Such a fun night tonight! I got to go to Deb’s house for a craft night and meet the women from her running group. I was impressed by two things:

One, those girls were so warm and friendly to me, though only one had met me before (and hadn’t seen me in eight years or so) and though I am a complete and utter non-runner. Just a lovely group of women!

Two – and this will surprise no one – Deb is a crafting wizard. We made so many cute things! There were crafts stations for sewing a Christmas bunting and for making holiday signs, magnets, candles, and three kinds of Christmas trees. My favorites were the distressed-wood signs (mine says “Joy to the world”) and these adorable curled-paper Christmas trees. I spent ages getting mine just how I wanted it… and actually achieved that outlandish goal! Martha Stewart Deb had gone above and beyond the call of duty, planning the crafts, getting all the supplies prepped, and teaching all of us how to do each one.

All around, it was an excellent night out. Once again, I am promising you photos, but I swear I will get some and put them up. These things were just too cute to miss. (Edited to add: Here’s a photo from Deb! The little trees and the “Joy to the World” sign are mine. Love them!)

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Thanks a million, Deb! (As my Hudson Taylor boys said on Facebook tonight, Go raibh míle maith agaibh!) xo