Pat and Clay Christmas Letter 2011

25 December 2011

First, from ALL of US to ALL os YOU, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Houston Family has a website with all the events or our lives presented in a massive amount of photos. You are welcome to view it all at ....

It's been another good year for Pat & Clay. We now have our five great-grandchild. This is a total of 6 married kids with 15 grandchildren. It makes for a really big Christmas party (at Donna & Rabdy's home). All the our kids and their spouses are college graduates, four grand-kids are college graduates with one going on to medical school in Houston plus 5 grandkids (so far) in collage.

Pat and Clay went to Texas twice along with FOUR stops at Tunica MS casinos plus a couple party trips there. We go a hundred miles out of our way to stop and donate our money (in penny's) to the cause. We call it a religious experience.

Clay's new effort has been trying to help the Aeronautical Engineering Program at the Wheeler High School but is waiting for the AP bosses to decide what they want.

The only job change was Donna's. She is now a Vice President. That's 3 VPs and one President in our family (at this time).

Mark is still passing gas at the hospital and building houses in is spare time. This year, however, he expanded by building a SECOND automatic car wash. It's due to open in about 6 months. The first one is doing great; about 600 to 900 cars a day. I got photo of the new location.

This year we had Thanksgiving meal at Bill and Dawn's with Theresa. As usual it was great and very filling. Mark, Lisa and the boys brought desert later. We ended up with 3 pies and a cheese cake with 3 section. I ended up with 6 VERY SMALL pieces but it was still very filling.

We had our customary snow in January. It hung on for a few days with closed school. We have almost total school bus operations and it's unsafe on the tree covered streets.

Mike and Lisa did the New Years eve and birthday party plus fire works. on for a few days with closed school. We have almost total school bus operations and it's unsafe on the tree covered streets. The food was Mexican, a good way to usher in the New Year.

We were going to be in town until after Easter so Clay tried to start plants from seed. Daily care was necessary with water, temperature and rotation. They came out OK. Then Thursday before Good Friday at 3 pm we finished planting 79 plants. It looked real good.

Spring and the flowers came and things started to look right nice. Then ......

Then all HAIL broke out. We lived here for some 50 years and have never heard such noise as an inch of hail in 10 minutes. It took out 73 of our 79 plants and stripped our flowers and trees. The photos don't do it justice. You could not see the ground out back because the flash didn't go that far.

We recovered by scrounging plants from the neighbors and seeding some. Not real pleased.

Off we went to Texas for a couple week stopping by Tunica casinos coming and going

Before we left Tunica the Mississippi flood got nasty. Leaving Tunica we had to drive through a foot of water 100 ft long at a low point. They had a patrol car with flashing lights to slow us all down. Then right after we crossed the river and got a few miles down I-40, they closed I-40.

It was still closed on our return so we came back via the more southern I-20.

We lost electricity 4 times last winter. About 45 min each time. We we lucky that it was relatively warm. Randy had an automatic generator for his tropical fish tank. It runs of natural gas. I looked into it and liked the idea. About that time we lost our freezer while we were out of town. About half the food. Then the solar flairs and CMEs were on the news so 17,000 watta later we can power our whole house.

Our garden did recover but it was late and we missed out on brussel sprouts and such.

We had a really big family get-together at Lake Nottingly. We had great meals, great boating and great naps.

At Lake Nottingly, we did a lot of boating and swimming too.

Kicking off the summer season is Dawn's 4th July pool party.

Dawn's party is followed by Donna's 4th July pool party.

Then, at Donna's 4th July pool party, ALL our kids got into ONE PHOTO. It's been a long time since they all got in one place at the same time. It was GREAT!.

When Chris was in town, we had a big family get together at Williams Bros BBQ (GA stuff). Another enjoyable time.

As you may have heard, Theresa (Bill & Dawn's girl) is getting married on Labor Day. In an attempt to hold her in check, Pat got her to try on her 55 years old wedding dress but no joy, Thereas had to get a more modern one.

Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Pat and Clay Houston