Did your week start off with a bang? Mine did. A big bang, as I slid down my front stairs, left leg straight out, right knee tucked yoga-style under the left one. Except that I never did yoga. Wish I had. So, I have been incapacitated for the past week and didn’t get around to talking with interesting people.

However, I must give a special thanks to my wonderful neighbors, Frank Nee, Christina Respas, Natalie Erikson and Rebecca Leehey for helping me get by. Laureen Thornton also sent Christopher over with a Hanukkah feast of Latkes, sour cream, apple sauce, some cookies and even some gelt. We should observe Hanukkah more often.

That poor coyote you may have seen around town must be starving to death. He seems to have acquired an injury, too. Mother Nature can be a cruel mother.

Mary Alice Nee needs prayers and good wishes as the doctors try to determine what ails her.

Apologies to the family and friends of Harry Holmberg whose birthday I mentioned recently. Harry died almost a year ago.

Christina Li‘s friends at Walther Lutheran Academy will be happy to hear that Christina’s mother, Hong Mai Chow, successfully delivered her defense of her thesis and has earned her PhD in medicinal chemistry. She returned to Forest Park briefly on her way back to Boston. Tina may come for a visit in the spring to see her friends at Walther.

Concordia Daylo has returned from the Philippines after another long stay there with family and friends. Welcome home, “Lola.”

Some Christmas letters are an absolute delight. Two of my local favorites come every year from Ken Trainor and Doug Deuchler. Doug gave us a multiple choice quiz this year (all the answers were C) and winners were invited to the Deuchler’s for a piece of fruit cake! Ken’s comments on the world, the nation and life in general, are treasures that should be published. But one from an old friend is worth passing along as well, I think.

Nancy Fleming and her mother lived in an apartment on the far south side of Chicago. Her father had gone back to Ireland and I don’t remember if he ever did come back. But one Christmas Eve, Nancy and her mother were desolate at not being able to spend the holiday with the rest of the family. Everyone was poor, few people owned cars in 1941 and those who owned them couldn’t get gas or new tires because of WWII shortages. So, Mrs. Fleming called a taxi and said she was in the process of delivering a baby. (Send a cab right away!) Then she bundled up one of Nancy’s dolls in a baby blanket and waited for the taxi. When the driver asked them what hospital, Mrs. Fleming confessed her scheme. The driver got a big laugh out of it, took them good naturedly and even came back several hours later to take Nancy and her mother home.

A Merry Christmas to everyone in Forest Park, and a happy birthday to Peggy Madden, Angel D’Souza, Daniel Gerger, Vince Cirrintano, Norm Hopp, Thalia Becker, Nibuca Saleeb, Jay Milano, Lauren Duwell, Joe Hein, Michael Rausch, Ryan Mintz, Suzy Bjornson, Butch Jargstorf, Angela Spinelli, Tom Ahern, Hunter Treiber, Mark Rice, Tom Cannon, Ryan Neff and Lauren Trage. Happy anniversary this week to Doug and Nancy Deuchler, and Barbara and Bob Sullivan.