One day before Christmas as I was driving around town, I made a trip through the camp grounds. There were geese on the bank — I guess at least 70 or more resting in the sunshine. I stopped to admire the beautiful birds. They began to get up two-by-two and swam away. Geese travel in pairs. It must be a special test to find an unfrozen spot of water in mid-December, but winter has just begun.

My family had our Christmas get-together on Dec. 16. The temperature was in the 50s and the overnights in the 20-degree range.

I spent some time also driving around to see the beautiful lighted decorations — some very elaborate, all very colorful and pretty. I picked my favorite outside Nativity scene in Ellis.

December, the end of the year, is such a busy time with school concerts, organization parties, property taxes due, cards, gifts, dinners and Santa’s coming, and, most of all, church events: Advent, soup suppers, carols and candles, the children’s Christmas Eve program and Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Family gatherings brought to mind cousins. I’ve heard many people talking about their many cousins. Especially large families have numerable cousins even first, second and third ones. But I’m sorry to tell you, I don’t know a lot of my cousins, which means our children don’t know their cousins either.

My son, Steven, is concerned about wanting to know his cousins, who they are and all about them. So he has started a project, calling and initiating.

This Christmas, one couple came to our Christmas gathering. Jim’s nephew and wife arrived. We all had a great time getting acquainted, and they plan to come again.

I tried to count my cousins; I came up with five still living of 15. I hope Steven’s project works and more will get to be acquainted.

When I started this story, Christmas still hadn’t arrived. Christmas Day was very cold and there was snow on the ground. Time can sure change things.

Also, the campground water has frozen over, except for the big circle where the geese have kept it open by swimming around a spot and kept it from freezing.

I will continue to watch them to see how long they will stay and work to keep that spot unfrozen. They rest on the ice around the hole. Wildlife are fascinating to watch.

Every year, I try to invite all of you to attend the annual ground hog supper at the St. John Lutheran Church. This coming year, the supper will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 3 at the church, 6 miles north of Ellis on the blacktop. We will serve all you can eat pancakes, sausage (ground hog) and scrambled eggs. Freewill offering will be taken. Come for good food and fellowship.

The year will be gone and the New Year will be here in only 365 days, so enjoy and worship our Lord with praise and Thanksgiving.

Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.