This book of poems began forty years ago when our family moved from Evansville, Indiana, to Hillsborough, North Carolina, a small town near Durham and Chapel Hill. We moved into a large house on a ninety-acre farm. Our family consisted of my wife, Adrian, and our three sons, Jo (age eleven) and identical twins, Mike and Dan (age eight). On Christmas Eve 1975, I thought of a poem to write to my wife, Adrian. I put it in the tree that evening, and she found it Christmas morning. She was so fond of it that she asked that I write her a poem each Christmas. So for the next forty-plus years, with only few exceptions, I wrote a Christmas Eve poem each year. The subject matter varied but was always tied in to our family and Adrian. Since we lived on a farm, we tried farming for the years the sons were at home. We tried raising cattle, and one of my favorite monikers for Adrian, Mrs. Moo, was derived from it. She was always hopping around very busily, and that is why I also refer to her as Toad. Jo married and had three children: Caleb, Megan, and Jacob. He was later divorced but remarried to Kelli. Mike married Sonya, and they have three children: Michael, Elizabeth, and Richard. Dan married Kimmie, and they have two children: Sarah and Kenneth. To me, the most amazing thing about these poems is that on every single occasion, without exception, I thought of the poem on Christmas Eve, not a minute before. It became very stressful as each Christmas approached, since I had not a clue of what I was going to write. So many times I thought I was going to have to say that I simply could not think of anything, but each Christmas Eve, something would come to me.
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About the Author
I had a feral cat named Felix that over many years I tamed. Felix (who took 5 years for me to get close enough to her to realize that she was really Felixia, a female) was my muse who helped me come up with many of the themes for these poems. I have subsequently had a number of cats that are sometime referred to in the poems. But to this day, I am still astounded that I had no idea what I was going to write until Christmas Eve. These poems were all written on Christmas Eve, but the subject matter of many were targeted for our wedding anniversary in January. The several years that are missing are when we were on a trip or when I was recovering from a serious medical problem, such as extensive back surgery, and was not functioning at Christmas Eve. I am going strong today and hope to continue this tradition for many more years. Hopefully, the poems will help you follow the evolution of a family and a very happy marriage for over more than forty years. Special appreciation is extended to Emily Haga for her hours of work and dedication assembling this book; her creative talent integrated the 40 plus years evolution of a family.