Getting ready for China

Christmas takes a back seat in my mind to the trip to China. Lance and I are leaving the day after Christmas. Brother Joe will take us to Minneapolis. From there we fly to Chicago, and then non-stop to Shanghai.

People often ask those who are traveling: Have you packed yet? I have never understood this question. Why pack until the morning you leave? I know what I need, and I use all of it until the last minute, so it would be silly to pack ahead of time.

We are only leaving for 10 days, so whatever I forget I can buy. It is wonderful to know that somebody familiar will meet us at the airport in Shanghai and that I won't have those moments of terror which come from landing in an unfamiliar country and being on your own. Such adventures were fun when I was twenty-two. Now, they seem like too much work.

Went in to see Aunt Olla yesterday. She was in fine form. When I walked in, she was finishing up writing her last Christmas card. She has received over 40 of them, and she intends to answer them all, plus mail out to her regular list.

Olla hoards the cookies they bring her and gives them to me when I visit. I had to smuggle them out so the nurses at the Hilton didn't see.

Cousin Roy, who we are visiting in China, just emailed that he received a six-page letter from Aunt Olla in perfect penmanship. He doubted whether he would be capable of such a feat if he makes it to age 95.