Holiday surprises

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What did you get for Christmas this year? Any coal in the stocking? Any surprises? Please share your stories.

My wife Cindy gave me a neat 2009 calendar using a dozen of my father’s watercolors to usher in each month. I really liked the iTunes gift card she gave me. I look forward to many hours of downloading new and exciting music. The most unusual gift I received from my wife was a certificate for a facial from a therapist Lynda Loveland has been raving about for several years. I’ve never had a facial and only one massage. I’m a little nervous.

I gave a lot of books away for Christmas and it’s been fun to hear from friends who commented on the one I wrote. I appreciated the nice message this morning from mdoodle who said Blue Ridge Reunion was a “big hit” with her sister-in-law.   My sister, Miriam, gave me a great book on the most remarkable trees of Virginia. It’s a beautiful coffee table book with stunning photographs and delightful essays.

I’d love to chronicle the most remarkable trees of North Carolina. Any suggestions? Right off the bat I think of the bald cypress trees along the Black River along the Pender/Bladen County line. They’re believed to be the oldest trees east of the Rockies. You’ve also got the 400 year old trees in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the mountains. UNC Chapel Hill boasts the Davie Poplar and some ancient oaks on campus. Please help me with this and also comment on your gifts.

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