Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas with the Ancestors. A Slide Show of Them and Us.

John Mattson and wife Beverly with Luella Williamson, his older sister

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

The valley looks cold and gray from outside the Fortress window. It has rained off and on all day with no sightings of the sun. I can't see the mountains on the opposite side of Utah Lake. They've been swallowed in a wall of white cloud and fog. It is one of those days where a good book and warm fire make the world bright once more.

Did you hear unusual shouting Friday afternoon around 3:30 P.M.? If so, then you heard the vocalized joy springing from the lungs of teachers and students alike as the school bell rang in the start of the 2010 Christmas vacation. I stood in the Space Center's doorway and watched as our students nearly trampled the Foster Grandparent volunteers to the floor in their rush to exit the building. With amusement I watched the Principal, bull horn in hand, wade into the churning sea of children in search of marooned first graders shoved aside into the brick walls by the older and stronger students. There were a few bloody noses and bumped heads but I'm happy to report that everyone got out alive.

The school looked a mess with broken candy canes and crumbled sugar cookies decorating the hallway floors. Normally I wouldn't give it a second thought but our afternoon custodian called in sick (how convenient) leaving no one to clean up the building before our weekend overnight campers arrived at 7:00 P.M. Not to worry. I've got a great staff and we got things cleaned up.

The Space Center closed at 5:00 P.M. yesterday and so my vacation has formally begun.

This Tuesday evening the Mattson Family will be hosting their traditional Christmas Reunion. Mattsons from far and wide are invited to attend. It is one of the few times we all gather at one place at one time to get our fill of each for another year. To celebrate the upcoming highlight of our family social calendar, I'd like to post a few pictures from last year's gathering.

This slide show is a bit different (you should already be accustom to that). In addition to our pictures, this slide show also has pictures from our ancestor's times in Tudor England. If you remember from reading the blog's posts, we are directly and indirectly related to several of players in the drama we call the Court of Henry VII and VIII. So, the slideshow is a us now and those that came before us then.

The Christmas Carol accompanying the photographs was written by King Henry VIII and sung widely in Tudor England. Our ancestors would have known this song and sang it (especially if it was written by the King). So, enjoy watching them and us with the Christmas music of their time.


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