On Christmas Eve I'll have a lot of wrapping to do of all the presents that have been arriving in packages at home. Thank goodness for online shopping. Today I did stop at a Barnes & Noble in Harrisburg, PA to pick up a few last minute gifts and it's all done. I had the lady at the store who was from the local library and wrapping for donations wrap those up for me. The only problem was, now I don't know what's in each package and I'm not sure who gets what! Oh well, it will be a problem for Santa to sort out!
Before I get to the concert tonight I want to let you know that Terri Keeling got in touch to say that we raised over $1700 for the Clifty School Park at the concert in Kentucky two nights ago. Hooray! That was because of the efforts of the whole gang putting together a big night around my concert. Good going, folks!
The concert tonight was wonderful, because it was at the home of the Krasley family. This was my third time performing at their display. The first time was in 2012, and Tammy had just been diagnosed with cancer. Things didn't look good. Now here it is five years later and thank God she is still with us and doing great! Don's display pays tribute to her with pink lights and angels and a pink light ribbon and Sarah McLaughlin's song "Angel." It's really and truly beautiful.
Despite my gargling with warm water, salt, honey and baking soda every two hours last night and today, my voice was still shot, but I managed to get through the concert, although I'm not sure how good it was. I was very very happy to see Rich and Wendy Motz from Lititz, where I began my tour over three weeks ago, and their friends who came to see the show. Also in attendance was Dave Russell and his lovely wife Diane from the local radio station, WARM 103.3. Dave and I go way back to my early radio days in Maine, but I hadn't seen him in a very long time. They are playing "The House on Christmas Street" on his station and I am VERY grateful! It was a good crowd and there were some fun kids there who were dancing and singing, and a very sweet young lady named Madden who came up and did a great job on "Frosty the Snowman." It was a wonderful way to end the tour with Don's fantastic display and a lot of fun!
I had dinner at a cool little barbecue joint near the hotel with Dave and Diane and we did a little catching up. It was my first time meeting Diane and I felt like I had known her all my life. It's too bad we live so far away from each other.
This makes me think of all the great people I've seen in the past three weeks who have been important in my life over the past 58 years. How lucky I am to have had the chance to spend a little time with them on this fantastic journey. All of my hosts, of course, but also Carolyn and Larry Heard, Mary D'Agostino, Becka Bossons and her kids, Carla and Jerry Dicken, Dave Kinnoin, Michael Simmons, Mary and Jay Lane, Randy Schmidt, Joe Lansdale, Jamie Feinberg, Stephen Meadows, Ron Bunt, The NH contingency who came to my concert at Mickey's Home (thank you SO MUCH Nancy Kelleher for putting that together!), Terri Keeling, and Dave Russell.
I want to say another round of thanks to all of the hosts: Rich and Wendy Motz, Jason Reph and his folks, Gary and Billi Mayfield, Bobby and Roxanne Dicken, Brian and Danielle Wagner, Tyson Schmidt and family, Mark and Tracy Zembruski, Paul Aziz and Mary Carter, Dr. Bob and Marianne Brescia and the whole crew at the University of Texas of the Permean Basin, Tim Bryant of The Bosslight in Nacogdoches, TX, Jim Dennis, Calvin Slater and family and neighbors on Jeater Bend, Mickey and Minnie Baus, Terri and Travis Keeling and the whole Keeling clan, and last but not least, Don and Tammy Krasley. Don was also a big sponsor of the tour and for that I am very very grateful.
And that leads me to saying I want to thank again all of the sponsors who made this tour possible. Whether your contribution was small or large it was all very important in helping this all happen. You made hundreds of people happy and helped out a whole bunch of charities and I am very grateful.
I am going to write one last post here next week with some statistics on the tour, but for now I'm going to go to bed because I am POOPED> Thank you for coming along on this amazing journey with me. And to all a very merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!