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Dear Reader,

I don't remember who decided it would be a good time to try Black Friday shopping (which started at midnight), but I'll blame Ann. Aside from a half-hearted attempt at Black Friday a few years ago when we were carless at a hotel in Maryland, I'd never done Black Friday shopping. Crowds and my husband are . . . well lets just say Mike works pretty well as a gauge for how Adam would handle crowds of people. Shopping on line is much more his thing. But Ann and I decided that Black Friday would be something Mercy might do if she were tortured or . . . had some other task to do. So at a time when Mike and I would usually be shaking hands and toddling off to our own beds to sleep -- I sent Mike home and Ann and I struck out for Black Friday sales complete with newspaper clippings and plan of attack -- and my big six passenger truck to hold all of our goodies.

There is nothing like standing in line for three hours to buy three hundred dollars worth of . . . .something for two hundred and fifty. Especially when most of it is stuff that I would never, normally, purchase. But, a little sleep deprivation, a little frenzy -- and the next thing you know you are grabbing that funny looking kitchen utensil because it is half off the retail price and there are only two left! So what if the nice old granny beat you about the head and shoulders because you were faster, you have the thingy and you won't give it up.

There was light in the sky as I dropped Ann off and headed home. The truck was filled with . . . stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. I have stuff from that shopping trip that is still (better than a year later) in its original packaging. Next year I'll figure out who to give some of that stuff to.

Let's just say that I'd put my eye out with a spoon before I'd do it again. However, as grist for the mill it was awesome. The opening scene in Frost Burned is based on real events -- how I suffer for my art <grin>