2017 Christmas Letter

11 thoughts on “2017 Christmas Letter”

  1. Judging by that narrative, Alan, I think I would have sold the geese for old-fashioned traditional Christmas dinners! Do they actually serve a purpose on the farm, besides random unnecessary organic fertilizer? (lol)

  2. After all the preparation, joyful anticipation, celebrations and excitements of Christmas time and New Years Eve, a person not receiving your annual letter could get the completely wrong impression a new year starts out boring.
    In fact your letter is something I look forward to every single year. Not only because I’m reliably failing at catching up with beloved people if I don’t meet them regularly (which I would love!) so I would probably never get to know all these great things – but also because you are a fantastic writer. So please, if you ever ponder whether buying a new mower to break is affordable, will you take the long versions of your annual letters and publish them? I’d buy it.
    I get home(away)sick everytime I read your loveable plaints about the scrutinies of agriculture and breeding animals. And you can’t guess how much I miss you all and the Farm.

    Love you two lots <3

  3. What a lovely insight into your life and Rappahannock Country social activities. Can’t wait to be there more. And congrats to Keith for his great accomplishments!

  4. Hi Alan,

    What a wonderful letter! I can’t tell you the last time I read the word pensee!

    Can’t remember who said something along the lines of “please forgive the length of this letter. I wld have sent you a postcard but I didn’t have the time.”

    You allude to that thought and prove why it isn’t always true. It is extremely difficult to edit oneself. I have failed miserably over my 60 years but usually when imbibing too much.

    Seriously, many thanks for reminding all of us of the permanence of the seasons and life’s ups and downs and various other vagaries.

    Value each day!

  5. I’m a bit late as a full reader, but easily absorbed your wonderful prose and great photos, Alan. You remind those of us lucky enough to live in Rappahannock of the delights (and challenges) of each wonderful season and the beauty that is everywhere. You also remind us of the joys of good friends, good food and great wines (when Keith selects) — and leave me and Selma waiting for that long-delayed invite 🙂 So thanks for a literate, insightful and joyful tour through 2017. And yes, I still miss my bush hog time on the old farm.

  6. Bravo, Alan! As ever, so readable, so entertaining, and so thoughtful. I too look forward to your annual missive. As a former academic book editor, I have read my fair share of bloated overwrought prose, and I assure you yours is not! You are on solid ground with your writing–an authentic tone and style for an authentic life. We were also at the Vermeer in December–absolutely splendid. Let’s make a date for a visit chez vous for 2018!

  7. While searching through my stack of unread emails I came across your 2018 Annual Letter and decided to read it before your 2019 letter arrives. Glad I did. The pictures of the property reminded me of the beauty of the farm and I enjoyed seeing the improvements you have made. I also found interesting the extent of the new matters you are exploring in fields (farming, horticulture and animal husbandry) about which I know very little. I hope my children and grandchildren get a chance to see the farm and appreciate all that you and Keith have done and are doing.

    Looking forward to your 2019 letter.


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