Thanks For Giving us the Claus Family

Thanks For Giving us the Claus Family

I’m writing this on Thanksgiving Day sitting in the Claus home in my sister-in-law’s den loving the space in this place, especially the kitchen. As an interior designer since 1969, I couldn’t have done any better with this home. Joyce got it right—function and beauty are in perfect harmony.

The smell off roasting turkey is everywhere. It’s kind of smothering me. I like turkey, but I don’t like to be smothered by anything—except love, of course. I may have to go to my room, but the turkey smell will probably follow me upstairs.

Around 2:30 pm today, twenty-eight relatives will descend upon this beautiful home—aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins—and of course—the brothers Karamazov aka the Claus brothers. (I’m married to the one on the left (wearing the bright blue hoodie) in the picture above.

The Claus brothers are here early to organize the seating,

Mother Claus, a great lady we all adored, is looking down from Heaven. The last time this great, big family got together was in 2011 for Mother Claus’s 100th birthday. Sadly she left us in 2012 at the age of 101. But what a legacy she left us: the love of family and the importance of family gatherings and God’s love washing over us all!.

Yes, the Claus name is pretty awesome isn’t it? Well, they certainly live up to that name. 🙂

We are missing two of Mother Claus’s grandsons, and their brood, for today’s celebration. Guess those statistics are not too bad considering everyone else who will be here for the turkey dinner and camaraderie.

Before the festivities begin, I’m getting in some writing time. My next book follows the life and love of Mia Baldwin, Allie Baldwin’s younger sister. (My follow-up book to The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin). Like the Claus family, the Baldwins are a loving clan; family gatherings mean a lot, especially during the Holiday Season.

I think Mother Claus would have enjoyed the Baldwins and I hope you do too.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.

xo

Gail Ingis

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin is available on Amazon.

PHOENIX, AZ and WRIGLEY GUM

PHOENIX, AZ and WRIGLEY GUM

Wrigley Estate In Phoenix, Arizona. In Arizona, it’s all about the mountains.

Wrigley was famous for giving us the tantalizing chewing gum. He gave us culture and influenced the character of Phoenix, Arizona with his presence and architecture.

Wriggley rooftops. Arizona rooftops look like Portugal rooftops.

The Wrigley Mansion was built by chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley, Jr., as a 50th wedding anniversary gift for his wife Ada. They named it “La Colina Solana,” meaning the sunny hill. After enjoying his new home only a few times, Wrigley fell ill and died there.

The custom, in the late 19th and early 20th century, for the big money men, were to build small country homes, this one 16,850 square feet. Check out the number of rooms.

The Wrigley’s winter cottage was the smallest Wrigley house, covering 16,850 square feet, with 24 rooms and 17 bathrooms.

After Wrigley’s death, the house passed through several owners, serving for a time as extra space for the Arizona Biltmore and then as an exclusive, private club. Eventually, local millionaire George Hormel bought the house. An egalitarian sort, Hormel wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it. The Wrigley Mansion is required to operate as a private club because of zoning restrictions, but to allow everyone to enjoy it, he set the annual dues at only ten dollars, which are donated to local charities. The dues can be paid in advance or at the door.

The Wrigley Mansion is located on a hill just above the Arizona Biltmore, and they offer tours twice a day. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance for all tours.

Today, the Wrigley Mansion is used mostly for events and weddings, but they also serve dinner on weekends and Sunday brunch, and the bar is open on Friday and Saturday evenings. We recommend getting there shortly before sunset and snagging a table on the balcony for some of the best views in the city.

Other Wrigley Houses

Wrigley also owned houses in other places. His primary residence in Chicago is used mostly for filming these days and his Pasadena house (bought so his wife Ada could watch the Rose Parade in comfort) is now the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses. His Catalina Island house operates as a high-end bed and breakfast called the Inn on Mt. Ada. His fourth home was in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Getting to the Wrigley Mansion

Wrigley Mansion
2501 East Telawa Trail
Phoenix, AZ
602-955-4079
www.wrigleymansionclub.com

Ninety-three degrees and no humidity. Great for swimming and suntanning.

Last week, we were in Phoenix. We are treated with a visit to Phoenix, now and then, to visit our children. The weather was gorgeous, everyday. We swam. Our grandkids prompted and pushed us on the water slide. Unexpected fun.

Early evening sunset in Arizona.

Evenings with family.

From New England to the Southwest. Would you go in the winter, spring, summer or fall? What’s your guess? If you had a choice, would you choose the southwest or the southeast?

Wrigley Mansion info from About.com.

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