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The snow fell as though God had shaken his Earthly snow globe. Seven year old Liza Stephens stared silently out the window. The train rattled as it passed over a bridge. Seated next to her was Liza’s grandfather Al. Grandpa Al stroked his white beard as he thought about what the answer to his crossword puzzle would be. A book of crossword puzzles sat in Grandpa Al’s and he clenched a baby pencil between his white teeth.

‘’Do you think we’ll find all five nutcrackers this year, Grandpa,’’ Liza asked.

Grandpa took the pencil out of his mouth and chuckled. ‘’I don’t know but I do have a good feeling that this could very well be the year we collect all five Nutcrackers.’’

‘’Why is it so important that we find all five nutcrackers,’’ Liza asked.

‘’I’ve never ever been able to collect all five nutcrackers on any of my yearly trips but I feel this year is different.’’

‘’I hope it will be different for you this year but what if you never collect all five nutcrackers Grandpa?’’

‘’Well, God willing, I’ll be back next year to try again.’’

‘’What time is it Grandpa,’’ I asked.

Grandpa looked down at his wrist watch and spoke in a husky voice. ‘’ It’s 6:20 a.m.’’

My mouth dropped open. ‘’Are you kidding me,’’ I groaned.

‘’We’ve only been riding on this train for twenty minutes ugh!’’

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