With the holiday season upon us, I wanted you to know how profoundly grateful I am to each of you. For reading, commenting, and most especially for your daring and dreaming. As a token of my appreciation, I'd like to share with you Irene Chan's delightful illustration of a pineapple, the centuries-old symbol of warmth and hospitality. Pineapples were considered a gift of royal privilege during the colonial era because they were so rare, and therefore expensive. Though no longer difficult to come by, the symbolism of seems to endure. Perhaps because pineapples require effort to enjoy. Between the harvesting, peeling (the prickliness!) and coring, pineapples are no apple or banana.