Archive for December, 2002

Christmas 2002


Greetings!  I’m early this year, or rather on the late side of early or perhaps on the early side of late getting this letter out.  You know how I am deadline challenged with these running narratives.  When will the insanity end???

Many interesting and amusing things have happened to us this year: we’ve had a death (our computer’s hard drive); we’ve had a birth (a basement rec room and wet bar were born and christened, I might add!); and quite a lot of joy and happiness occurred along the way.  Please read on…

Our Abby, a preschooler at 4.5 years old has given us some cause for concern this year.  She is in perfect health mind you, but my parents would say her ‘engine is running a little fast’.  Yesterday she had her best friend Luke over to play and I heard her say to him, “I’m standing under the mistletoe- you do want to kiss me, don’t you?”  He said yes and I heard a juicy kiss.  Next thing I knew Luke was wiping the kiss off on the back of his hand and I heard Abby saying to him, “You are rubbing it in, aren’t you?”   Stay tuned for future Christmas letters on this girl.

Emily, who is eight years old, is doing well in second grade this year.  She had an important part in the school program in November, one that will be remembered by many in the audience.  Emily had the pivotal role of Blind Mouse #2 in that famous trio of the ‘Three Blind Mice’.  She did wonderfully well in her speaking parts, but was upstaged by her sister in the audience.  Abby was standing on a chair in order to see better and I soon heard some laughter from those around us.  Well, I, of course, thought Blind Mouse #2 was just darling, but where is the humor of having your tail cut off by a carving knife??  Unbeknownst to me, Abby had smuggled a travel size stick of deodorant in her coat pocket and as she stood on the chair she hiked up her shirt and proceed to apply her “pit juice”.  (Where DOES this girl get her vocabulary and moxie?)  Once again, wait a few years and see what happens in upcoming Christmas letters with this kid.

It was a difficult day for me in August when it was time to send Will, eleven years old, for his first day of sixth grade at the middle school.  This was a big thing for him because it meant that he was starting in a new school, riding the bus for the first time, and making almost all new friends in his school.  His middle school is the largest in the state of Iowa, so he definitely was the proverbial small fish in a big ocean.   He was desperate for me to not make a send-off scene at the bus stop.  So as he got in the bus, I waved to him and felt a bit nostalgic at this milestone in his life.  However, the bus driver thought that I wanted his attention so he slammed on the brakes and backed all the way up the street to say to me, “Can I help you, Ma’am?”  All the while I could see Will skulking lower in his seat as he sat there in total embarrassment.  I’d embarrassed him in front of the other kids on his bus and had scarred him for life.  Mo-ther, how could you??!!!!!  I hope this won’t mean years of counseling for him.

Mike and I had the good fortune to be able to take a trip to Europe this summer with my parents, sister Teri and brother-in-law, Steve.  Mike was our driver of the rented mini van, Steve was the navigator up front; Mom, Dad and Teri were in the middle on a bench seat and I rode in the very back, pinned in on all sides by the luggage.  Mini vans in Europe just aren’t the same size as in the U.S.   We made our way around France, Switzerland and Germany and are alive to tell about it, although we did have one scary incident in France that I know a French family is talking about this holiday season.  My dad, who is an avid sun avoider due to multiple bouts of skin cancer, was in the process of taking our one and only French map to stick in his window to block the sun when it was sucked away from him and out the window.  It landed, completely flat open and plastered across the windshield on a French family’s car behind us as we were all traveling at warp speed down the French interstate system.  And you wonder why there are hard feelings between the Americans and the French this year?  I’m here to tell you that it has nothing to do with any UN disputes or resolutions!

We also spent a few frenetic days with the kids in the Missouri Ozarks.  This was not our best family vacation, I’m afraid to say.  It started when the kids were watching a movie on Mike’s work laptop computer, which was placed strategically on the floor between the two front seats.  Mike had to slam on the brakes for an errant jeep (story to follow) and a wayward coffee cup shattered the laptop’s screen.  Mike very nearly had a cerebral hemorrhage.  In addition to that we had the dubious fortune to choose the weekend of the “Jeep Jamboree” or some such thing in Branson.  This appears to be the weekend when the rednecks come out of the backwoods to show off their wheels.  I did learn one very important thing from this weekend:  When informing your son what qualities to look for in a woman to marry, it is imperative that you mention that she have a full set of teeth.  This had never dawned on me before!  A toothless woman in a jeep is not a pretty sight; although we did see one who could stick her dangling cigarette through a tooth hole- how’s that for talent??

Mike and I are both doing well.  Mike enjoyed his 20th high school class reunion this past July and I am looking forward to mine in July 2003. By that time, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Dr. Atkins will have had his way with me and I will once again be that trophy wife that Mike picked out almost 16 years ago.  Well, I admit some things have changed with us.  He now has tufts of ear hair, gray hair litters his head, and he sits longer on the side of the bed each morning trying to coax his body to get up for another day.  But it still is severe love (?) between us.  Only love would cause me to forgive what he said to me the other day as I lay in the bathtub, reading the latest piece of trash.  He took one look at my body and said, “Geez, you sure have skinny legs- from the knees on down.”  This, in my estimation, is like saying, “Wow!  You don’t sweat much for a fat girl!”  Love does conquer all.

Go forth in 2003 and spread joy and happiness!  You know something like that will be spread from here.  Call or e-mail us, we love to keep in touch!