The end of the year is here again, with the blessed opportunity to receive dozens of Christmas letters from family and friends. Some are filled with statistics: birth weights, I Q’s, or how many baseball trophy’s their special child snagged during the year. Others are full of doom and gloom: a minute by minute chronology of the symptoms they endured when they contracted the Ebola virus during a family vacation to North Dakota, admitting they set their house on fire to pay off the mortgage, or regaling us about a lightening strike that totaled both their vehicles and cooked the family cat. Still others use the Christmas letter as a means to brag about all the new stuff they’ve accumulated throughout the year: the boat, the diamond studded Iphone, the lifetime membership to Gevalia Kaffe, or the new wife just shipped in from overseas.
So, here goes. My Christmas letter to you. You can decide which version of Christmas cheer I am sending…
Our daughter came home from school this past summer and decided to make it a year sabbatical. She worked outdoors in the summer for a landscape maintenance company—weeding, watering, and sweltering in the heat. She accumulated a lovely farmer’s tan and brought me discarded perennials to replant in my yard. Now she works in a maternity store at the mall, helping pregnant women find pants that won’t make them look “fat.”
Now that she has settled back into the family abode, our son decided he is moving out. I don’t think it has anything to do with her or the fact that we treat her like a princess, but you never know. He leaves us for his own apartment in a couple of weeks. Without the boy/man around I don’t know who is going to eat the leftovers in the fridge, or show up in the wee hours of the night to set the dogs barking. It’s pretty much the only exercise our canine children get at three a.m.
My husband is in the middle of bailing all his clients out of problems with his accounting teaspoon. I’d just let them sink or swim, but he’s much more tactful with people who have million dollar houses and vacation in Italy, but can’t find the checkbook to pay his monthly bill.
We took an exciting trip on our motorcycles to the Black Hills this past summer. Five whole days of butt-numbing fun gave me a renewed respect for cowboys of the old west sitting in the saddle day after day. Of course they could probably doze while the horse kept walking. Sadly, motorcycles still don’t have autopilot or horse sense. We managed to pack lots of excitement into those few days and returned not much worse for wear. For those of you who don’t know—Aspercreme is the poor woman’s massage therapist.
I finished another novel. I’ve been told by a “reliable source” that it’s better than any Ted Dekker book. But the world may never know—because I can’t seem to write a decent one page query letter that would kick the door open to an agent’s heart. I’m still working on it.
Our dogs, Rugby and Willow, are bosom buddies now. She licks his ears out anytime she wants and he lets her do it—or suffers the consequences. She’s the boss around here. If he wants to nap, she wakes him up. If he wants to play, she ignores him. If he wants to eat, she pushes him out of the way and eats all the food in the dish. Willow is a perfect example of feminism running rampant in America. Poor Rugby has lost any manliness he once had. His ego has been shattered. Leon and I take them both for walks in the dark of night, trudging through snow in the woods nearby. Willow runs on ahead, leading the way. But when the owl hoots and swoops overhead, Willow is instantly beside Rugby, expecting him to protect her from the big bad bird. If it were me—I’d let it eat her.
That’s all I got. If you read this blog on a semi-regular basis, you probably already know it all anyway. To all my loyal readers, and even those of you who just showed up accidentally, have a very Merry Christmas!