Christmas Letter – 2009
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. – Dr. Seuss
And so it begins. I was picking Sarah up from babysitting and the girls asked Sarah if I was her grandma! Imagine that, her grandma. What happened to the grandma image with gray hair, wrinkles, and glasses? Then last Sunday I put on a sweater that I had purchased at a thrift sale. It had a V-neck with yarn fringe strings, I know that I’m not describing it very well, but all three girls gave me the look. Rebecca thought that I looked like a lion with a mane. I thought that it looked like something Nana would wear. But once again, the girls decided I would be a good candidate for the show, “What not to wear.”
These days I can barely get enough computer time to print the annual Christmas letter. We have three computers but apparently it’s not enough with textbooks on line, Gmail, Farmville on Face book and the likes.
Darell turned 40th this year. He’s Sarah’s basketball and softball coach, the treasurer for the Regis Middle School Booster Club, the woodcutter & stacker, the snow blower, the electrician, the plumber, and the mechanic. This year he’s had to replace ball joints, brakes, fixed the 4 wheel drive, rotors, swapped out the wood boilers pump, and built a furnace for the garage. This year he has earned his keep. In his spare time he watches educational shows. Mind you every show that he watches he claims it’s educational. It doesn’t matter if it’s Storm Chasers, a college basketball game, Extreme House Make Over, Little People Big World, according to him they’re all educational. Plus he’s so talented he can watch five shows at once.
Speaking of plumbing, one day this summer he woke me up and claimed that he couldn’t go to work because we didn’t have any hot water. No hot water, no shower, no work? If he’s going to cut wood, he showers first. If he’s going to mow the lawn, he showers first. If he’s going to change the oil a vehicle, he showers first. I know that there is a possibility that you might run into a neighbor if you’re outside, but this is a little ridiculous. I told him to take a sponge bath and get to work. I reminded him that when he was a kid he used to camp out in the backyard, how did he do it? Shower first thing every morning or eat breakfast first then shower?
Rebecca is seventeen and a Junior at Regis High School. Since she is driving she’s helping me out chauffeuring the girls. She has a tough year with Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, Spanish IV and Psychology. She hit her first deer with the car this fall. She had her wisdom teeth out. She still thinks that Will is her Prince Charming after 1 ½ years. She made the Varsity Volleyball Team, the Varsity Basketball Team and will play on the Varsity Softball Team this Spring. She played traveling softball during the summer.
Rachel is fifteen and a Freshman at Regis High School. She is Treasurer of the Freshman Class. She is in Jazz Band, Band, Geometry, & Spanish II. She has come out of her shell. She was decorating the halls for Homecoming, dressed up like a scarecrow and a rabbit. She had a date to the homecoming dance, mind you that he asked her Friday after school for the Saturday dance, none the less it was a date. She has asked a different boy to the Sadie Hawkins dance. She wears her hair down, and more stylish clothes raiding Rebecca’s closet. Her room even smells of perfume in the morning. This is not the old Rachel that we knew. She made the C Team for Volleyball and the Junior Varsity Team in Basketball. She will play softball this Spring, she’s a pitcher. She also played traveling softball this summer. She is the farmer on my Face book account, so if it looks like I’m on face book 24/7, know that it’s farmer Rachel. She also does her Wii fit daily.
Sarah is eleven and in the sixth grade at Regis Middle School. She played Volleyball this fall. Currently, she is playing traveling basketball. This summer she will play softball. Last summer she broke her collar bone playing softball. She finished her regular season but was out for part of the traveling season. She plays the saxophone in band. She likes to keep herself busy making crafty stuff. She’s perfected making brownies. She is a giver and has a soft heart. In July, we were victims of internet credit card fraud on our checkcard. She stayed up late writing us a letter and placed the letter and all the money that she had including a giftcard to WalMart that she had received for her birthday in the envelope. Here’s an excerpt from the letter. Thank you so much for giving me everything you have given me like concessions, new backpack, ipod, clothes, and much much more. I am very thankful for all of it. I don’t mean to spend your money all the time. I guess I thought money grows on trees so, I am giving you some of the money you spent on me back. I am really sorry that your money got taken … I love you and glad to have you as parents. I hope I can learn from this to be more cautious of what I spend of your money and where I spend it. She’s still my informant. Johnny calls her inch high private eye. In August I received this email at work that was sent from her ipod. Can you call the home phone to tell becca to let me finish my shower please. Rebecca thought that she was taking too long of a shower and decided to turn the water off on her.
This summer the girls treated Nana & Papa to ‘Though the Window’ fine dining. They planned, prepared, served, and cleaned up. The meals were five star complete with menus. Rachel and Sarah were the waitresses and Rebecca was the Head Chef. She has mastered making popovers.
Granny turned 94 this year. I still call her at 6:30 every morning. In May she had a stroke and spent one month is rehab so that she could move back into her apartment. In July we moved her to first floor so she had less distance to travel to the dining room in her wheelchair. Mom, Lisa and I help her out with her showers, doctor appointments and errands, but somehow I’m her designated pedicurist and chinny hair puller. We are fortunate to still have her and I feel blessed that the girls have really gotten to know their great grandma.
Darell and the girls went home to Ohio in August. I stayed home and worked and had a Girls Weekend so that I could catch up and maintain some of my girly friendships. I’m still involved with Gus Macker, Interfaith Hospitality Network, and the CASE Charity Auction. I’m the silent auction coordinator for the auction, so if you have something to donate for next year’s auction don’t hesitate to give me a jingle.
We are enjoying the house. A neighbor boy came by selling Boy Scout popcorn. He peeked in the front door and told me that the couch looked comfy. He asked if our TV was a Plasma TV. He wanted to know if we had the movie Indiana Jones. He asked me if he could stay overnight sometime. I told him that if things got too bad at home to stop by and I’d see if I could work something out.
This year we’ve had more game nights with family and friends. We’ve made homemade pizzas and grilled out, we’ve played Pictionary, Apple to Apples, Scategories, Blurt and Cranium. We’ve realized how important it is to maintain friendships, family time and after all, it’s cheap entertainment. Yikes, the older we get the more we’re like my parents. I remember when the Aunts and Uncles got together on Friday nights and played Pihochle and the cousins played together.
And last but not least since this letter contains everything that they tell you not to put in a form letter, I will give you the opt-out election. If you would rather not receive future Christmas letters, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words opt-out in the message line and I will take your name off our 2010 list.
Please ask yourself this at the end of each day, What did I do for God today?