December 23, 2011

Christmas Letter to Family and Friends

Season Greetings!

Before sitting down to write our annual Christmas letter, I reviewed last year’s letter to make sure I couldn’t just say “ditto 2010” and be done with it for this year, 2011. No such luck. Then I searched a website that prints submissions of the worst Christmas letters ever received just to make sure one of ours wasn’t sent in by someone on our mailing list. Thank you all for resisting that temptation.

2011 in review: We didn’t do anything as exciting as hike the Appalachian Trail---unless dreaming about it counts---or as pitiful as sitting propped in chairs with bibs around our necks---unless nightmares count. So I guess you could say those facts speak volumes about our ho-hum lives here in our villa where it was discovered that hammers come in handy for opening childproof caps and our conversations often sound like this:

"Windy, isn't it?" I say to Don and the dog.

"No," Don replies, "Thursday."

And Levi in dog-speak says, “Me too. When is someone going to fill my water dish?”

We did accomplish one noteworthy thing this year. We saved ourselves from the embarrassment of someday having our stuff featured on the TV program Storage Wars---that’s the show where they auction off the contents of storage units when someone falls behind on the rent. With the help of a good friend, Tim, we emptied out our storage unit that had been sitting untouched since Don’s stroke. This was no small weekend project. The unit was ten by twenty-five feet and Don campaigned to save just about every other item enclosed from going on e-Bay. Thankfully, he lost most of those “keep it/sell it” duel of words and we no longer qualify to be featured on the TV show Hoarders.

That was the highpoint of the year. As for the low point, this year will live in infamy for being the Year of the Chronic Hives. I’ve officially had the hives almost every single day of 2011. After a regiment of taking three different antihistamines daily, seeing four doctors, submitting my body and blood for umpteen tests, and getting a prescription that lists the main side-effect as “suicidal thoughts”---as if the hives don’t already make you want to slit your throat---I learned that Baby Oil Gel with Lavender and Camomile from the Dollar Tree store works best at taming the itching. Thank God for that discovery because a few times I’ve come close to ordering a gorilla suit to wear out shopping just so I’d be excused for scratching assorted body parts in public.

Aside from the above mentioned highs and lows, 2011 brought us a succession of ordinary-to-lovely days, the kind that make you happy to be alive and living in a place where you can write a silly Christmas letter to touch bases with family and friends. Wishing you all a joyful Christmas and a happy New Year!

With Love,

Jean with Don’s seal of approval

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