For anyone just tuning in. This is the 10th installment of the last 12 years of humorous "Family Christmas Letters" we call The Annual Report. see prior pages for the rest, and keep your eye out for this year's rendition.
2007: A Year in the Life
one run-on sentence at a time
January: With the installation of the 10 foot TV screen, we no longer project onto an orange wall and celebrity faces return to normal. In the spirit of The New Year, reading lists are made, college funds set up, golf clubs purchased, movie queues extended and summer camps selected. After that, resolutions dissolve like promises in the wind.
February: Linda publishes humor- no really- in a small mag, finishes the second novel for the second time then celebrates at a writing festival in Dahlonega with Lisa where she drinks wine with Cassandra King and tries to get invited over so she can see Pat Conroy in an apron.
The opening of the long-awaited Gold’s Gym pulls Mr. S off the couch between football games, while Girl P learns to shape her body into letters for modern dance and Boy C expands his electric guitar repertoire past one song by Led Zeppelin and half of one by Aerosmith.
March: Mr. S. finally gets to see the play Glen Garry Glen Ross and even though we’ve been warned– we still flinch every time the old man (who also plays Scrooge at Christmas) drops the f-bomb. Linda celebrates her birthday at a challenging ropes course in the woods with adventurous pals, then meets the chicken ones for drinks and games at ESPN zone, where Mr. S. thinks the screens are small compared to his own- at least we think he’s talking about the screen. Linda tells their wedding story in SKIRT! Magazine and the kids prep for Easter and a visit from Terri and Haynes from Texas. Much pointing and touching at the new Aquarium.
April: Boy C gets another guitar. Girl P gets headphones and Linda discovers the medicinal qualities of Peach Sangria. Mr. S. sleeps through the lunar eclipse and Linda does more writer things, like hear her winning story about a forest fire read aloud by a lovely Scottish Granny who even makes the word “shit” sound nice.
The boys donate their bodies to The March of Dimes for the day and come home with sore legs and too many pictures of pretty cheerleaders.
May: Things break. Things get repaired and replaced and we learn that the free- cycle program might be great, but sometimes people don’t show up and you have a couch in your foyer for way too long. Linda goes on a girly rampage from a Gwen Stefani night to hosting Mom’s Morning In: chick flicks with a side of champagne. It’s all preparation for a “Passion Party,” where she learns the nice Yankee lady who signs you up at the fair booth is not necessarily the one who’s going to come to your house. THAT person may show up a bag of toys, a carton of edible lotions and her lover from Alabama who suffers from ingrown ha-irs.
June: We’re concerned when Boy C’s more enamored with goats in a field at Girl P’s dance recital than pretty girls on stage. Lucy the yorkipoo, AKA “Bucket” enters womanhood and is promptly escorted to the vet, so Kallahan can get some rest and the humans can gallop off to The West Indies. The airline we love to hate- Spirit Airlines- DO NOT FLY THEM, EVER!- totally screws us and in less than 2 hours, we double the cost of our trip, but still make it to Puerto Rico in time for lunch- and end up visiting four other countries we hadn’t planned on seeing. Amazing things happen in Anguilla. Secret things that you must go see for yourself.
July: Girl P has another pool party. No one drowns. The kids go to camp. Church camp. The parents have no idea what to do with themselves. Linda recuperates from SURVIVOR Bunko Night in the backyard, where it was like a rainforest typhoon thing and she STILL made the losers go out to the beach. Hey, they had a flashlight, or a lighter or something.
August: Kids go back to school and the house returns to normal, with Linda spending a stormy weekend on a houseboat with the Bunko Broads and Mr. S. claiming his own bench at the gym. Girl P cuts her hair, signs up for hip-hop and drops ballet while Boy C grows his hair long and heads back to the music studio, guitars in tow. He is officially a teenager. She is just P.
September: Some people celebrate anniversaries with diamond jewelry and fancy dinners. Mr. S. takes Linda to the racetrack and straps her into a NASCAR. Two weeks later, after Linda can speak again, she retaliates by ordering her own German sports car. Boy C and his pals form a rock band with assorted evil- sounding names and a Christian bent, ‘cuz that’s how they roll.
October: Mr. S’s car dies for the ninth time and much to his dismay he becomes a gas guzzling SUV driver. Linda has nasal surgery and realizes breathing is good. The Netherworld Haunted House tour is decidedly NOT better on a weekend even though the bars are open later afterward because standing in line INSIDE a spook house definitely takes the scare out of it.
During the worst drought in Georgia history, we install landscaping and a sprinkler system thereby willing it to rain in three counties. Linda takes the hot car, “Hans-Sharon” on a road trip to the coast to woo agents and editors. Buying rounds of shots works. More writing.
November: Linda posts 30 days of shoes, gains an online following. Needs more shoes. Super Heroes die at The Annual Murder Mystery Party where Mr. S. dresses up in a manner that can never hit the Internet. Being a partner in an up and coming business does have its benefits, privacy being one of them. Playing Wii games on Thanksgiving yields sore shoulders and hoarse voices. Girl P contracts Fifth’s Disease, which is not as bad as Fourth’s or even thank goodness, close to Eighth’s. The boys head to the mountains for ATV’ing, where Boy C learns the big RED arrow with the circle around it and the line through it means TOTALLY the wrong way, dude.
December: Linda’s writers group party opens the month, followed by a pornament exchange- Well, at least ONE (c’mon, who doesn’t like a well-endowed pig in a pink marabou tutu?) Preparations for Mr. S’s football viewing/yard game/wine tasting/pictionary birthday party are underway with a fridge full of beer, a cake on order and good food in the wings. Just something to do as we await a visit from our Albuquerque contingent and the fat man in red who just might be able to make that 10 foot TV screen into 130” of Playstation3 Guitar Hero fun.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season with God’s blessings and hoping that in the New Year, your right hand will always be stretched out in friendship but never in want.