Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rehashing the year that almost broke the bank: 2003 Christmas Letter

The Annual Report for 2003

Because it’s not what you gain that counts, but what you risk
- like dancing on thin ice.
We shook the stuffing out of the dog this year-grabbed him by the tail and swung him around, so to speak. Yep, you gotta know when to take charge and when to just … take it.
Those slick board members of our Homeowners Association stuck it to us but good by making us all buy and install a three hundred dollar mailbox. It’s kind of like the five thousand dollar military hammer, only we don’t get to slip it in our pocket when we leave. Not that we’re going anywhere, mind you.
And why would we? Mr. S. got a nice promotion and raise and an office with a door. Plus, he learned how to make Southern BBQ Pulled Pork. Yessir, real bar-be-cue. And not a day goes by that he doesn’t mention how good, how juicy, how flavorful that four-dollar piece of meat was.
I’ll bet Mom and Dad are gonna want some of that when they visit, though Mr. S. would rather treat them to a chili-cheese slaw dog and large FO at the Varsity. Maybe that will make up for leaving them on New Year’s Eve with two cranky grandkids, a paper party hat project, some cheap champagne and a broken 36” Sony with five channels- while we went to a kickass party in a fancy house with a hot tub, full bar, pool table and a perfectly operating big screen TV.
Not that we aren’t good hosts. This year alone we’ve had numerous impromptu win-lose-or-draw kitchen chalkboard parties, a night of Clue, multiple barbeques, two kids parties, Linda’s big 4-0 comedy night, and the Bunko Broads Backyard Camp-out. Yeah, you wished you lived closer.
Of course, then we’d drag you to Girl P’s recital. You’d see her whirl around on stage in a tiny grass skirt that we figure must have cost us a buck a blade. As if that wasn’t enough, the old camcorder died, and we had to pay twenty bucks for a crappy video, which must have been filmed from the guy’s house in Boise. ‘Z’ for Zoom, dude.
Consider yourself lucky you missed going with Linda and the yoga group to qi gong at the herbalist’s, where he placed cold crystals on her navel and waved burning sage over her maroon aura.
Schwenksville’s looking pretty good right about now, eh?
Blame it on the sage, but Linda’s on a roll. She’s written for three more publications, won a writing award, appeared at a book-signing, found an awesome author mentor, designed a cool website,, co-written a screenplay, and finished her first novel. Yessir. There’s something to be said about maroon, tooting your own horn and the grace of God.
Girl P thanks Him every day for Nibbles, the dwarf hamster. Why God would want to waste his infinite power creating a squirrelly little, pink-eyed, long-toothed, frenetic...oh yeah- Nibbles makes P smile. And frankly, this pet is a heck of a lot easier to play with than Mr. Tinklesworth, the snail she was keeping in the sandbox.
Boy C rode horses for half the year, then swapped out for football camp—which gave a whole new kind of smell to the Durango. This summer he started his own Reptile Rescue operation. Turtle in your fish pond? Call C. Snake in the road? Call C. Anoles, skinks, flathead worms? Anything slinky, creepy, ugly or misunderstood? He’ll take ’em all. If he can’t heal them, he’ll bury them, or feed them to someone bigger.
Mr. S. has a different kind of operation, Break Down Central. If it ain’t broke…it will be soon. Besides the TV and camcorder, there was a water heater, a grill, a car, an oven thermostat, some fence planks, two refrigerators, four tires, and one esophagus. Mr. S. learned you should NEVER take your Mega Man vitamin without a FULL glass of water, okay, boys and girls?
Girl P started Kindergarten, (tears of joy, my friend), and learned two new songs, with most of the right words to “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” except for “…nine, ten, big fat head.” Unfortunately, she sings all the right words to, “Baby Got Back.” “Play the big butt song, Mommy!” I really hate red lights.
The Halloween nerd and beauty queen, Mrs. Cumming, brought cat poop treats and ruined karaoke at The Hicks, by adding running dialogue behind the lead. You’ve never heard It’s My Party and Killing Me Softly quite the same way.
Linda convinced a whole new group to do the Haunted House. Look for us on the Netherworld website--we’re the four screaming, drunk women squeezed between the Mariachi Band and the big German dude yelling, “Schiessen!”
We went to Tybee Island. You’ve heard of a diamond in the rough, well, this place is a chipped cubic zirconia in a cigarette butt filled ashtray. Good thing Savannah’s nearby. We drove around counting Dickie Mopper for Mayor signs, and listening to stories about The Waving Girl.
Linda liked it so much, she went back--for research and piano bar fun with Marca-- all just a warm-up for the B’ville reunion in Hilton Head. How much trouble could seven forty-year-old broads make in a five bedroom ocean-view house with a pool? How much wine did we buy?
Of course, we did projects- glazed ceilings, painted trim, put reed fencing on a dining room wall, painted shutters, trimmed trees, grew moss on the putting green and installed cork floors. Linda made art trays, wire sculpture and silhouettes, Mr. S. and Boy C made models and stuff out of wood and Girl P designed cards for every occasion: “Happy Your Name is Bob Day,” and “Congratulations on That Really Long Turd.”
We went to fun, local places, saw the amazing fireworks at Lenox Mall, and did more stuff you do with kids. Then some without, like the revolving bar--watch where you set your purse, and a musical about Urinetown--’nuf said there. We joined the new gym, a book club, the Symphony and quit bowling. Because all the beer in the world does not make this a cool sport. Everyone’s ass looks huge, all spot lit and bent over, and no matter where you buy them, the shoes are dorky.
That pretty much wraps this year up. Spot lit, bent over, dorky and a helluva lot of fun.
We hope your holiday season is filled with joy and wonder, wish you abundant blessings in the New Year and encourage you to come visit us in Georgia...anytime.
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