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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Christmas Letter

You knew this blog was coming.  It's become December tradition.

To get you up to speed, I always get a Christmas card and letter from an old college friend.

Let me back up a moment.  A lot of people hate Christmas newsletters.  I love them.  Even though many are mass produced, I like learning what my friends have been up to.  It's a lot better than a plain old signature, or a pre stamped line at the bottom of a card.

My old college friend is one of the sweetest people God ever put on the planet.  As I've noted here before, one of my great regrets in life is not getting to know her until our senior year.  I'm thrilled to get the yearly note.

No one deserves happiness more, and it really looks like she's been blessed:  great husband, great family, great kids, great job, great vacations, great adventures...  My problem comes with the response.  I'm happy and lucky to have when I do, but there's not much pizzazz.  Writing a response is always a challenge.

Here's the first draft.

Dear Sue:

As always, thank you for the card and letter.  It thrills me to learn everyone is doing so well, and it appears you had another great year.  No one deserves it more.

Things are okay at my end.  I'm still at WNEP.  I still ride my bike and go to the gym.  I still have good health.  I still love going out and playing with my camera.  I still enjoy what I do, and I still don't like the song "Still" by Lionel Richie.

Thankfully, my pen and baseball cap collecting has slowed.  I still have way too many of both.

It's been a busy news year.  Unfortunately, most of the stories have been sad ones.  It kept us moving.  We're all very tired, but any time you start to get a little down, you remember the people involved in the story who going through an even tougher time.

I didn't buy many ties this year, but I did get a new laptop, light jacket and a heavy coat from the station.  I found some shoes I really like.

My last sick day was in December of 2012.

My blog hit its tenth anniversary.

I made some new friends and lost some old friends.  A few passed away.  Others did things to make me realize I was wasting my time.

My teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Athletics, broke my heart.  But, hey, it's only a game.

My face appears in a film called "Kids for Ca$h."  I still haven't seen it.

I've been stretched in a thousand different ways, but I've always found a moment or two to count my blessings.  One of them is my continued friendship with you.

Stay well.  Thanks again for the letter.

Your friend in Pennsylvania,

Andy.