Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Christmas Letter

It is tradition in my private life, and tradition in my public life-- also known as the blog.

To quickly get you up to speed, I always get a Christmas card from my college friend, Sue, in California.  Sue is someone I stayed away from during most of my college time.  I thought she was simply "too nice."  She asked me to work on her senior project.  That's when I really got to know her and I discovered she is an absolutely delightful individual.  I sincerely regret not getting to know her sooner.

Anyway, always included in the card is a family letter.  Now, I know most people hate those things.  Not me.  I really enjoy learning what her year was like.  That's totally sincere on my part.  No sarcasm.  I really do like Christmas letters.

Here's the problem.  I don't have much to say in response.  Sue has a great life, great family, great kids, great husband, great job, great vacations.  It's tough to fill a page with my mundane year in review, but I always try.  Submitted for your approval:  The first draft.

Dear Sue:

As always, thank you for the card, the photo and the letter.  I know I say it every year, but the kids have really grown into fine young adults, and I'm tickled to learn they're doing so well.

2017 has been an average year for me, and I'm not complaining.

We had a mild winter until March,  when I was trapped in a hotel near the office as two feet of snow piled up.  Luckily, my exile was for only one night.  I was not alone.  Several of my coworkers were along for the ride.  A lobby gathering helped pass the time.

Sadness set in not once, but twice.  My closest KMart closed, and the the second closest shuts down just after the start of the new year.

Pentel came out with a new, needle tip roller ball pen.  It's changed my life.  And, I've found a supermarket bakery that makes the absolute best carrot cake.

I'm considering getting a new pair of sneakers.

Visits to the gym, bike riding, playing with my camera, and sleep take up most of my time off.

There was a wonderfully productive and pleasant meeting with our alma mater's president, who was my freshman year French professor way back when.  She welcomed my input on several topics and it was great fun to reconnect with an old friend.

My first Primanti's sandwich was a delight.  I know you don't have them out west, but you might have seen them on television.  They put slaw and fries right on the sandwich!  Even though that first experience was overwhelmingly positive, I haven't had an opportunity to return.

A high school friend called me, out of the blue, late last year and wanted to get together.  I have to admit, I dreaded it.  We haven't spoken in nearly forty years.  I'm happy to report that I had a great time, and now we meet every couple of months.  He provides some much needed laughs.

The blog turned 13.  I topped 2,100 Twitter followers.  Facebook likes are close to 2,000.

I've been fairly successful in slowing down my tie purchases.  There is an occasional slip.

A radio station had me do a guest fill in thing one morning, and I loved it.  I hadn't been on the radio in years, and I forgot how much fun it was.

I do battle bouts of fatigue from time to time.  It's what happens when your schedule is the opposite of the rest of the planet.  I'm not complaining.  This is the life I have chosen.  I'm happy to report that, of this writing, I haven't used a single sick day in 2017.

I hope you and the family have a great holiday season, and an even better 2018.

Your friend,