From our Family to you . . .
From Our Family to You . . .
“In the middle of winter when fogs and rains most abound they have a
great festival which they call Exmas, and for fifty days they prepare for it in
the fashion I shall describe. First of all, every citizen is obliged to send to
each of his friends and relations a square piece of hard paper stamped with a
picture, which in their speech is called an Exmas-card . But the pictures
represent birds sitting on branches, or trees with a dark green prickly leaf, or
else men in such garments as the Niatirbians believe that their ancestors wore
two hundred years ago riding in coaches such as their ancestors used, or houses
with snow on their roofs. And the Niatirbians are unwilling to say what these
pictures have to do with the festival, guarding (as I suppose) some sacred
mystery. And because all men must send these cards the market-place is filled
with the crowd of those buying them, so that there is great labour and
But having bought as many as they suppose to be sufficient, they return to their houses and find there the like cards which others have sent to them. And when they find cards from any to whom they also have sent cards, they throw them away and give thanks to the gods that this labour at least is over for another year. But when they find cards from any to whom they have not sent, then they beat their breasts and wail and utter curses against the sender; and, having sufficiently lamented their misfortune, they put on their boots again and go out into the fog and rain and buy a card for him also. And let this account suffice about Exmas-cards.” From C. S. Lewis’ “A Lost Chapter from Herodotus” (for a full account, see http://mail.oit.osshe.edu/~hoffmanj/xmasandchristmas.html)
Barb, having duly noted with resolute voice, that –we- failed to send out a newsletter last year has insisted –we- send one this year. I asked for a recount but remanded by that ultimate Supreme Court, was obliged to obey and thus stand blameless for any deleterious effect this letter may bring. To paraphrase Moses Hadas, I fear this letter “fills a much-needed gap."
James seems glued to the Nintendo this chilly season (or perhaps any other for that matter). His favorite game – 007 – his favorite opponent (and victim) – anyone foolish enough to take him on. He continues to be smart as they come in school and a great soccer player in season. Which season was cut short this year by a broken collar bone (‘c-l-a-v-i-c-a-l’ he corrects me with an air of a seasoned medical practionee)
Nick continues to be the great trickster of the family but also is as smart as they come in school. His knowledge astounds me sometimes and confounds me also. Nick loves to play football and often entertains us with tales of goals crossed and interceptions snatched on the playground gridiron.
There are three guitar players in the family now and sometimes in the evening, when Patrick is playing Heavy Metal with his beloved ESP or Mexi-Strat electric, and Nick continues to progress learning with his mini-Strat electric, and “Never feel sorry for a guy with a Martin” Steve plucks out finger-style tunes on his Martin 000-15 acoustic, there really is no refuge for the balance of the family (or neighbors J ).
But turning now to Patrick, we find a very dangerous combination of a young, good looking guy just learning to drive J Really! So consider yourself warned. He plays the Sophmore at Weber High by day and sometimes works evenings and Saturdays at Ben Lomond Heating and AC (when he is not playing his axe (‘guitar’)). Pat was a heck of a 440 and 880’er this past year in Track and Field -- a very talented speedster (which talent we hope and pray will not slop over onto his driving)
Christie continues her studies at Stacy’s Beauty College and works almost full-time at Little Audreys Health Spa to pay for it all. She gives us all hair cuts and perms now and keeps Dad’s sideburns in check – for which we are very grateful. These days she is never far from boyfriend Jeff ‘The Truck’ (so named because of his exceedingly fine conveyance – much better than ‘The Beast’ he used to drive J)
Melissa and Brodie and Mika (a spirited little beagle) live not too far away. Brodie directs creative affairs at Kimber Kable and Melissa works full time at the DMV but manages to put in full hours studying at Weber State U also (note: Only the young have the energy to do this). Melissa’s goals are to soon graduate in Heath Administration and go on to become a Dietician.
Jon, Misty, and little Haylie live not too far away also. Misty works at the Pizzeria; Jon at Ben Lomond Heating and AC. Both work very hard. But there was time this past year for Jon to take up fly fishing and fly tying and to teach these to his younger brother Pat. Haylie – ah! Little Haylie – continues to grow and sprout. She is ‘tended’ over at our house at least a couple of days a week now and talks up a storm (I sang her to sleep the other day and she has many-a time helped me at the grocery store and then afterwards paid a visit to the ducks that live near the market . . . moments neither silver nor gold could ever buy).
Barb (aka Bunny Battenburg J ), having taken a short holiday from teaching tole painting classes is focusing on her family and church responsibilities in leading a ragtag cub scout den and helping with Relief Society Homemaking. She’s a great Mom and Grandmother (and sweetheart too J).
Steve continues to guard the motherland by working at Thiokol and is presently helping kick-off a much delayed and needed ERP project (What is ‘ERP’ you ask? Answer: The Mother of all Systems Implementations.)
The great Cynic Ambrose Bierce who in his most deservedly famous ‘Devil’s Dictionary’ defined a Christian as “One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor” J also defined Hope as “Desire and expectation rolled into one” and to Pray as “To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.” But in spite of all this, we do Hope and Pray that the Holidays will find you (in) good spirits and in good health.
You like good writing? You like good humor? Then don’t visit http://home.earthlink.net/~psneeley
Merry Christmas!! and have a Happy New Year!