The Christmas Letter 2016

The idea for this blog began because of the encouraging responses we received from our friends about our annual Christmas Letters. So to keep our tradition alive for everyone, here’s a peek into 2016’s letter:


Well, it’s Christmastime again.  And as usual, we are one light strand short of being a Griswold.  Seriously.  With the number of Christmas decoration boxes we brought in from storage, I was afraid our neighbors would think we were moving!  We just love Christmas too much.  (If that’s even a thing.)

Here is the most important and shocking news of 2016:  Dan tried eating frog legs *and* alligator.  (I know…I should have warned you to sit down before reading that, right?)  You see, we convinced him that they spend as much time on the land as in the water <wink wink>.  So he reluctantly gave them a try — but followed them up quickly with a “cow” chaser.  I don’t think he’ll be repeating that performance, but it did make this year special.

So…the rest of the year in review:  You always knew this would happen.  My mom and I got ourselves sent up the river.  (No, not to prison.  You know neither of us looks good in orange.)  We took a cruise up the Mississippi River to celebrate Mother’s Day and Mom’s 93rd birthday!  Mom met two other ladies who were also traveling with their daughters.  Believe it or not, our moms all wanted to introduce their girls so that we’d “have someone our own age to play with.”  Yes, we called ourselves the “Mommy and Me” group. Imagine…at our age.  But it was a great cruise.  We learned so much about the Civil War.  (Including the fact that Wisconsin DID send troops to fight the South…so Dan can no longer feign impartiality.) And as thanks for a wonderful trip, I offered up my prescription glasses to the Mississippi river…as they blew off of my head into the water below.  What is it with me and my glasses?

And in keeping with the Year of the Cruise, Dan and I finally took our dream cruise to Alaska with a big group of friends.  It was GORGEOUS!  I was able to eat seafood to my heart’s content…like crab legs the size of my head.

(Poor Dan, shown here, was stuck with eating the roll and some cole slaw.)

But the scenery was spectacular.  The best part was the glaciers.  There are no words for the beauty of that alien landscape.

Dan’s favorite moment? Doing a “glacier push-up” in order to drink out of a tiny stream of melting glacier water.  (Don’t worry…what looks like dirt in the photo is actually rock sediment that is frozen waaaay under the clear ice on top.)  It was the purest, most delicious water you will ever taste.  And *almost* made up for the roll and the cole slaw.

We also were able to visit Seattle for the first time. I loved it!!  I was able to nourish my inner-nerd at the Star Trek exhibit at the EMP Museum under the Space Needle.  They had the bridge of the *original* Enterprise!  Come on!!!  That’s cool!!!

And I also was able to enjoy the traumatized look on Dan’s face when a fish came whizzing over his head at Pike’s Place Market!  Unfortunately, no photos of that.  But take the most horrified expression you can imagine — and multiply it by 7.  Dan went missing after that, and I was concerned he was in the fetal position in a corner somewhere.  But just when I was about to alert security, I heard a vendor exclaim that they were selling the largest cinnamon rolls in Seattle…and I knew where Dan was.  That boy sure recovers from trauma easily.

I decided since Dan had been such a good sport all year that I would fulfill one of his greatest fantasies: I would let him read the newspaper without interrupting him.  So one morning, after he poured his coffee, I proudly announced, “I’m going to leave you alone now so that you can read your paper.”  Well, you know me.  Unfortunately, without even taking a breath, I immediately followed that up with, “Did you see the fascinating article Kate posted on Facebook?”  Dan started laughing hysterically.  (Told you he was a good sport.)

So I promised yet again not to speak until he’d finished his paper.  But darn it all, there was something that I’d forgotten to tell him.  But rather than speak, I handed him a note.  (Yep…even when I’m not talking, I’m still disruptive.)  Dan, with a complete deadpan expression, handed the note back to me and simply said, “Christmas letter.”  Harumpf.  Apparently, he thought *you* would appreciate that story.

We do hope that both the Holidays and the New Year brings you all kinds of laughs, adventures and happiness.  I’ll leave you with this scenery from Alaska…which is pretty close to the North Pole and Santa!!

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