I know, I know, late again. Sorry. To be honest,
I'm always praying this letter will just sort of write itself.
But it does not.
Well, I've seen your cards and it looks like congratulations
should be offered.
First, to Jen, Sarah H., Jennifer, Suz and Doug, Karin and
Sarah B., Jonathan, Dave, and Jeff on your new homes.
And to Ron and Maria who could buy themselves the
nicest house of all for expanding sales of the handmade
mouse warmer to a kiosk by Petz-Fur-Life. We who love to be
in style and comfort as we click our way through the days
are an ever-increasing mass. (P.S. I'm constantly having to
towel my hand off when I've got a lot of data entry
do you carry a model in a breathable cotton or maybe Gortex?)
And then there's baby Tucker, or Mr. T, as he is known to
those who adore him. He was a long-awaited miracle and, thanks
to Lisa and Matt's diligence at his Web site, we can virtually
grow up alongside this blessed creature of the Lord. Indeed,
I'm sure if he were to just appear on my doorstep one day,
I wouldn't hesitate for a moment. "Hello, Tucker,"
On a heavier note, I wanted to comment on Jeff's camping
trip last summer that it looks like many of you were a part
of. I hope enough time has passed for me to say this and that
you'll accept these humble words of comfort from a person
who was not there and didn't witness the "extremely difficult
moment." But I really think it's important to respect
the fact that animals are animals (in this case, dogs are
dogs and mountain lions are mountain lions) and what happened
to Ginger and Zeus was fairly normal in nature. Like when
you hit a squirrel, or even a cat, with your giant automobile.
It just happens that way. All the same, I think Jen's idea
of Salishan Lodge next year is a good one.
As for me, several of you have asked how it is to be living
back at home. And, my answer is that it is nice. There was
a lot to catch up on, a lot Mom and Dad and I hadn't mentioned.
You know, all those things you keep inside and think, Oh,
they don't really need to know that. But, maybe by revealing
everything and seeing everything, those constricting façades
are no longer necessary. And once we stop hiding from who
we are, that is when we come to know who we really are.
For example, if it weren't for this new living arrangement
I wouldn't have known that every morning my father takes his
and my mother's blood pressure to set the tone for the day.
And that he checks it again in the evening to confirm his
Somewhat relatedly, I discovered that my mother snacks on
cheese frequently. Any kind of cheese, really, but there is
a special fondness for Gouda, which she hides in the back
of the fridge in a crumpled piece of foil. (If you have never
tried it, it is smoky and creamy and good just by itself.)
I ended up accompanying Mom on a few trips to the Hickory
Farms during the shopping season and it was really kind of
beautiful to watch her scurry from station to station filling
her mouth with samples, free of any suffocating adult inhibitions.
It was like she'd been let into Willy Wonka's little wonderland,
but in cheese.
I've also appreciated how accepting my parents have been
of what I considered to be my fatal flaws. Over the months,
all the little troubles that had kept me behind closed doors
dissipated and I began to feel whole again.
Well, the holiday season here was nice and got kicked off,
somewhat surprisingly, in the bathroom at work. Someone on
our floor had purchased a couple cans of Glade Evergreen air
freshener and so, periodically throughout the day, you'd walk
in and wonder if maybe you'd encounter Rudolph or one of the
elves while taking care of your business. The festive facilities
were really quite pleasant and got a lot of people talking
to people they usually only smiled politely at in the mirror
though Mary from Accounts Receivable complained, but
that was on account of her allergies. Nobody hated her for
As usual, my little sister Deanna made her famous Christmas
cookie platters for everyone. Normally I would have eaten
myself into a glucose coma but, as fortune would have it,
a woman from down the street saw a homeless man shivering
one night and decided to rally the neighborhood into making
a difference. She came to all our doors, asking us to donate
an item that would keep someone on the streets warm this winter.
I was low on blankets and sweaters, but barely thought twice
before handing over those 12 dozen chocolate drops and 23
Mexican wedding cakes that would have made me so sick. And
if you know Deanna's baking skills, you know that whoever
got those cookies had a good couple of days. Maybe made a
But perhaps the most notable moment for me during the holidays
was a dream I had in the hours between Christmas Eve and Christmas
morning. As I understood it, I was a housewife in the '60s
or '70s and found myself standing in a rather unattractive
kitchenette with carpeted floors and fake wood cabinets. Behind
each cupboard door was a stacked wall of Cup-o-Soup, Pringles,
Hamburger Helper and the like. I think I felt reassured to
be so well stocked.
But I am digressing from the main attraction because there,
in my little brown kitchen with his back to me, was a man
I came to realize was my husband. Despite never staring directly
into his face and feeling more like he was a suggestion rather
than a reality, I knew that this was the man that would exist
if God had given birth to John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart in
a single push: the perfect amount of man and woman.
Heavy emotions took over and I was flooded with joy and sexual
desire is that okay for me to say here? Maybe cover
the young ones' ears? Oh, it felt so right. He felt so right
... the way our bodies aligned. God, I was in love. Now logically,
of course, I know my husband's image was created by watching
five minutes of "The Green Berets" and one minute
of "It's A Wonderful Life" that night, yet I can't
help but believe it was a sign, a message. You know? Like
that that's the kind of guy I need.
Well, I think that brings us up to date. The New Year will
be ushered in quietly here with a couple of friends I've come
to love and trust. My folks are off on a romantic getaway.
As always, I wish you all the very best. Judging from your
holiday pictures, though, I can tell you already are.