Christmas Newsletter 2015

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year one and all! I hate to resort to the infamous "newsletter," but seeing as I have been so busy lately (despite my continued unemployment and crippling bouts of depression that render me almost totally inactive), and seeing as there are so many of you for me to write to, I thought this the most efficient choice.

     2015 was memorable for us because in January National Grid shut off our power for non-payment of bills. It was a strained time, but as a family we tried to make the best of it. It was actually rather fun deciding what furniture to burn for heat and cooking purposes, and we grew closer as a family while bundled up together by the dining room fire. And it took our minds off the fact that the telephone had long been disconnected and our cell phone plans cancelled. Marcy was not happy with my forgetting to pay these bills seven months in a row, but I'll be darned if I hadn't misplaced every single one!

February (Cupid's Month!) saw us exchange dear Valentine's Day cards. Well, I gave Marcy a card but she forgot this year again. We skipped the chocolates because of Marcy’s diabetes, and remember how when I brought her some last year, she went right through the roof, claiming I was trying to kill her! Stupid Cupid! 

       March 2015 provided one of those family moments that people only dream of—reunion with someone you thought you’d never see again. Our son Radd was paroled abruptly from prison after serving 12 years for armed robbery( and of course for those courtroom antics he pulled during the subsequent trial). I shall never forget how proud I felt as Marcy and I waited on the front porch for our son to return home. He peeled around the corner and screeched to a halt, leaving his newish Lincoln Town Car running on our sidewalk. He was so moved at being home after all these years that he couldn’t greet us (probably because of the mist in his eyes…). He pushed right by us, injuring my back somewhat seriously in the process, and went inside to take in the sights and sounds and smells of his boyhood home. A few seconds later he came bounding out like a little boy, a six-pack in hand, and drove away. The memories were surely a bit too much for him and he felt overwhelmed. We understood!

       April was memorable in that my last teeth fell out before the month was half over! I was quite the sight for a while! Financial constraints kept me from ordering real dentures, but I found a resourceful way around the problem. I came across a set of those novelty chattering teeth at a yard sale, and although they are terrifically uncomfortable and I can't swallow with them, my appearance is greatly improved. And on those rare occasions when we are invited out, I am the life of the party!

     A baffling memory loss has erased from my mind all the news of June through September, since we had some “domestic issues” with Radd now that he was home again. It’s not easy for a kid to return to the nest after he’s been on his own for twelve years, and it’s not easy for the former empty nesters either! I feel like someone has initialized the discs in my brain, much like a computer!

     I had some blood work done in October which revealed my cholesterol to be at a critical high of 597. I have since been taking good care of myself through diet and exercise, although I still somehow go through a small jar of peanut butter between dawn and dusk. Protein is protein!

     Tragedy struck at Thanksgiving this year as our daughter Retina (Re-teena, please! You all know how sensitive she is about people mispronouncing her name!)swallowed a stray puck at a hockey game she was attending. It has been a difficult adjustment period for her with her odd speaking voice and altered neck. Some thoughtless people have even mistaken the round, flat shape at her throat as an ashtray and have deposited their cigarette butts, gum, etc. there. Others have decided she is a visitor from another galaxy and spend hours trying to extract information about the universe from her. Truly it’s been a bitter puck for her to swallow, but she's a strong girl and we know she will make it! We are hoping she’ll move to Canada and get work as a mascot!

     And that brings us full circle to Christmas 2015! Many of you knew that recently, Marcy and I found ourselves in divorce court brought on by a small kitchen fire we had to build because the power had gone out again, a fire which got out of control, and which revealed that I had not paid our homeowners insurance the last few years. Our lawyers were making things turn ugly, and Marcy determined that our settlement could only be reached by way of a formal duel. She shot me twice in the arm before I realized I was supposed to have a weapon too. (Don’t worry! She had a pellet gun, people!) Funny thing about your wife shooting you, though. It renewed our love for each other, partly because Marcy and I talked and she realized if she had done critical injury to me, she would be saddled with a ton more financial burdens. We were soon under the same roof again. Or on the same property, anyway. Sleeping in the garage has been somewhat of a discomfort for me, especially knowing that Marcy is sleeping soundly in our bed, but marriage is built on compromise. And speaking of which, Marcy is now in charge of paying all the bills, ha, ha, ha!

Somehow Radd made it home for what he called “Christmas Break,” and we were overjoyed to have our family reunited for this most sacred season! I was very grateful to Marcy for the new lawnmower (a hint, Marcy? And why did it have another man’s name on the gift tag?), and I decided to try it out immediately despite her protests that there was over a foot of snow on the ground. Well, she was right and I absolutely destroyed the thing . Believe me, folks, a lawn mower does not double as a snowblower! When Marcy was done berating me for this indiscretion, we thought we had some holiday carolers stopping by. Actually they were bounty hunters looking for Radd. It seems the beautiful Lincoln in which he had driven home from prison in March had been borrowed from a distant friend, borrowed a little too long I suppose. Wouldn’t you know it that a SWAT team looking for Radd arrived at the same time because, as he told us, he hadn’t signed out properly when he took his holiday leave. What a shootout that was! When the bounty hunters were dispersed or killed, the police managed to find and extricate Radd from his “bedroom,” which to the naked eye would look like the crawlspace behind the furnace.

Still we count our blessings for '16, despite our having to abandon our home due to ongoing radon contamination and an unseasonable infestation of flies. Also, I’m sure I keep hearing voices in the house when no one’s there telling me to get out.

       Best wishes to all of you for a healthy, happy New Year!

                                   Pete and Marcy