The Christmas Missives

HOLIDAY TALES

Christmas 2010

Happy Holidays!

Yes.  Holidays.  ALL of them.  Starting with Mithras and Saturnalia where Christmas gets many of its traditions all the way through all the various religious, national, and ethnic celebrations that happen this time of year.  Happy Everything.  We’re of the opinion that, in this day and age, the world needs all the good cheer and happy wishes it can get.

And speaking of good cheer and happy wishes, our 16-year engagement officially ended October 14, 2010.  We got married!  Yes, it’s true.  Full-blown, legal, recognized in 5 states and the District of Columbia Married!  Our dear friend Marlene performed the ceremony in Manchester, New Hampshire.  It was awesome!

Now who would have thought that after 16 years we would be nervous about getting married?  We certainly didn’t.  But it was definitely nerves that made us forget the dress clothes and the cameras.  We married outdoors in our blue jeans with a couple of dear friends in attendance.  It’s difficult to describe the feelings and emotions we went through while trying to recite our vows to one another.  It was an emotional rollercoaster the likes of which neither of us expected.  We never thought we would be able to legally affirm our  love and relationship. It was perfect.  From the staff of the Radisson Hotel to the folks at the City Clerk’s Office, everyone in Manchester was wonderful.  Every city should be so welcoming.

And we do want to apologize in advance for all the opposite-gender marriages we will be responsible for destroying in the future.  So sorry.

But 2010 was more than just our marriage.  We flew west for Tim’s niece Jessica’s wedding in April and then flew to Omaha for a great Family Reunion in July.  The travel gods were not smiling down upon us on our way to Omaha.  We spent the first night of the reunion at an airport hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We were not amused.  We had a great time, once we arrived.  It was wonderful to see so many cousins.  We need to do this a bit more often.

It was also the year of finally getting drapes for the living room.  Real, honest-to-goodness custom draperies for our 16-foot floor-to-ceiling bow window.  We had finally had it with the $29 BB&B side panels and sheers.  First time in our lives we ever had a “designer” in our home.  (And probably the last.)  She measured right but ordered wrong and there wasn’t enough drapery to fully drape.  When Victor went down to talk to the manager, she told him we would have to pay them a lot more money to have the draperies fixed.  Silly woman.  Tim wrote a very eloquent letter to the president of the company explaining our displeasure.  We sent it Express Mail overnight return receipt. The company headquarters is about 7 miles from our house.  Let us just say that the draperies were fixed to our satisfaction—at no additional charge.

Otherwise, it was a quiet year for us.  We haven’t won the lottery, yet,  nor have we cured cancer or the common cold.  But we have been cooking a lot.  Tim redesigned his food blog tjrecipes.com and it is going strong with literally thousands of visitors a month.  It’s a lot of fun.  We subscribe to La Cucina Italiana magazine and the August issue was The Pasta Issue.  20 different pasta recipes.  They all looked so good that Victor decided to cook his way through the magazine a la Julie and Julia!  Every Monday Victor cooks a different pasta dish and Tim writes about it.  We have had some spectacular dishes with unbelievably wonderful fresh handmade pastas!  We’ve also been baking a lot of homemade breads.  We’re eating well.

On the work-front, Victor is still with GetThere managing the online travel software for really big companies and Tim is still with Trader Joe’s, although he is no longer putting little pieces of food in little paper cups for them.  He has graduated to working cash registers (handling real money!) and explaining to customers that their favorite product has been discontinued.  It all pays the mortgage.

Tim is still having fun with his web design, although he has given up ever making any money from it.  He’s taken the concept of charging for his work to new lows.  Seriously.  The upside is there are a lot of folks out there with a web presence that never would have been able to, otherwise, and Tim is banking Karma points.   A necessity because he does tend to spend them quickly.

And speaking of web sites… Yo!  Relatives on both sides!  There are family sites.  Remember?  Tear yourself away from Facebook for a few minutes and go visit them.  Make a post.  Upload a picture.  Say something!

And now back to our regularly-scheduled domestic bliss…

The queen of the house—Cybil Shepherd—continues to be a source of love, fun, companionship, and humor.  She has Daddy Means-It (Tim) and Daddy Marshmallow (Victor) wrapped around her little paw.  It’s probably a good thing we didn’t meet 20 years earlier and have children.

2010 is rapidly coming to an end and 2011 is just around the corner.  As of this writing, there are no huge plans.  We need to do a few things around the house.  Kitchen and guest room need painting.  Bathroom could use it, as well.  And we do want to get out to San Francisco and see the family.  It’s amazing how much one can miss the people who drove you crazy growing up.

So we leave you with happy thoughts and happy wishes for whichever holidays you’re celebrating this year and hope that 2011 brings you peace, joy, and happiness.

And if you happen to win the lottery—remember how much you like us!

Love and Holiday Kisses!

Victor, Tim, and Cybil Shepherd