The Christmas Missives


Christmas 2017

Рождество 2017

Дорогие семьи и друзья!

Что за год 2017! Места, которые мы были, то, что мы видели…

О… Oh… wait… We never met with anyone. Quick! Where’s our lawyer? Uh… Let’s just start over…

Dear Family and Friends!

What a year 2017 has been! The places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen…  It’s been a rollercoaster of a year—wild ups and downs— but it’s been a fun ride, indeed!

Being the Liberal Elites that we are, the downs have all been  Washington-related, but we’re not going to spend your precious time here ranting about politics. If you didn’t know our views on things, you wouldn’t be on the Christmas Card List in the first place. ‘Nuff said.

The ups have been numerous. One of the first ones was seeing Bette Midler in Hello Dolly up in New York. What a performance! The girl knows how to put on a show! We had seen her several times over the years, but Dolly Levi was one of the best! It was kind of a pre-Victor’s Birthday / Retirement present because, another huge up was Victor retiring!

Finally, after way too many years working, Victor has walked away from the corporate world and hasn’t looked back. Armed with a new camera, he’s out and about having the time of his photographic life. And, yes, Tim is jealous.

Retirement also gave Victor more time to spend in our vegetable garden, tending the crops. He picked, Tim cooked and canned. Well, except for the tomato sauce—Victor cooked and Tim canned. The garden has been great. We now know at least 378 ways to cook eggplant.

Another highlight of 2017 was Tim reaching his Medicare Birthday—and as of this writing, Medicare still exists. Keep those fingers crossed.

And then there was The Vacation. Four siblings and four spouses on a 10-day trek to Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine to see the foliage change. The weather was too warm for a lot of color change, but oh, what fun we had! Sadly, 2 siblings couldn’t make it, but we’ll work on them for the next time.

We started with a great house in Salem, MA for three nights. First it was tequila shots at 10:30am on the Boston waterfront with our friend, Dorrie, and  then VIP treatment at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game, courtesy of Deb and Ben. We did Witch Tours, the USS Constitution, and all the basic touristy stuff. Then it was two nights at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, getting to see our dear friends Marlene and Pat for dinner, then two nights in remote Maine—without cellular access— in a 90 year old vacation camp on a huge pond, and another two nights right outside of Acadia National Park on the beautiful Maine coast.  The weather could not have been better, the company could not have been better. The entire vacation really was perfect.

Then it was back home and back to reality—not a bad place to be when you’re us. The first area of business was clearing out the vegetable garden. We had decided against doing a fall garden because of our fabulous vacation and we’re planning another fall vacation next year to celebrate Tim’s retirement, so no fall garden, again. Next year is Tim and Victor’s European Vacation with Barcelona, Milan, and Lake Como the prospective sites. And we now have  Global Entry to speed things up.

Still on the home front, we did a bit of office rearranging and have started the slow purge of accumulated stuff. We seriously have more stuff than any two people could ever need and we have stuff we haven’t looked at or used in years and years. Tim is thinking of opening an Etsy shop. Stay tuned.

We all enjoyed good health throughout the year, but Nonna developed a cough that just wouldn’t go away. We finally got her in to see her Primary Care Physician the day before Thanksgiving and the next thing we knew, she was in the ER, being held for observation, and finally admitted to the hospital. 4 days of dealing with the Medical Industrial Complex is enough to make anyone ill—and it did not make for a happy 91 year old. After tests, being hooked up to machines, oxygen tubes, and changes in medications, she’s now home, still has her cough, and back to watching non-stop NCIS and Law & Order.

Blanche has taken it all in stride. As long as there’s a cookie to be eaten or a UPS truck to bark at, she’s a happy little girl. Why she goes bonkers over UPS trucks will always be a mystery—but it’s no mystery that she doesn’t like them.

So… 2017 is coming to a close… another great year of fabulous family and friends, of mostly ups and very few downs—personal, not political—and we’re planning on more of the same for 2018.

Be good to one another, stay politically active, and here’s to the best year, ever!


Happy Holidays!

Victor, Tim, Nonna, and Blanche