The Christmas Missives


Christmas 2018

Holiday Greetings and Salutations!

2018—The Year in Review. Where to start, where to start… It would be easy to start with politics—you must know how disinterested we are in the whole political spectrum—but that’s not the way to start off a holiday missive.  Let’s start with some other fun stuff:

Tim Is Retired!!! Yes, he hit the magic age and decided to start collecting Social Security while it’s still available. He spent almost 17 years at Trader Joe’s—the longest job he ever held—and they really sent him off in style. The old adage of ‘how did I ever find time to go to work’ is true. He’s loving every minute of it. Well… mostly every minute of it. Right after he retired, we joined a gym. Yes, the two guys whose sole exercise regime consisted of putting fork-to-mouth have become gym rats.

Ya get old and there’s this program called Silver Sneakers that gets you free or reduced price gym memberships. We went to the local LA Fitness and parlayed our free membership into a year-long personal training regimen—that was not free by any stretch of the financial imagination. It is not easy and as of this writing, Tim still cannot touch his toes—but, for the first time in 25 years, he can see them!  Victor can not only touch his toes, he has gone down half a dozen pant sizes—and he ain’t done, yet!

Our trainer, Charles, is a 64 year old former Marine DI. He was nice to us the first few times we went. Now he is relentless. But it’s working. We are starting to look like the disco versions of our youth and are rapidly approaching Senior Stud Muffin Status. We’ll be rockin’ Speedos by summer. It will mean having to get our backs waxed, ears plucked, manscaping, and all that, but… we will do what we need to do—we can’t disappoint our public.

Of course you know that it hasn’t been all work and no play. Prior to retirement, we flew to California and spent a fun-filled long weekend with Tim’s siblings in Sonoma doing wine tours and just having fun. And we do know how to have fun.

After retirement, we headed up to Rochester for another long weekend with some of our bestest friends. We spent Tim’s birthday at Niagara Falls and had so much fun we decided to go back in December because it wasn’t cold enough in July. Tim opened the Hyatt Hotel in Buffalo back in 1984 so he knew just how frigid the tundra would be—we did it, anyway. What a blast! It’s amazing just how beautiful it is—regardless of weather. And the city of Niagara Falls on the Canadian side is the perfect mixture of honky-tonk and class. Definitely fun.

In other news… We played the 1.6 billion dollar Lottery—and didn’t win. It was for the best. What would we do with a billion dollars? The hardest part would have been disappearing and never seeing any of you, again. Only kidding… You know that we would share—just like we know you will if you win. We have a Venmo account. And PayPal. And, of course, direct bank transfers. Call for details.

2018 was not a stellar year for our garden. Too much rain for the tomatoes, although the peppers seemed to love the end of the season. We did can some tomato sauce and we roasted, fried, froze and/or canned enough peppers to get us through to January. We hope. We do like hot peppers on just about anything.

Nonna is still with us and is pushing 93—the same age as Queen Elizabeth. Blanche is almost 7—and is the goofiest dog on the planet. She takes turns being Victor’s dog or Tim’s dog—following one or the other around the house at different times of the day, but no matter where she is in the house, if Two Daddies go into the kitchen she’s there in a flash—tail wagging and pretending to be good. We know better, but she usually gets a treat, anyway.

Two Daddies In The Kitchen has definitely changed since we started going to the gym. Gone are those bazillion-calorie meals and desserts. In their place are reasonable-calorie meals and desserts. We are not dieting—we’re eating smarter. There are no off-limit foods—we eat breads and pastas and ::shudder:: white rice and potatoes—we just make sure they’re balanced with other things. And it’s working.

And now the part you’ve all been waiting for… Politics. The 2018 Mid-Term Elections… You all know of our Left-Leaning Liberalism, so you’ll get that it wasn’t quite the tsunami we were hoping for, but what a show, nonetheless. Too many of the wrong people were re-elected but a lot of good people made it to the House. Women, even. What a concept. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress! And Native Americans! Muslims! People of Color—representing Americans in the House of Representatives. It is a beautiful thing.

Beto lost by the slimmest of margins—but keep an eye out for a VP slot on 2020. It could happen… Our county and township went solidly blue in Purple Pennsylvania—and we were able to flip three House seats in our area. We re-elected our Democratic Governor—an actual really nice guy—and sent a few more Dems to the Republican-controlled State House. We will build on the little victories.

So… as 2018 comes to a close we look back on the good things—like Tim’s 1993 Ford Ranger pickup that he bought new for $10k in 1993. It’s now pushing 26 years of age and still going strong. We’ve definitely gotten our money out of that. Vacations and spending time with Family and Friends. Retirement. Becoming Gym Rats and getting in shape for the first time—ever. The time to do the things we love to do—even when that something is doing nothing at all.

So have a wonderful Holiday Season and try to celebrate every holiday you can—regardless of religion or national origin. Holidays are fun. Good food and good cheer abound—and that’s what it’s all about.

Happy Holidays!

Tim and Victor
Nonna and Blanche