The Christmas Missives


Christmas 2021

Happiest of Holidays, one and all!

2021… what a year!

Vaccines, a wedding, first birthdays for the twins, a new baby back east who we haven’t met, yet, and another on the way. Quick weekend trips, getting fully ensconced in the Medical Industrial Complex, living the dream…

We played the Vaccine Lottery the moment we were able to apply—Tim got Pfizer and Victor got Moderna—and we have also gotten our boosters. No arm pain, no side effects, just science doing what it does best. It was quite the challenge trying to sign up in those initial confusing days, but that is all behind us, now… the virus isn’t, but the shots are—for the time being. If the CDC recommends another booster, we’ll get it just like our annual flu shots. ‘Tain’t no big deal.

In January, Tim is finally going to see an audiologist about his hearing. Victor has a love/hate reaction with the idea—great that Tim won’t constantly be going “WHAT?!?” but bummed that Tim will be able to pick up on under-breath comments. Oh, well…

On the home-front, we did not win the lottery, get a Nobel Prize, nor otherwise partake in any earth-shattering scientific discoveries. What we did do was settle into our new home and community. The Pacific Northwest is such a beautiful area. And it’s a great place to be retired.

We had a rotting deck removed from our fully fenced-in front yard and built raised garden beds in its place. Sadly, we did not have a lot of luck with our tomato crop—they did not like the week of 115°+ temperatures, among other things. Tim did make a really good roasted green tomato sauce with the last of the harvest, though. It’s all a learning experience, so we’ll see how next year fares.

Vacation-wise, we stayed pretty close to home—a couple of treks out to the coast was it. We had tickets with Phoebe and Nancy for a week at the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i that we cancelled. The governor was asking tourists to stay home, and for the amount of money we were going to spend, we decided it wasn’t worth the hassles and
restrictions. We then decided to spend a week in Los Angeles. What the heck… beaches, Catalina Island, Santa Barbara, Malibu… and then that fell through. It was also the week they had the oil spill down there, so it all worked out.

Our next attempt at a getaway was to Astoria, Oregon. On the northern edge of the state on the Columbia River—just miles from the Pacific… We had a great time. It’s a beautiful area with lots to see—lots of history, several really good craft breweries, and a really good distillery! And then Victor caught pneumonia and Tim caught a nasty cold—less than two weeks before our niece, Katie’s marriage to Ben. Their wedding had already been postponed a year because of the pandemic.  We stayed isolated from the family until just a few days before the ceremony.  It was not fun. Living on Mucinex and Sudafed—which ended up causing another problem for Tim—more on that, later…

Fully recovered, we got to witness a fabulous wedding between two fabulous people. It was a blast—and Katie
finally got her YMCA! All of Tim’s siblings were actually in the same room for the first time in several years, and we got to visit with folks Tim has known since childhood in the early ‘60s. People who not only know where the bodies are buried, but helped bury them. Fun, indeed.

In other fun health news… It seems that decongestants can have a negative effect on men with enlarged prostates—and just days after the wedding—Tim and Victor had been taking copious amounts of decongestants for their colds before the wedding—Tim was diagnosed with a Citrobacter Koseri (diversus) Urinary Tract Infection and
Prostatitis. Not fun. 21 days of antibiotics cleared all of that up, but it was quite uncomfortable, to say the least. Needless to say, Sudafed is off the list of OTC medications.

And speaking of fun… 2021 was definitely the year of baseball! We probably watched more baseball this year than the ten years prior. We really got the most from our MLB.TV subscription. The time zone difference is perfect—between the Phillies and the Giants, there is always something to watch—and we don’t have to stay up ‘till the wee hours of the morning to see a 9th inning!  Sadly, the end of the Giants season was bogus, but… the Dodgers didn’t get to the World Series, so that helped take the sting away.

On the baby-front, our newest great-niece, Emelia Eva – ’Emmi’ – was born on October 29th. She, of course, is as gorgeous as her mother, Leah. If the travel gods are willing, we’ll see her in the Spring. It will be our first trip back east since the move west. And, if the baby gods are willing, there will be one more new baby to see when we’re there… Our nephew Nick and wife Sam are expecting their second…  This is fun.

And then it was First Birthday Time for Finley and Elise! My, how time is just flying! Last Christmas they were a month old and we were singing Christmas Carols to them outdoors because we were in different Covid pods and couldn’t be together. Fortunately, vaccines have brought us all back together, again! They are just so adorable and they have phenomenal parents. It is so much fun to see them learning to walk, talk, and develop their personalities. One of the best parts of coming from large families is we get our kid-fixes and baby-fixes and then we get to give them back! Dirty diapers?!? Fussy?!? That’s now a different generations’ responsibility. Gotta love it!

It has been a non-stop year and we’re looking forward to 2022. It already looks to be just as busy and just as much fun.  We’re definitely hoping we can enjoy it mask-free.

Here’s hoping your holiday season and new year are the best they can possibly be!

Hugs and Holiday Kisses!


Victor, Tim, and Blanche