The Christmas Missives


Christmas 2022

2022. What a year. It seems we say that every year, but, really… what a year!

We know you’re just dying to hear our take on The World Series and The Midterm Elections, but there’s just so much that happened before then. As Tim’s great-great Aunt Katherine would often tell him when he was but a wee tyke: “When a string is in a knot, patience will untie it.” Patience, boys and girls, patience.

2022 started off on the wrong foot when we lost our beloved Blanche 10 days before Christmas. Definitely not the way to finish off a year – or to start a new one. Words really can’t describe how much it totally sucked. We’re pretty sure there will be another furry friend in the house, but only time will tell when it will happen.

So… one stoic foot in front of the other, we marched on – right smack dab into the middle of the Medical-Industrial Complex!

We both went in for our annual “Wellness Visit” – we no longer have annual physicals, because we’re old. Now, it’s a sit-down and let’s talk about falling and elder abuse chat. Victor scored pretty well – keep taking this, keep doing that, see ya next year. Tim, on the other hand, was handed a whole bunch of fun, new things to do.

First, was a sleep study the first of August. It’s where you go into a strange place overnight, they hook you up to all sorts of wires and electrodes, and then they tell you how bad your sleep was. Like – no shit. YOU try sleeping normally with 500 wires attached to you! Midway into it, they woke him up to hook him up to yet another machine – a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)    because, it seems, not only does he have sleep apnea, he has extremely severe sleep apnea. Oh, joy. (It actually explains a lot…) There was a HUGE recall of CPAPs, so, sadly, even with “extremely severe” apnea, he has still not received his machine—although he just got word it will be here before the end of the year! (Remind us again how superior our for-profit healthcare system is…)

The second was heading back to the gym. Naturally, during the Time of Covid, Victor gained back much and Tim gained back all that weight we had lost during our year of being gym rats. (Actually, Tim gained back even more—he’s such an overachiever.)

With minimal effort we had both been dropping a few pounds here and there, but Tim – having the gift of being able to justify just about every M&M Peanut he consumes – wanted actual accountability to stay focused. He was supposed to join a pre-Diabetes Program in September. It was postponed to October and then postponed – yet, again – until November. Tim, not always the most patient of people—see above quote—basically told them no thanks—and has been doing the program on his own. We got our 5th Covid jab and the Senior Flu Shot and we were back to the gym a couple days a week until Tim ended up in a boot because he got a tad too overzealous with a certain leg press routine—not one of his more intelligent moves. He hobbled around like GrandPappy McCoy for a couple of weeks, but the gym is on hiatus until the first of the year.  Victor, being a tad more intelligent, is balancing gym and weight-loss much more painlessly.

Lest you think that all we did was go to Doctors… we actually had a lot of fun outside of the medical establishment.

We finally made it to Spring Training! We met Tim’s sister in Scottsdale and really had fun in spite of $10 hot dogs and $16 beers. Arizona really is a beautiful state, if you ignore the politics (which, sadly, is not all that easy.) Besides baseball, we were able to get out of the city, see some sites, and, had a really fun time. (And ain’t it too bad that Kari Lake lost?!? Tee-hee.)

No sooner than we were back from Arizona, we were off, again – this time to see Victor’s family back east! What fun we had! We got to meet two new babies, eat fabulous food, drink fabulous wines, and just have fun and relax with some really great people. The trip was way too short, but there’s always a next time. Philadelphia, we’ll give advance notice!

Not wasting a moment, we were off to Bend, Oregon for a few days. Tim’s brother rented a house and had his kids and grandkids down, then we headed down for a few days—having some quality family time and seeing another part of our new home state.

Finally home, and time to relax before Tim’s 70th birthday. After last year’s throwing out the first pitch baseball game, Tim pretty much wanted a low-key, quiet, local family event – and he got it!

Fun gifts—including new camping cots to go with our new tent and sleeping bags – for a fabulously fun family camping trip to Silver Falls State Park, near Salem, Oregon. Tim, the West Coast boy, did a lot of hiking and camping in his youth, and Victor, the East Coast boy, firmly believes that camping is a Holiday Inn without room service. The compromise was a state park with drive-up campsites, showers, running water, and actual flushing toilets.

The plan was to have all 18 of the local family take over several campsites with tents, fabulous food, and full bar over Tim’s brothers’ 73rd birthday. This part of the family does a lot of camping and they do it in style. Different family units and/or age groups plan and cook some fabulous meals for everyone. Everyone does their part and it’s not a hassle for anyone.

Camping to start August 26th. Victor gets Covid, August 18th. Where, why, how, we have no idea. We moved completely across the country in September of 2020 – right in the middle of the pandemic - with no vaccines, no nothing. Not a problem.

We were double vaxed, double boosted, always cautious on airplanes, concerts, shopping, out to dinner. Not an issue. And then out of the clear blue Pacific Northwest sky – whammo!

We went into isolation mode, slept in separate rooms, literally stayed out of each other’s sight for 4 days. Victor spent most of the time in bed watching bad TV. Not feeling sick as much as just tired. Bit of a sore throat, bit of a cough. General malaise.  Tim was testing daily and four days out, was starting to feel pretty smug – he had escaped it! But on Day Five, it got Tim, as well. He called his PCP and got a prescription for Paxlovid. Within a couple of days, he was feeling pretty much back to normal – whatever that is.

Needless to say, we missed the camping trip.

While recuperating from The Covid, landscapers started on our yard renovation! All we can say is WOW! What a difference! We now have an actual patio in front instead of an uneven pea-gravel pit – with lots of seating—and the back has become a maintenance-free oasis. We gave them a general idea of what we were looking for, and they took it and ran. Really pleased. We’ve been having a blast finding fun, quirky yard art to match our fun, quirky, house.

Totally awesome news is in the middle of all of that, our niece, Emily, got engaged to a really great guy named Jacob. Wedding date is September, 2023! We’re all psyched. He’s the perfect addition to the family!

Because it hasn’t been a crazy enough year - we are finally going to remodel our 1980 bathroom! Naturally, there have been more delays there, too—starting with being ghosted by one contractor and a ridiculous bid by another who obviously didn’t want the job.

The bathroom is fairly large, but a third of it is taken up by a jet tub placed at an angle at one far end. On the opposite end is a stall shower the size of a 1940s phone booth. Serious wasted space at one end, and a shower where one couldn’t bend over to wash feet without smacking a head into the seriously outdated frosted glass, at the other. In January, the tub area will become a full-sized walk-in shower and that shower stall thing will become a linen cabinet. Luxury in our dotage. We deserve it for making it this far.

And we finally end with what you’ve all been waiting for—Baseball and Politics—because we just know you’ve been dying for our take on the  outcome of both!

First, The Phillies! There was one game that was a total heartbreak, two games that were absolute thrillers, and three games that just sucked. But… they were total underdogs the entire time and still made it to Game Six. For a team that no one expected to be there in the first place, they did pretty good. And, as much as we both really dislike Houston, it’s nice that Dusty Baker finally got his ring.

It’s also nice that Democracy is still hanging on, albeit, by a thread. As of this writing, it appears the Blue Side will gain a seat in the Senate and the Red Wave ended up being a ketchup stain on a wall at Mar-a-Lago. 51/49 will really dilute Manchin and Sinema! It was sad to see the Republicans retake The House—but gerrymandering really is effective. It’s difficult to understand people voting to keep abortion legal and then voting for the people who want to make it illegal, but no one has ever accused the voting public of having any common sense. It was also sad to hear Nancy Pelosi say she’s stepping down. She is a smart, savvy woman and we really hope the up-and-coming legislators pay attention and learn from her. We were really hoping we’d have a 20 minute respite before we have to start on the 2024 campaigns—but the Orange Menace had to announce another failed run. Life was so much better before we had to deal with 24/7/365 politics.

But Baseball, Politics, and Doctors aside, we’re loving retirement, having a great time in Oregon, enjoying the Holidays, looking forward to Cabo San Lucas in April, and wherever else our wandering feet and Social Security checks will take us!

Happiest of Holidays to all!

Tim and Victor