Dear Friends and Family, Dec. 24, 2012
Nothing new happened this year. No adventure, no unexpected happenings and no fun. It was a boring year; so boring that there’s hardly anything worth mentioning.
In this year of our Lord, 2012, the most pressing First World Problem my family had to deal with was whether or not to join a gym and lose weight. Well, some of us need to lose weight, but not me. Our youngest son was the biggest whiner and insisted on a strict training regimen of five mile runs and weight lifting in between meal breaks consisting of meat sandwiches and Dr. Pepper. I told him to stop drinking all that pop or his bones would melt and he’d be three feet tall for the rest of his life and the only employment he’d be able to find would be in a circus sideshow as the World’s Smallest Long Distance Runner. He’d just slam his bedroom door shut and text all his friends about what a cranky old woman I am.
My husband insisted on long walks every evening, so I grudgingly complied. Because he is feeling so much better this year, with enjoyable employment and the absence of the urge to punch his boss, my husband loves to drag me outside and force me to talk to him and take pictures of birds and sunsets. This year, my husband decided to grow a beard. He’s tired of The Man gouging him with the ridiculous prices for razor blades. I think he really just wants to have a beard like the guys in ZZ Top, now that we’re living in Texas. Or else he wants an extra place to store his lunch. Either way, the love of my life now has a white beard and the kids call him Santa Claus.
Our oldest son graduated from high school! After four excruciating years of ignoring his teachers and teaching himself how to build and program computers, our son is a high school graduate. I don't know who is more relieved...our son or his parents. He is now working at a grocery store and spends his days bagging groceries, pushing carts and saying “Yes Ma’am!” is biding his time until he can go to college. The nearby college campus has another First World Problem: Two-thirds of the students are women. If nothing else, my son could spend a few years taking home economics classes and earning his MRS degree.
And what about me? Eh, not much happened. I paid out a boat load of cash to get an English degree and all I got was a piece of paper with a bunch of letters on it. Although I am working at a job that generally doesn’t require me to write much beyond office referrals and detention slips, I still manage to write a few things here and there. There’s always the possibility that I will get a Texas license and teach English here…but then again H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks might freeze over first.
Did I tell you that we moved? We’ve been living out of suitcases like hobos for the last decade, so it was easy. My husband and oldest son moved to Texas first and found a nice apartment. The younger son and I stayed in Washington so I could finish my classes over summer quarter…and it turns out so my son could spend three more months with his girlfriend. The teenage angst was thick enough to cut with a knife. But everyone has survived the separation, more or less intact. My husband and son drove a UHaul 2,300 miles in three days. Then, they hauled all the furniture and boxes up to our new, second floor apartment. It was the best anniversary gift anyone has ever given me: On June 14, 2012, in temperatures normally only seen on the surface of the sun, I did not have to lift a finger to move into our new abode. My sister, who lives here in town, was kind enough to help…she opened and closed the front door as the guys trudged in and out.
In August, the other son and I moved from Washington State to Texas. We packed the truck with the rest of our junk and loaded up a cooler with bottled coffee and Monster to keep us awake. We decided to drive down the West Coast and stick to one major highway to reduce the chances of getting lost. On the orders of my husband, the boy who was with me was to drive no more than two hours a day because he is only 16 years old and not used to long distance driving. My spouse did not take into account my love of sleeping in moving vehicles to fend off motion sickness. During the two hours a day I was awake in the truck, the kid drove just fine. Let’s just say that New Mexico passed in a flash. And my son developed an interesting new vocabulary for talking to our GPS unit, which we lovingly named La Fonda. It turns out that even La Fonda gets lost sometimes. But after five days of hilarity and mother-son bonding (that would be yelling at me to stop snoring), we arrived in Texas and reunited the family.
The best part of being here is that we've escaped the lingering recession in the Pacific Northwest...but the hard part about being here is that we're not in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in my life, I'm homesick. Or maybe it's just that we won't have any money to travel for a while and I'm feeling stuck. Either way, it's going to be a new year in a new place, we all have jobs and we are all together.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!