Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Annual Christmas Letter

The Annual Christmas Letter

Greetings to Family and Friends,

Hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in peace and joy. It’s been quite the year around here. In fact “here” was very nearly “where?” Many of you know that and have assisted in various and much appreciated ways. I will try to condense the year into a sort of ‘Reader’s Digest” version, yet even so, I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for such a long, rambling letter. Hope I put enough postage on the envelope to get it to you.

January was the start of the year and also of my job hunt. Work was stressful and ominous things were happening. Little did I realize that being out of work also could be quite stressful. I have to brag a bit and tell you that I was one of a “final four” out of 60 candidates to get a good job. No, I didn’t get the job, but on January 10th a wonderful thing happened: my Grandson was born. I was the first non-medical person to see him. I’m not being biased at all when I tell you that he is the cutest baby who was ever born! Those of you who have seen him will have to agree.

In February I was injured at work and had a doctor-ordered five week vacation. The bosses at work didn’t like that much and were pretty mean to me when I returned. But I didn’t have to suffer long, they soon fired me and I was home for another vacation.

Summer went by quickly, with moving Mom to Assisted Care, cleaning out her two-bedroom apartment, finding places for her things and all. Big Brother and his family helped a lot, as did many of my friends, thank you! There was a temporary, minor glitch when Mom forgot she had chosen to live in her new digs and called Younger Brother (from out of state) to rescue her. All was soon straightened out. But only after he had driven through three states in a hurry to see her and make sure she was OK. Mom was living more or less happily in her one-room quarters and had forgotten that she had called him so desperately.

The parents of Cutest Baby received a low-mileage car when Mom “decided” not to drive (yikes!) any more. They came up with Cutest Baby to attend the annual and really fun Blues Fest. They stayed at my house for a week and then drove their new car back home. I was glad they had a place to stay while they were visiting, and that I had a place to stay, too. Keeping up with the Jones’ can be a bad thing when it means not being able to make the mortgage payment, like so many other people. What a copy cat I am! An interesting and curious fact that you may not know (I didn’t) is that when fired, a person doesn’t receive Unemployment Compensation. I utilized my time off with lots of writing and soon Worker’s Compensation agreed to pay 2/3 my former wage, drawn on former employer’s account, ho ho ho!

The Worker’s Comp people are sociable and they stop in often and delight in spontaneous visits with me. These are not merely meet-and-greet but long, serious conversations for two and a half hours. They are big on communication and encourage me to do more writing—of everything I do during the week days. They don’t just skim over my writing either, which is most flattering. They read every bit carefully and ask me a lot of personal questions about it. They are so fond of me that they have demanded that I stay in a 50-mile radius, so they will not have to miss the joy of spontaneous visits at my home. So I’m getting a lot of attention, as well as some money from them.

Well, until I got a part-time job. Now it’s been five weeks since I’ve received a WC check and the earned income from my new job doesn’t pay the bills. But the Worker’s Comp people are still really chummy and encourage me to keep up my daily writing. It’s good to have people who care about you.

The new job is really interesting with two bosses each telling me different things, being on call 24/7 and dealing with dysfunctional families. I’m trying to obtain more (paid) work hours from my new employer. But they appear to believe in the virtue of sharing, as they keep hiring on more people. I have gotten to know several other employers too, in special little intimate meetings, but so far no one else has hired me yet. Instead I have received the employer version of a “Dear John” letter, telling me that they liked someone else better, sniff. Well, “Boo” to them and their little job too.

On a brighter note, I have to tell you that I’m simply thrilled with the November election—because Mom received an ID card from her new state in time for her to vote! It only took me a couple of days, some phone calls and driving around, too. Those guys at the DMV who said they couldn’t give her one because of the terrorists had better be sorry now! OK, I suppose I shouldn’t really threaten them, even on paper….

This has been quite the year for vacations! I took yet another vacation, camping in my sleeping bag without even leaving home! I greedily took two vacations of four days each, with less than a week between them. I’m wondering if I could market that concept of “stay at home camping” as a boon to people without a lot of money? This type of vacation actually SAVES money because there’s no heating cost for the duration of it. Well, not if you do it the way I did (not recommended) as the repair bills will cost nearly as much as a “normal” camping vacation. But it may have some marketing potential, don’t you think?

For Christmas I had the desperate inspired idea of making coffee and tea mixes and giving them out as gifts. Oops, sorry but that was kind of a spoiler! Well, you won’t know which mix your family will get, coffee or tea, so it will still be a surprise, right?

Well, it’s time to close down this year. Whew, I have to say that I’m not sorry to see it end. Here’s hoping that 2009 will be a much better year for us all! How could it not?

Love, PBS

I stole this idea from Violet Thanks! But really wouldn’t SEND this letter, even though I love getting Annual Christmas Letters from friends and family. It’s a great way to catch up with people that you don’t see much, or at all, during the year. I think this would make a great meme. Any meme-rs for an Annual Christmas Letter?

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Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's good to hold onto a sense of humour. I hope this year goes better for you.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Girl said...

I hope next year is your best year yet, with lots of time with family, especially with cutest grandson ever. :)

9:39 PM  
Blogger BikerCandy said...

I love your letter, full of humor and wit. You've made me want to redo mine before I send it out.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Grant said...

2009 is already ruined for me, so I'm holding out for 2010.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Violet said...

the way your employer kept hiring people reminded me of the last season of House - and he's such a jerk.
Nice letter.

3:15 PM  
Blogger RC666 said...

Yeah I should have read yours before I sent mine out... I could have tried a little harder to spice it up. Its nice when you can look back on the bad times with a little humor, I wish I could do that more!

5:19 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

That made me laugh. And there is a vicious nasty ice storm in my neck of the woods, so you know I am not smiling much...

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I am hoping to do a year in review which I guess is kind of the same thing. I don't know if I could remember month by month like you did though.

I'm glad you still have your sense of humour and I hope against hope that 2009 will be a complete turnaround for you.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Well it hasn't been boring has it.
At least you can laugh about it and not sink into dispare.

8:54 PM  

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