Christmas – 2001

Maybe I should start by saying Happy New Year to all, since it is likely this won’t make it to your door before Christmas, but on the chance it does, holiday felicitations to one and all for this the 2001 Christmas season.
Our year’s highlights revolve around daily events best outlined in bullet form in order of increasing time demands.

The doctor’s appointments (nothing serious here unless time counts). It begins in the outer waiting room where one is sure to be exposed to every malady known to man. When enough time has elapsed to accomplish that, one is ushered into the back room where you are cheerfully told “the doctor will be with you in a minute”. Ha! I hope you brought a copy of Moby Dick with you. Then with “I haven’t seen this before, fill this prescription and check back in a month, and “oh, I hope you are covered by Medicare”, he is gone and so is the morning.

“Honey, I have to take the car to the shop”…(dead silence) then… “How much should we take out of the money market?” While the wait is not quite as long, the diagnosis is about the same …Hmmm, haven’t seen this before. Maybe it is this little valve, leave it and I will call you.” Several hours later, a call, “it is the valve, and the cost is $14.98, but we found these other things that need attention at once or your life is in peril (long list) – uh, I hope you are covered by insurance”.

On a lighter note, how ‘bout a cup of coffee? This has become a delightful claimant of my time as son Bruce opened Cups Coffee Café’ here in east Athens. Great coffee, cheese cakes, cakes and pastries (all of which I try to avoid, but the chocolate scones are out of this world). All my travels tend to go by his shop.

Grandkids, a constant reminder of the passing years. This really hits home with the first, Alyssa (Karen’s daughter) showing up in Athens as a freshman at the University of Georgia, complete with car, books and laundry. All of the others (12 of ‘em) are out toddler stage and many have moved on into high school and related sports. Man, the collateral cost of sports equipment boggles the mind. Seems the cost of outfitting a kid is about the cost of sending him to a private school (in our day).

Anniversaries, those yearly events that happen but are not counted. Elapsed time is hidden until there is an event. This year we traveled to Bucksport Maine to help our good friends Bob and Jane Elliott celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My usual remark at 50th anniversaries is “boy isn’t that something that two people could stay together that long”. This time, Joyce responded: “wake up bucko, the number of years before our 50th is in the low single digits.” My, I guess time does fly when you are having fun.

Finally, this Christmas letter, and I refuse to count the years, other than to say it has been over 30. But always a joy to share with all of you part of our life each year. May you have a joyous and happy holiday season, and a prosperous new year.