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Sunday, December 17, 2006
Today is the ideal day to write the annual holiday newsletter. Fall Sundays around here are usually dominated by football, the family room filled with rabid fans. Kris leads them in a chorus of cheers and expletives hurled at the television screen, a show of emotions that must be heard to be believed. During these times I hide in my study, performing tasks that, given the noise level, do not require much concentration. I emerge only to feed the hungry masses once they’ve exhausted themselves. Today is different. The usual audience is out of town and Kris was invited to attend today’s Patriot’s game in Massachusetts. The house is so quiet that I’m a little unnerved.
It has been a year of highs and lows. Kris was with her father, Dave, when he passed from this world in June. His was a long and sad decline, but we all take comfort in countless fond memories. Kris accompanied her mother, Pat, and a contingent of younger relations to Norway in July. She held her breath the entire time, worried that she’d mess up the controls on the newfangled digital camera and lose everything. The pictures came out fine. Sometimes the challenges of teaching make Kris yearn for the relatively uncomplicated years she spent in nursing, but she perseveres.
Wells (21) spent the summer in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, working in demolition and excavation. Jackhammers, sledgehammers, heavy machinery and dynamite – a young man’s dream job. In August, he left all that fun stuff behind and moved to Tucson, where he now attends the University of Arizona. It’s quite a change from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, and he seems to be thriving in the new environment. He no longer comes home to do his laundry, so we may get another year out of the old washing machine.
Ryan (27) is nearing the end of his studies in radiologic technology. In January, he will return to Mass General Hospital in Boston for the five final months of clinical work. In his spare time, he works in the x-ray department at a local hospital and takes his dog, Joe, hiking in the mountains or swimming at the beach. Joe will gladly chase a stick into any body of water at any time of the year. We have pictures of him body surfing last week at New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach. The water temperature was 45 degrees.
My book, What Time Is the Midnight Buffet? has been named as a “Star” title by the publisher, iUniverse. Fewer than 100 of their 40,000 titles have been so honored, and the book will be re-launched with some fanfare early in 2007. If it does well I may have to abandon my duties as founder and chairman of Football Widowers of America, but in all likelihood I’ll have to keep the day job.
Kris and I took a trip out west last summer, the itinerary arranged so that we could meet up with Wells in Tucson for the beginning of the school year. Just for fun, we’ve included a little story about the events leading up to our reunion.
All the best to you and yours,
“Chester,” Kris, Ryan and Wells