Here it is another holiday season, and all those New Year's resolutions of a year ago to keep in touch haven't happened. So, as always, we're writing this Christmas letter to let you know what has been going on in our household for the past year. We thought about giving up the letter this year, but so many of you have told us how much you enjoy it that we just couldn't do that.
All things considered, it has been a pretty good year for us, as we hope it has for you. Our only real health problem was a rash that kept Joe from playing tennis for three weeks in September. It turned out to be pretty serious because it happened during our Calcutta tournament. I tried to play before I was completely well and did badly, which cost me three places on the tennis ladder. But we're grateful the consequences weren't any worse.
Our work has been going along all right except that Sherry left her job in December, and we will now both be working at home. We have remodeled a closet for her desk and hope to put in a window next year. None of this has caused much strain on our marriage--nothing that weekly visits to a therapist won't resolve in time. So we look forward to that.
I guess the biggest change in 1989 was the new addition to our family--a miniature Dachshund puppy named Coco. She has learned to respond to her name and sleeps the night through and already has all her teeth. She's been a little backward about toilet training but, after all, she is still a baby. She loves to bark at the rabbit, who is doing well, too. We haven't let him out of his cage because an owl got our last rabbit, as I think I mentioned in our Christmas letter several years ago.
We've all been working pretty hard around the house, especially on the sidewalk and front porch. We had them painted when our house was painted--that was in last year's Christmas letter--and it caused some problems during the winter. When the sidewalk is wet, it's like ice, and two visitors to our house slipped and fell and one separated her shoulder. Joe also went off the top step and almost broke his back. A neighbor said he'd sue if it happened to him--just kidding, of course--so we have been scraping the paint off and hope to have it finished by February. This gives us a lot of time to think about the contractor who painted it.
Our vacation this summer was spent at Disney World in Florida. We were gone for two weeks and spent $5,000, which figures out to almost $400 a day. We especially liked the shuffleboard court at the hotel where we stayed and the tuna sandwiches at Epcot. It rained every day we were there, but we didn't let that stop us (although Joe caught a cold he hasn't been able to shake yet). We'll certainly never go back there again, but it was a lot of fun and we liked it. Next summer we hope to go to Bakersfield.
We had a lot of visitors during the year and would have had more if the Angels had won the pennant--and especially if they had made it to the World Series. We bought up a bunch of tickets for the last week of the season because we thought that's when the pennant would be decided, but the Angels were out of it by then, so we ate a lot of hot dogs. (Joe has had a bad stomach ever since.) Now that the Angels have acquired Mark Langston as a Christmas present, we'll be looking forward to a World Series here next year.
That made us decide to refinance the house and put in another bathroom, which will be our big project for 1990--after we finish the front walk. That's providing we have enough money left after paying for the braces on Erik's teeth, which cost almost as much as going to Disney World (where we understand his orthodontist plans to spend the holidays).
Some other special things of note happened to us over the year. Erik finally broke through on how to take out the trash each Wednesday and now does it with a minimum of prodding and complaint. Sherry got into the finals of the Calcutta tennis tournament (where Joe didn't play very well because of a rash), and Joe finished Coco's doghouse, which has floor-to-ceiling carpeting and which she practically never ever uses. Also our family ranked very high in the school's paper drive, and we were \o7 twice\f7 offered an American Express gold card.
So, as I said before, all in all it has been a pretty good year, and we hope yours was half as satisfying.
We will be thinking of you on Christmas Day, which we expect to spend quietly at home, scraping the sidewalk. We hope that Santa Claus treats you well and that your holiday is full of joy.
And since we're expecting to have a new bathroom by summer, we'd love to have you come and visit. We should warn you, however, that our calendar is already pretty full for next year, and we'll have to hear from you quickly in order to be able to work something out. But we'll certainly give it a good shot.
Meanwhile, from our family to yours, a very Merry Christmas.