Dear Friends and Family,
We are all enjoying the holiday season so far, despite being overbooked and overextended and short on time and money. In fact, the picture that accompanies this post is, I believe, from 2012. That is the last time we were all together in the same place and looking nice enough to have our portrait taken. We are not great at posing.
So, what is the latest, you ask? I tried to cook recently because Joe works extra hours at the end of the year, and I nearly severed my index finger (this is an exaggeration, but that’s what Christmas letters are for) so I won’t be cooking around here anytime soon.
The Christmas tree looks great, but only if you stand to its left and tilt your head to the right a little bit. We knew the star was broken last year but waited a full year to replace it and when we brought the new one home, it was also broken. Instead of returning it, we attached it to the top with a clip we use for the tomato plants in the summer garden. This ensures that we will have the same problem next year except we won’t be able to find the tomato plant clip.
Also, we have about ten fewer snowman ornaments than we used to have. The dogs report that the wooden and cotton snowmen are delicious, but the Styrofoam ones were surprisingly disappointing given their sweet and puffy appearance.
The kids were busy for a while with school and work (Elsie corrects hockey statistics as a fact checker for a publishing company and Nick sorts microscopic water fleas as a lab technician) but now they’re all home and in the way. Elsie uses my favorite coffee mugs for her tea and Nick uses my favorite smoothie tumblers for his own smoothies. It may be important to note here that all the smoothie tumblers were gifts to him last year so that he could have a healthy breakfast on his commute, but I recently discovered that I like fruit smoothies and so I’ve decided all the tumblers should be mine. This happens fairly often. I am a shockingly selfish mother.
Ben isn’t working yet, but he’s still very involved in sports. Since he doesn’t have his license, this means I drive all over the state of Rhode Island looking for well-hidden baseball diamonds and sitting on bleachers that are sadistically designed to cripple and maim. People sometimes ask me what the score is or what inning we’re in, and I never have any idea.
Joe’s strange propensity to attract the world’s worst drivers continues unabated. I’ve never really seen anything like it. Slow-moving texters find him and drive in front of him, tailgaters drive behind him, and directional-challenged lane-changers weave in and out alongside him. Just recently, a 100-year-old driver (again with the exaggerating) in front of Joe cut off an enormously scary truck and proceeded to drive ten miles per hour down the road. Joe averted the near-accident unfolding in front of him with his usual aplomb. He found himself behind that same driver a few days later and saw the guy almost get broadsided when he drove through a stop sign at a busy intersection. Joe spends most of his time in the car shaking and scratching his head at the wonder of it all.
I no longer get the workout that I used to get at work, carrying books and papers around up and down staircases as I changed classrooms every time the bell rang. Now, I take an elevator from my office to my air conditioned and heated classroom. I spend a lot of time sitting and resting. As a result, I really need to spend more time on the treadmill, but I really don’t see that happening anytime soon. Isn’t it enough that I have healthy fruit smoothies for breakfast?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Russo family!