I got cheap this year and cut WAY back on my Christmas card list. Since 1994, I’ve been mailing a little newsletter out to family and friends. Many of you did not get a card this year – nothing personal. Mostly, it’s because I know you read here and none of the stuff in the newsletter is really new. Anyway, I’m going to put the newsletter up because I like to have it somewhere safe. Once again, a belated Happy New Year!
Happy 2010 everyone! As we looked over past Christmas letters this year, the boys mocked my early letters with their pasted in photos and low quality printing. They have no real concept of a world without internet or digital photos. In 1994, the year of the first edition of this newsletter, cell phones were still GINORMOUS and rare. This year in an attempt to be on top of things while still using “old-school“ paper, I’m going to let you in on our top ten phone conversations – because, it seems that everyone is on phone all the time (The pic on the left is Mike and the boys in our garden.)
Phone Conversation #10: Dan (in line to get his driver’s license): “Mom? What’s the organ donor thing? They wait until I’m dead, right?” Mom (sitting in the waiting area in the DMV not 20 yards away): “Are you serious? Do you really think they’re harvesting organs from people who run STOP signs?” Dan: “So, I should say, ‘Yes?’ right?” I hung up on him. People wonder why I spell homeschool with a “k.”
Phone Conversation #9: While I was out running errands, Tim agreed to help Andy with his science lesson. Tim: “Can you pick up more bananas on your way home?” Mom: “Why? There was a whole bunch on the counter an hour ago.” Tim: “We’re studying gravity. Bananas are awesome for gravity.” Mom: having a small flashback “Are you guys on the roof? If you’re on the roof get down. NOW!” Tim: (grumbles all around) “Can you bring bananas and we’ll wait until you get home to get on the roof?” Mom: “Fine.” After all, who am I to defy gravity? (That’s Tim directly above.)
Phone Conversation #8: Daytona Magic: “Mrs. Baker?” Mom: “Yes?” Daytona Magic: “Are you aware your son just ordered several flammable devices from our site? They all have legitimate uses in magic, but we like to let our underage customer’s parents know what’s going on.” Mom: “Thanks for the heads up.” Daytona Magic: “Sure thing. Does he have access to an adequate supply of lighter fluid?” Mom: “OK, thanks again!” IAANNN!!!!!!!”
Phone Conversation #7: Mike: “Hello?” Amy: “The car is GONE! Oh, wait, never mind. Dan took it. I forgot. Pretend I never called.” Amy and Andy drag their library books back into the house hoping none of the neighbors saw anything. Repeat 17 times throughout the first semester.
Phone Conversation #6: Mike calling home from work: “Did you know we can send pictures from our phones???” Tim: “Um, yeah, we did, Dad.” Mike: “Really? “ Tim: “Um, yeah, Dad.” Poor Mike is just catching up on advances from this past decade and the kids are merciless. Tim, upon hanging up, “I’m so glad I wasn’t born in the 1940’s like Dad.” What’s 20 years, give or take?
Phone Conversation #5: We met my sister and her family in May for a long weekend of camping in Georgia. The boys and I had some challenges finding the actual mountain. Ian, my co-pilot, called Aunt Lynne whose family had not only arrived but had built a log cabin and some out buildings while waiting for us. Ian: “Aunt Lynne? We are at a gas station. We can see the mountain but can’t figure out how to get to you. Can you make your fire bigger? (This is where I smashed Ian on the back of his head.) Mom is getting grumpy and mean.” Lynne: No real response, just screams of laughter. We found them in the end. All we had to do was go “Up.” (That’s Ian, right above!)
Phone Conversation #4: Ian attended his second Daytona Beach Magic Convention recently. We all go. Ian pretends he doesn’t know us and we stalk Ian for fun for the entire weekend. The first day, Ian planned to attend a late night conference. Once we were certain the conference wasn’t being held in the hotel’s bar, we cleared him to attend. I had plans to work on some writing while Mike and the boys slept off their surfing hangovers from the afternoon. I’m a night owl, but even I was yawning at 2:00 am. Mom: “Are you nearly done there? ” Ian: “I’m sitting here with Harry Anderson (think Night Court) talking about old magic stuff!” Mom: “I’m tired. I’m pretty sure Harry Anderson is older than me, so he’s tired too. Tell him I said to go to bed and be up here in 10 minutes.” Ian: “Fine,” in that special, petulant voice teenagers have. My bad, Ian arrived upstairs in under five minutes and was so wound up from the evening that I was up for another ninety minutes listening to all kinds of things that I simply do not understand
Phone Conversation #3: Dan (that’s him above.) started taking classes at the local college early in September. Though we’d talked about “If you’re old enough to take college classes, you’re old enough to keep track of everything . . . insert Peanut cartoon adult voice saying waha wha wha wha wha here.” Day of first math exam – Dan, whispering into phone: “Mom, it’s me, I forgot my calculator.” Me: “Well, you’re just going to have do the best you can. They put men on the moon without graphing calculators. Besides, you have the car! “ Dan: “Right. I have the car. Moon. No calculators. It’ll be fine. See you later.” It was a long semester, but, in the end, Dan pulled through and earned excellent grades. Here’s hoping 1) next semester is better and 2) Dan never has to send anyone to the moon with only a slide rule in his pocket.
Phone Conversation #2: Actually, this could be phone conversations 2 through 2000. Any chance he gets, Andy (picture down at the bottom) will call from the car, which Dan is driving, to let me know of road rule infractions and/or to ask what is for dinner. That his older brothers have not left him on the side of I-4 is a miracle.
Phone Conversation #1: Mom: “Hi Dan.“ Dan: “Yes, I am sitting here on the side of the road and not endangering other drivers, what’s wrong?” Mom: “Remember how we were at the beach all day and then picked up groceries on the way home and how you were in a rush to leave for the Homecoming game?” This Homecoming, since Dan does not attend the same high school as his friend-that-is-a-girl, required transcripts and actual letters of recommendation for him to be allowed to attend Homecoming festivities. (It’s ok, we think it’s crazy too.) Mom: “Well, sweetie, right behind your seat in the car is an 18 pack of cheap beer. Maybe hand that over the girl-that-is-a-friend’s parents when you arrive to pick her up. I’ll call them and explain.” Dan: “Thanks, Mom. I’m not sure what I’m thanking you for, but thanks.”