Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Christmas Letter

The Cranky Family holiday cards are going in the mail tomorrow. Some years I have the energy to enclose one of those newsy family letters that lets people on your card list know how you've been doing and what you've been up to the past year; some years I don't. This year definitely falls in the "don't" category.

Besides, I figure most people who really give a rat's behind about what I've been up to read the blog.

If you've read me on at least a semi-regular basis this year, you've pretty much seen 2008's highlight reel. But in case you missed a few episodes, here it is: our family Christmas letter.

Dear friends,

I hope this finds you and yours well. As a whole, the Crankies have a lot to be thankful for; we're healthy, employed, and happy. (Most days.)

2008 was a memorable year for us.

Not always memorable in a good way. In February, we almost lost Jason's mom. In September we stood outside our house and watched as, inexplicably, a tropical storm blew into the Ohio Valley and toppled trees and destroyed roofs and knocked out power and closed schools. The very next day I lost my last grandparent (Dad's mom, Kitty Marie.) My mother was in the hospital for a while and Ainsley was sick a lot with her asthma. But we have some good memories from this year, too.

In July I celebrated five years of remission with a long-distance toast to my friends all over the country and a fine cigar. (Thanks, Rick!) I started some genealogy research that uncovered several Irish ancestors (hello, St. Paddy's Day 2009!) And let us not forget that the winter of 2008, with its icy weather patterns and family illnesses, was when we became devotees of Rock Band. What better way to entertain yourself when you're homebound on weekends than to rock out with a little "Dani California" or "Enter Sandman"?

2008 was also the year Ainsley got to see the ocean for the first time. In June we threw together a last-minute family vacation to Hilton Head Island, and it was the best week of my life. The condo we rented was somehow both inexpensive and gorgeous, the beach was serene, the food was amazing. Ainsley discovered the joys of fresh fried shrimp, and her world may never be the same. My soul felt at home there and we hope to make it back someday soon.

The best part of that week on the coast? The day trip to Savannah. Eating at The Lady And Sons at last (oh, hoecakes, I miss you so), touring the city, driving through Bonaventure was a little like falling in love.

2008 may have had some worries for Jason and I, but Ainsley had a pretty good year. She "graduated" from kindergarten, found herself looking from behind a new pair of spectacles, and swam the summer away at our family recreation center's new waterpark. First grade is going well, and she helps me out before school and after school every day. She says she wants to be a librarian when she grows up. If starring in High School Musical 12 doesn't pan out, that is.

So, that's pretty much it for us, and for 2008. We look forward to 2009 (if nothing else, it brings a new season of Lost) and hope that good fortune finds you and your family during the new year.


Cranky and Company

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