Roger Marolt: I wish you a regular old Christmas and an Average New Year
December 7, 2017
For fun, I want to push the commercialization of Christmas to the tipping point. I decided to publish my first, possibly annual, season's greetings letter here. I get paid to do it, and think of the postage and copying costs I'll save, including the extortion they get for those color ink cartridges. Like all holiday letters of this sort, I hope you will be sucked into what you, at some level, believe will be a voyeuristic insight into the intimacy of our lives to provide fodder for gossip and second guessing our parenting styles, marital habits and customs, how we manage and spend money and such, but also, like all other letters of this type, I intend to leave you utterly disappointed and unfulfilled at the end. That is how these things work.
I started out this year vowing to be more honest. We used airline miles to take the family to Slovenia in July.
All in all, 2017 was an OK year for us. It was average in almost all regards — vacations, work, school, our yard, the works. I don't mean this in the accepted definition of "average" and "OK" used today to mean poor or unsatisfying. How did we get to this? We can't admit that something sucks anymore except the government? When I ask someone how they are doing and they reply "OK" or "average," I know things must be rough. Sorry, I didn't mean to get all political.
I am happy to report that we spent a lot of days on the ski slopes last year despite the slow start and early finish to the season because of dry weather in the fall and warm, rainy storms in the spring. My skiing was pretty average. At a time in my life where performing most tasks involving physical movement and/or exertion are in serious decline, it is a minor miracle that I feel the same old way on the snow.
But enough about me. Another large tree fell down in the yard in late September because of the snowstorm shortly after we had the house painted and a new railing built on the deck. It was the last time it has really snowed. I cut it all up (the tree, not the house), but the trash guys wouldn't haul it away. I had to borrow Bill's truck and take it to the dump myself. I hadn't been there in 20 years, I bet. I gave him a six pack of beer.
I tried to grow some Carolina Reaper peppers. They are the hottest ones known. They didn't get very big, but they were plenty hot. Next summer I think I'll stick to beans in the garden.
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The kids are good. Lucy graduated college and got a job, so the fun is all over for her. Max and Jane are both seniors, he in college and she in high school, so they aren't having much fun either, or at least that's what they tell us, and we're all right with that. Come to think of it, Susan and I worked pretty hard, too, all year and that wasn't very fun either. So, what's the point of all this? Hahaha.
Aspen has been about average, too; not much besides building stuff and complaining about other people building stuff. The big joke is, "When is town going to be finished?" I think we are getting close. There are no more places for the government to build on.
Susan got back onto the school board. Four years ago, when she ran the first time and there was some turmoil at the schools, there were two open seats available and she was the only candidate. They had to beg somebody else to volunteer for the other. This year, after things had settled down, there were candidates coming out of the woodwork. Anyway, she gets to hand Jane her diploma at graduation this spring.
As usual, I am still on the chain gang for the football games. I wasn't involved in any sideline accidents this season. That's a first, so Tim has to buy me some hot wings at the Hickory House. Yum!
The dog is generally average, too — just how we like him. He got a haircut in June and moped around a little until he got used to it and then he got his teeth cleaned, which I never heard of. His breath might be better.
Anyhow, that's us. If you are asking, I would just as soon get a card from you. I suppose a picture with it would be all right. We all wish you a regular old Christmas and an average New Year. I'd hate to see the streak get broken!
Roger Marolt would rather be an elf than the Grinch. Email at email@example.com.
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