It’s been about 5 years since I wrote my first blog post in 2005. In that time frame I posted about 120 times so I am entitled to post a holiday letter to my readers, all of whom I consider friends and family. It is not driven by exciting news and developments, I wish it were otherwise. It’s these crummy cheap cards that Alla buys me. My hand writing has deteriorated so much that I could hardly scribble Merry Christmas on them without running out of space. Maybe my Palmer Method (remember the ovals and push pulls) and the economy will return about the same time.
Alla and I continue to spend seven months of our year in Florida. It is hard to believe that we have lived in this paradise for 12+ years. About the only thing that has changed is the weather. When we first moved here we gleefully threw away all of our winter wardrobes. For the past 5 years it seems that we spend much of our time and money restoring the caps, coats, gloves, turtlenecks and sweaters. Last week we bought space heaters and for Christmas we are exchanging long silk underwear. How glamorous. We would come full circle if we could only once again experience the joys of paying New York State Income Tax!
The remaining 5 months of the year (usually May through September) we spend in ---- no, not Hawaii but in exotic Pittsford, New York. Hard to believe that we escaped and then got lured back, but to be honest we both love it. Back with family, old friends, new friends and roads often driven. My big event of the week is shopping at Pittsford Wegman’s grocery emporium. The deli area itself is the size of most super stores and loaded with the imported delicacies that can chew up your social security check in no time flat.
I am pleased to say that I think I have played my last round of golf. It was much akin to a mercy killing. I now enjoy the memories without any regrets and without aching joints. My golf scores were competing with my blood pressure and threatening my LDL. The good news is that Alla has become the family golfer and is now experiencing some of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I must say that she handles it better than I ever did. Just as the sport did for me, it has introduced her to many friends and hours of pleasure spent with them.
My spare time these days is spent reading and sharing books with friends, engaging in mild exercise and playing duplicate bridge when ever my main job of going to doctors, dentists, therapists and pharmacies permits. Through my bridge activities I have met many new wonderful friends. It is also an outlet for my creative writing since for the past 5 years I have written a Bridge Blog that is read by many faithful readers throughout the world. Sixty years ago I took high school typing to avoid Chemistry. Probably the only good decision I made in the first 18 years of my life.
I also have an interest in genealogy and have 4 family histories in various stages of completion. I spent much of last summer tracking my Hazen and Miller families during their decades in Wisconsin throughout the middle 1800’s. I didn’t set foot in the state, but with the internet and historical records it felt like I was living with them every day. This experience also gave me the opportunity to meet many new friends, historians, fellow genealogists and unknown relatives via the internet and correspondence.
Well, I am already on page 2 and have not mentioned my two Norwegian Forrest cats yet. I am reminded by Axel who has just perched himself above my keyboard, tired of being ignored. His brother Virgil, who is not quite as gregarious, camps out in my bedroom, waiting for me to feed him a cat treat. They are both in the 14-15 year range and whatever part of my social security check that Wegman’s doesn’t get is direct deposited with our various veterinarians. I am hoping that Obama will extend health care to cats. Maybe it’s in the Health Care Bill that nobody has read.
Stay healthy, drink quality beverages and give everyone you love a big hug.