Our Christmas card list is odd, mostly people that we now live far from and knew long ago, plus relatives. A few friends. We have less news this year, but that hasn't stopped us from going on endlessly.
A Picture of Pops Face Down In A Cake - David had a small blur in his visual field that suddenly got worse just before he left for Nome in March. It turned out to be a macular hole, requiring surgery. Not a big surprise - you get older and parts of your body decide to malfunction. The (ahem) interesting part is the recovery, which involved being face down almost constantly for a week after. In his case an additional month of being mostly face-down was needed. You rent an apparatus like a massage chair and plant your face in a cushion. It looks very much like the traditional photo of children with their first birthday cake, excitedly going face down in the fluff. It was a source of amusement for all of us. Almost all of us. Emily and Sarah came over to read to their grandfather. Sarah had just started second grade and her book had considerable repetition. Emily is in fifth and read an entire book of Halloween riddles to a trapped person.
The Song Has Ended…But the melody lingers on. This is a lyric we used to use when sleepy children had nothing left to say but were, unaccountably, still talking. It is nice to see that happening still in the next generation, and not have it be our problem.
There Are Lots of Bald Eagles at the City Dump. Tracy went to a young friend's wedding in Juneau, which she found to be a place of great beauty. New places always means new birds to look for. The places of beauty and the birds do not necessarily coincide, but Tracy was very happy to text back to the rest of the family about the eagles. It's an odd text to get out of the blue, even from Tracy.
VIP Backstage Party - Third Day, Tracy's favorite band was on its farewell tour, yet the closest concert was in NYC. They did have one in Houston, however, which she took as an opportunity to visit Ben. He knows people who know people, and was able to swing VIP backstage passes for the event. They also went last-minute dress shopping, as Texas churches are more formal in their attire than New England ones; Ben learned that Tracy hums to herself more every year. We are fortunate that doesn't bother David, as he doesn't get over irritation well and she doesn't seem able to stop. Also in Houston, Tracy met friends of Ben who already wanted to be Wymans, and thought so even more after meeting her. Of course they do. Everyone wants to be a Wyman.
Can I Wear Your Tiara? David visited John-Adrian, Jocie, and the girls in Nome in March just in time for the Iditarod. It was all happenin' dogsledding events while he was there. This included Miss Alaska coming up for the week, and our granddaughter Aurora was entranced to see her. Aurora is a bold child and never struck dumb even when starry-eyed, and asked if she could wear the young woman's tiara. Graciousness must still be one of those things they look for at those pageants, as she suggested that Aurora might get one of her own when she grew up. Aurora stalked her at every stop from there on in. People who like to hunt and fish have plenty to do in the warmer, lighter months in Nome, but we're not sure there is much going on in the weeks they don't have an Iditarod to keep them busy. David got to see the frontier, Aurora's school, and JA's friends in Nome. One of them seems like a Wyman. Maybe he should be. As above.
I'll Make You Hip (Reprise) - for those keeping score at home, it was almost ten years ago that Kyle came to live with us, and our first Christmas letter with him aboard included his promise to David "I'll make you hip." He has grown up and moved into places of his own, currently in Concord, where he works at the Post Office, and I think he has admitted defeat about the hipness. Ben had said at the time "Better men than you have tried and failed." It's nice to be one of the immovable forces of the universe.
I Don't Know What It Is - We hope to move to smaller digs with less walkway and lawn in the next year or so. This involves fixing things long neglected, or paying others to fix them for us, so the cost is either time or money. New roof, new heating, new septic, radon mitigation…and such construction as new railings for the porch steps, so that Tracy doesn't fall and smash her face (again) while ascending. A simple enough task for a deft and capable person, but we don't have any husbands like that here. As it had been looking like Tracy had been punched, however, David had considerable incentive to get the job done. We have also been ruthlessly - hahahaha, no not really - sorting through things to give or throw away. In the matter of the tool bench, David now has a small collection of items that he has no idea what they are used for, but are clearly Very Nice Ones, if you ever needed one of those things. It seems a shame to throw them away, so we may wrap them as stocking presents for the sons, who will of course be thrilled.
The Change From Mercedes to BMW. Chris has moved to the mainland in Norway, on the other side of Tromso, and switched jobs from the Mercedes dealership to BMW. He has a girlfriend named Maria, who we have only met on Skype.
The Mayor of Bethany - Ben visited this summer while we were at Pilgrim Pines and came out to have some beach, used bookstore, and childhood nostalgia time, as he usually does. While talking to someone at the beach he tried to describe his connection, mentioning Tracy. The other person understood immediately who he must be. "Yes, we know Tracy. She's sort of the mayor of Bethany."