Friday, December 22, 2006

Wyman Family Christmas Letter 2006

“Chris Needs A Dog.”

Stories about other people’s pets and other people’s medical conditions are seldom interesting, but we are going to subject you to both. We will try to be entertaining.

Jonathan and Benjamin have been insisting for years that we get Chris a dog, to interrupt his moping every other day. Too much trouble, we said; Chris will graduate HS and leave and we’ll be stuck taking care of the dog. Jonathan eventually offered to take the dog off our hands after Chris left if he couldn’t bring it with him and we didn’t like it. Safe offer for Jonathan – he knew we’d get attached to the dog.

Digger is what you might call a special-needs dog, who grew up with goats and a mule and is afraid of people. This has indeed been therapeutic for Chris, bringing this skittish mutt up to social speed, but this much eccentricity from the dog is something of an overload. When Chris was accepted at UTI in Houston for auto tech next year, he informed Digger “You’re going to be a Texas dog!” Well, fine. Everyone’s happy. Until then we have this large black fur-farm slinking around, startling at most noises and all white objects. Update: Digger is also afraid of Christmas decorations, especially lights.

Alright Huddled Masses! Everyone Up For Volleyball!

This quote is the top banner for Ben’s blogsite, Mostly humorous, sometimes poignant, Ben has turned into a very clever writer. His film reviews are utterly convincing. We only have to see one movie a year now, because our filmmaker son explains everything.

We were apprehensive about his focus on film, because of the generation we come from. To Tracy and I “I want to be a filmmaker” is an equivalent statement to “I want to be unemployed much of every year.” But – he got a job making films. A real job, year-round, working for the Methodists at this wealthy enormous church north of Houston with health insurance. Last year was the Year Of Five Addresses, including working the Winter Olympics in the Italian Alps in his final semester at Asbury. Now he has another distant address.

Ah well, we had him home for the summer, which was nice.

To Nurture And Enjoy

When businesses and organizations decide to come up with Mission Statements, I head for the exits. Such expressions of corporate will should be pithy and memorable, but seldom are. I came up with a Wyman mission statement, above. It says more than the framed paragraphs we all ignore as we walk through the foyer of a building.

A Tree Grows In Goffstown

For Tracy this was a year of her parents’ medical emergencies, and one of her own. The old Chevy logged a lot of miles back and forth to Scituate. Her dad almost bled to death and had to have his colon removed, followed five months later he had more surgery to have it reconnected. In the meantime Tracy discovered she had a gallstone and couldn’t eat fat for two months until she could have her gall bladder out. Standard surgery; hopefully no problem, but producing anxiety as well as an annoying diet. Just before her surgery, while David was on the road to Texas with Ben, a windstorm blew half a pine tree onto our neighbor’s roof. More anxiety, and mental measuring of trees and where they would fall. During recovery from her surgery half of our big pine tree came down, narrowly missing all wires and valuable objects. Let’s have the other half out, do you think? More sunshine, less anxiety. Expensive, though.

On The Highway At Night, The Whole Country Looks The Same

Between driving Ben and his stuff back from KY, then down to Houston 5 months later, David thought he would get to see the country a bit. While it is true that driving at night avoids traffic, it is also true that traveling this way is mind-numbingly repetitive. The same twenty fast-food establishments are advertised in batches of six on identical blue signs. Mileage signs count their slow progress up or down. Now I know why the RV crowd gets up early – more scenery. Ben and I stayed at several and found that at 8pm, everything is quiet. By 7am, everyone’s gone. We did get to see Bucksnort, TN and Cut & Shoot, TX, neither of which we would have found in NH.

Do not, by the way, tow a car on a dolly for 2000 miles. You won’t like it. We did have adventures and meet nice people because of them.

Boundless Optimism Will Only Take You So Far

John-Adrian already had a good summer job when he got back from NGU, but he wanted a better one – one that would make him some big money. He came home from one set of interviews very pleased with himself: he was going to sell vacuum cleaners. This wonderful company was going to start him with $500 just for doing three demonstrations! We expressed, er, caution about this, but on he went. It was the expected pattern. Three demonstrations and a 4-hour training meeting; and two more meetings. And those first two demonstrations didn’t count somehow, he would have to do more. He eventually got the picture. Next he tried telemarketing. Somehow that wasn’t quite as hoped, either. J-A, who is a business major, learned the valuable TANSTAAFL lesson. Eventually, he worked two jobs and sent some money to his brother Catalin in Romania.

He is planning to transfer closer to home for the rest of college. We suspect there’s a girl in that equation somewhere, though he denies it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"He is planning to transfer closer to home for the rest of college. We suspect there’s a girl in that equation somewhere, though he denies it."

There's ALWAYS a girl in the equation. You don't think I left sunny U. of Miami for UNH for the scenery do you?