Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letter for 2008

                         A year of momentous celebrations.
                         … and a few disappointing ordeals:
January -
• in which Megan’s mother Joan was here to visit
• in which we learned these momentous revelations about dear old Mum: she named Megan after a character in the book Apple Tree by Galsworthy; she is afraid of heights (has never been up Seattle’s Space Needle); and she went to a strip club on her 18th birthday (courtesy of the corrupting influence of her older sister)
February -
• in which we sang back-up (along with 700 others) for opera diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at an outdoor concert in the park
• in which we had a driveway party with our neighbours to wish Joan a bon voyage
• in which the school year began and Megan was back in a classroom teaching Social Studies and English, in addition to a little librarian work on the side
March -
• in which Austin (28) embarked on a Political Science degree
April -
• in which Megan tried a very British sport called bowls, which is similar to bowling only there are no pins to knock down, it’s played outdoors on perfect grass, and everyone wears white and keeps a stiff upper lip
May -
• in which Megan celebrated another birthday and disappointingly got another year older
• in which the newlyweds (Carlin and Kristen) living in Phoenix, got a new dog
June -
• in which we began a series of ascents of Auckland’s 50 volcanic cones – called mountains, but actually just hills a few hundred metres high
• in which we went to see the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - good fun with outrageous costumes, plenty of ‘70s disco retrospective, and therapy for any latent homophobia
July -
• in which Megan bought a scooter and achieved notoriety among the students as the teacher on the red scooter riding around Auckland. Her coolness factor increased substantially
• in which Megan wanted to sing with a select group to welcome Condoleezza Rice’s visit to New Zealand, but was disappointingly rejected because they were recruiting young singers, despite being the only one who already knew the words to the American national anthem AND being able to sing in a fluent American accent
August -
• in which Nolan (26) announced he would be going to law school next year
• in which Boone (23) came to visit and to summit 8 mountains/volcanic cones/hills while here
• in which Boone played Scrabble against Curt 18 times during his 4 week visit – Boone won 12 times but that’s only because Curt disappointingly had “crap for letters”
• in which we had another driveway party to celebrate Boone’s visit, and then another
September -
• in which we went to our first rugby game, a truly Kiwi experience
• in which we stopped in Bellingham, WA on the way to England, and Curt delivered 3 original paintings as gifts to the boys:

• in which we spent 3 weeks in England to celebrate our 30th anniversary
• in which Megan was hit by a taxi in London while walking across the street. She survived with minor bruises; her beloved muffin was smashed in the ordeal
• in which we went to Bellingham, England and learned it’s pronounced Bell-in-jum there. Really.
October -
• in which we stopped in Portland, OR on our way home from England and saw Curt’s family, our old church family, and Megan’s old school (plus a special stop for Mrs. Fields cookies)
• in which we came home to learn that our church had failed miserably during our brief absence – first approving and then rejecting the appointment of a new pastor because she was gay. We were incensed, frustrated, and sorely disappointed over the ordeal
November -
• in which we gathered with our (Kiwi) neighbours to celebrate and offer a toast for the American election results
• in which we gathered with our Kiwi neighbours again 4 days later for the New Zealand election results
• in which Megan got hit by a car while riding on her scooter. She survived with a few cracked ribs and some minor scrapes and bruises; her beloved scooter got smashed in the ordeal
• in which Nolan and Erica announced their engagement and upcoming summer wedding
• in which Megan bought another scooter
• in which Curt finished 2 more paintings:

December -
• in which we write our clever Christmas letter