Dad called the other night. "We're just sitting here enjoying these cute pictures of Nephew Bone." (One of the things I gave them for Christmas was a Nephew Bone calendar I made at Walgreens.com. Also, he doesn't actually call him Nephew Bone, which I find odd.) "There's just one thing we don't understand."
"Uhh, OK?" At this point, I'm thinking I got someone's birthday wrong or something.
"What is this fes-TEE-vus in December?"
And I thought he read my blog.
Festivus IV was a rousing success. There were thirteen survivors in all this year. That's one shy of the all-time mark set back in 2006. In hindsight, I'm glad I decided to have Festivus again this year. After all, airing the grievances I have against myself gets old after awhile.
Highlights included some of the Festivian children learning the difference between a Festivus pole and a shower curtain rod in a tree stand. The group singing of Silver Pole was a hit, as usual. Next year, I think we may try it in the round. (Or whatever you call it when you sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and everyone starts at a different time.)
The Festivus Dinner featured a tempting schmeer of pizza, cupcakes, chips and salsa, and Twix--the only candy bar with the cookie crunch. As an added feature this year, we watched The Dealership episode of Seinfeld, which features George's candy lineup. ("Please, I think I've reached the point in my life where I can tell the difference between cookie and nougat. So let's not just say things that we both know are obvious fabrications!)
The Feats of Strength this year featured two card games of immense skill and lightning quick reflexes: Spoons and Egyptian Rat Screw. I wanted to play Scene It Seinfeld, but got out-voted like twelve to two. (I voted twice.) Wolfgang and Little Joe were the first people knocked the first couple games of Spoons, which resulted in Wolfgang letting the expletives fly. Fortunately, the children were gone by that time.
I also received a The Office wall calendar from LJ. Then later I found out he got Wolfgang a calendar featuring scantily clad women giving golf etiquette rules. "I didn't want to get ya'll the same thing," he explained. And here I thought he was just impressed with my golf etiquette.
So, grievances have been aired and the pole is back in the crawlspace. All that's left now is to repair damaged friendships and reflect on another year that has passed us by. And I will do that now.
Two-double-naught-eight. It was the year I first had something I'd written published in an actual book. It was the year I first became an uncle and a godfather. The year I visited Myrtle Beach for the first time. And of course, it was the year Bama spent seemingly half the season ranked #1.
But most all all, I will remember 2008 as the year the each member of my immediately family experienced one very significant event. The year began with Mom recovering from her minor stroke. Then Dad found out he needed open heart surgery and had a successful triple bypass in April. And then in August came Nephew Bone. Now the world revolves around him, and no one would have it any other way.
The worry and uncertainty about Mom and the hours sitting in the waiting room as Dad underwent his surgery were the most anxious moments of my life. Then there was the indescribable wonder, joy, and hope Nephew Bone brought with him into the world. Those are the reasons that 2008 was the hardest and most wonderful of all years.
Thank God that Mom and Dad made it through everything OK. And thank God for Nephew Bone.
In a few hours, the ball will drop on 2009. Though personally, I would prefer not to spend New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest. I mean, does he have to take over everything? First, it was American Top Forty. Then it was Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Next thing you know, he'll be guest starring on General Hospital and dating Audrina on The Hills. At which point, I will not be able to take it anymore!
I wish you all have a happy and safe New Year's and an amazing 2009.
"Today, you know, that's good enough for me. Breathing in and out's a blessing, can't you see? Today's the first day of the rest of my life. And I'm alive, and well..."