Holiday Greetings from the Whites
Dear family and friends,
It's hard to believe that 2003 is almost a memory! It seems like just yesterday Katie and I were bailing out young Emile after he tried to punch out a police horse during the Mummers Parade. But the months have flown by (much like Emile's sentence!), and so we once again send holiday greetings to you all.
Katie had a fantastic year, having finally settled on a home business plan. While we were thankful for the insurance money (and the tax write-offs, ha ha) when her mail-order painted seashell factory burned down (and to think I once called it a garage!), we look forward to being in the black in 2004. Her mail-order mulch business is a sure-fire winner. It's a niche that no one has yet filled, and once we resolve our dispute with the U.S. Post Office, all of you can count on a free summer mulch sampler. Go figure with that Post Office -- our tax dollars pay their salary, but they keep refusing to take packages that have a slight odor. Hello! It's MULCH! We also have plans to make Katie a great Web site, as soon as we buy a computer and young Emile teaches us how to use this Internet I've heard so much about. Katie's health also continues to improve, though she stubbornly refused to have her goiter removed. Heck, she's even has it decorated for the holidays, with a star on top on everything. She's a character.
As for me, I have started my 9th year at the AMC Marple 10, and my very first as shift superviser! I have not yet been trained to work the ticket counter, and most of the shifts I supervise are during the day when I am the only usher on duty. But I have been promised further training and increased responsibility, once the headquarters sees fit to mail the appropriate training videos to our district supervisor. Maybe they packed the tapes in mulch -- that would explain the delay!! I continue to watch movies avidly during my 15 minute breaks, and I am confident that my screenplay will be finished by 2005 at the latest. I was dismayed to find in February that there already IS a movie about a time-traveling policeman (Timecop, have you ever heard of it?), but I know it's a genre that can hold more than one masterpiece. Once I'm done, I should find an agent no problem -- Katie would continue to act as my agent, but by then she'll be too busy with the mulch business. We're also very excited that in one more year, I get a second week of vacation. Our dream trip to the Mitchell Corn Palace is on the horizon, assuming we can get a new car, as our Fiesta was destroyed in the factory fire.
Young Emile, as I mentioned before, was incarcerated from February through June, but he did take advantage of that time to get in shape, reflect on his life and take a correspondence course on gun repair. We felt very strongly on his release that, if he did not intend to return to school, he should at least get his own place. A happy compromise was struck when he moved into his treehouse. A bit small, yes, but still big enough to sleep a 14-year-old boy and his pitbull! We are also thrilled to welcome Emile's new fiancee, Liu Shen-bian, into our family. You may recall from last year's letter that Liu was our au pair, studying at West Chester University and looking after Emile. You may also recall that we thought Liu was a boy, and Japanese! We were wrong on all accounts, and the initial shock Katie experienced when finding them snuggling on top of the kitchen table has been replaced with the joy we now feel at their love. I have learned some Chinese, and I hope to be able to communicate with the sweetheart soon, as I would like her input on my screenplay (you gotta think of the international market these days!). Emile's gun repair venture has been progressing, and we often fall asleep to the sounds of him test-firing the very guns he's repaired.
We once again spent Thanksgiving this year serving food to the homeless, as mandated by the terms of Katie's community service agreement. I remember how harsh that sentence seemed 8 years ago, as Katie was taking Perkaset under the orders of her chiropractor and that homeless chap did survive with three of his limbs still remaining. But eight years later, I can honestly say it is a joy to serve the less fortunate, and many of them have become our friends and even help us with our yard work.
We are so thankful for our many gifts and our reasonable health. Please keep in touch, and if anyone has a spare bedroom this holiday season, we would be delighted to visit, as it will give us an opportunity to properly delouse our own home. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Chris, Katie, Young Emile and Liu
The surface of the sun. Also, when there's a new trivia night I'll post the date here.
A nine-day journey into the heart of madness (aka California) is being posted on the travel pages. Read it before the Big One makes it obsolete!
The third Nerdcation (TM) is in the books. Feel free to recreate this journey stop for stop with your spouse, the next time you really want to strain your marriage.