Hello and Happy Holidays, December, 2015
The big news this year was Valerie’s bionic enhancement. They placed a ring of little magnets around the tube where her esophagus meets her stomach to assist tightening the sphincter against backflow, an unhappy condition of near constant heartburn from which she suffered for years. Now she’s even more perfect than she was before. She is warned, however, not to undergo an MRI, which could pull the little gizmo out of her middle like the Alien spawn. We wouldn’t want that.
Our friends, Jen and Liz, announced their betrothal just weeks after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. We were privileged to have them choose our backyard to have their October ceremony. On a fine afternoon of great joy, the sun shone on the chrysanthemums, pumpkins and smiling guests.
Another bit of joyful news concerns our serendipitous discovery of the benefits of pond gunk. Years ago, because we had a little bronze fountain sculpture that needed a water source, we filled a cement tray with water and stuck a little pump in it to drive the fountain. By 2015, we’d expanded and deepened the pond to a five by eleven hole in the ground, three feet deep. The goldfish love their expanded home and poop their little hearts out. The filter box through which the fountain water flows gets clogged with their product every few weeks. When life hands you lemons, they say, make lemonade. The contents of the filter box cause Valerie’s plants, including the lemon tree, to flower as never before. And how I do love lemon meringue pie.
We took two trips this year, below our average, because of the surgery. But they were terrific: a road trip to join Valerie’s family for a summer holiday at Traverse Bay, and the other to sample the canyon country around Flagstaff with friends. I am pleased to report that the Grand Canyon is very grand indeed, and that Valerie’s magnets are undetectable by airport security scanners.
I was busy for awhile building a new website/blogspot (www.stanleycutler.com), hoping that a pretty online presence would attract readers to my books. It turns out that I have to do a whole lot of tweeting and grunting on social media if people are to find the site, energies that I have so far been unable to muster. So the site sits there, unloved by everyone but me. I finished an espionage thriller called The Subversive Detective and a non-fiction book of essays on political rhetoric. The latter gave me material for a couple of courses that I now teach to old geezers, like me, at adult education centers. This is great fun, an opportunity for the geezers to vent and articulate their thoughts on matters political. I also contributed several articles based on the book to a local newspaper, but I’ve given that up for awhile. I might resume the series if I can overcome my aversion to the tweaking of editors.
Betsy, our daughter, moved to Boston this year to take a better job – she does paralegal work in the field of international intellectual property rights. She likes Boston and is happy with the move. All good.
Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Drunken Solstice, Happy New Year! We hope that everything works out for you and yours in 2016.
Peace and Love, Stan and Valerie (Gay)