Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not a Christmas letter

Disclaimer: This is NOT; repeat NOT our family Christmas letter. Patti typically writes those but for a variety of reasons we’ve not sent one in a few years – time, postage, I forgot to mail it etc.

This represents my recollections and mine only of this past year. Patti may see fit to comment on it via Facebook.

2011 can be summed up in three words: we became grandparents! And that’s pretty much what I have to report. See ya’ next year!

OK, now back to the beginning. I can either do this by subject or chronologically. OK survey says? Chrono so here we go!

Jan. 2011

As has become our annual tradition, Sarah and Caleb visited us for a couple of weeks in January. Many of our Saturdays were spent watching Janie play basketball on a local girl’s team. We also (yeah!) got our woodstove installed so we began to enjoy the real heat and warmth. And did I mention this is when all my chain-saw-sagas began? Also visited my dad in Dallas for his 89th birthday.

Feb. – Janie continues her basketball efforts. Almost every Saturday. Plus practices in between.

March – Patti spent a month working for Oxford Home Health Care after leaving CMH in Ash Grove but after trying to take care of a bed-ridden 300+ lb. hoarder, she called that one quits. I spent two days in our state capitol, Jefferson City, with a leadership program, trying to learn how our state govt. functions. You think DC is dysfunctional? Just kidding!

April – Senior prom month for Annie. Patti starts working for a different nursing home – Quail Creek – a nice facility.

May – Vesper Brielle Krantz is born in May, daughter of our oldest daughter Sarah and her husband Caleb. Patti flew up for a week or so right after the birth, took hundreds of pictures. Cutest girl in town!

Right before Patti left, Annie graduated from high school (yeah and congrats!) and somehow I was asked to be the commencement speaker. It took me weeks to write my 12-minute-speech which was essentially a look back at the last 40 years (for me) since my graduation and what might be in store for them in their next 40 (you can read it online if you like here). I took some liberties with Tim McGraw’s, “My Next 30 years”, but I did not sing. The audience was thankful.

June – Able to visit my Dad in Dallas for a couple of days at Father’s Day. Annie starts working for Walmart. Gilly took me to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt as a Father’s Day present. As usual June is wedding month and we celebrated two multi-cultural marriages with friends at our church.

July – Janie and Anna go to kid’s camp at church giving us a week-long break!

Later, Vince, Janie and Anna drove to Montana to spend a week with Vesper and the rest of the Krantz clan. Spent a lot of time sitting with, holding, changing and in general just being a grandpa to, Vesper. I could get used to that! While there we also spent a bunch of time at Flathead Lake swimming in the super-cold water. The girls never batted an eye!

Aug. – Annie started college at OTC in a nursing program. She has a scholarship which covers her tuition. Patti quits working for a while. We take a brief family camping trip to an unusual place in MO called Johnson’s Shut Ins.

Sept. – Helped launch a major internal training program at work called CAmP – City Ambassador Program – to help employees get a better handle of how their jobs fit into the much bigger picture of the entire City government operation. It’s a once-a-month program that is now beginning to take shape.

I also got to go back to San Fran for a conference. Enjoyed walking the hills, the waterfront, eating real Chinese food and seeing some old friends. Got to meet a real-live VP from Google!

Late in September, Patti I spend a few days alone in Branson and Eureka Springs celebrating our 35th anniversary. Nice places, nice time.

Oct. – Near the end of the month my co co-interim Director left for another job, so that left me running the dept. by myself. For the last two months (and one more to go) I’ve been doing at least 3 jobs: his, my old job, the dept. director position and helping our Parks Dept. produce their monthly TV show until they replace someone as well. Note: In January I will finally have a new boss after 21 months of sort of getting to be the boss. I’ll miss some of it and other parts, not so much.

Nov. – Annie moved out into her own apartment in town closer to work (still Walmart) and school (still OTC). We fire up the woodstove and I begin my chain-saw-saga again. But we are keeping warm!

Dec. – Patti did about 99% of the Christmas shopping. My job was the tree and lights. Looking forward to friends and family on Christmas eve for Patti’s traditional 3-way chili (aka Skyline and/or Cincinnati chili) We expect a group of 12 or more for a fun evening.

Overall 2011 was a challenging year both personally and professionally. On the farm front we still have: 10 chickens, 3 dogs, 3 horses, one cat and one rabbit.

Also really looking forward to Sarah, Caleb and Vesper who will come again in January. Plans this time include a trip to Dallas for my folks to meet Caleb and Vesper. Then we head to Nashville for a short McCarthy family re-union. Should be quite a crowd there!

Hope you and yours have a Blessed time of year!

Vince, Patti, Janie and Anna holding down the Everton home front
Sarah lives in Montana with Caleb and Vesper.
Gill and Annie each have their own places in town.