Excerpt from The Butter Pecan Diaries
* * * Happy Merry Holiday Christmas * * *
I’ve dismissed annual Christmas letters for years because I thought no one would be interested. Not that I believe you are remotely interested now but you’re in my address list so you get a letter whether or not! As is the case with my holiday gifts, you will likely receive this after Christmas! Scarlett has been relatively quiet this year – extended menopause and senility tend to do that, so we will take it slowly.
Jerry – aka Jack, Bubba, Big Dog – left his transportation job for a calmer and more fulfilling position as Manager at a custom closet design firm in the bright lights, big city of Manassas. Instead of ensuring the safe transport of Loudon County passengers into the bowels of Washington, DC he manages eight workmen that utilize English as a fourth language, in the finer points of using $600,000 pieces of machinery.
He smiles, recounting his enthusiastic banter to explain the difference between ½“ vs ¾” to workmen that are cutting solid mahogany sheets for custom closets. Jerry also hit the first year anniversary of his new knees. Yup, titanium and wire hold them both together. He’s a madman now getting up and down the stairs in the blink of an eye (well, an old and sluggish eye), but much faster than sliding on his buns.
Wynonna – was out of work for seven months, but is due to start work in January. If she doesn’t you may contact me at Nurse Ratchet’s Home for despondent and penniless mothers. She had strongly considered a job that would relocate her to Kosovo – yes, the country. We were ecstatic since she would have been coached in the Ancient Art of Sidestepping Landmines, Avoiding Physical Confrontation with War Criminals, and Culinary Eccentricities of the Rural Hungarian. However, God is always good and answers prayers and another position just ‘popped up’ so no further need for the mink underwear and matching AK47 hip holster. She will be working in the Skyline area of Alexandria as a Communications Hardware Specialist. She will ensure that DISA on both secure and insecure networks, have software and hardware that work together properly across the US. For this she turned up her nose at secretarial school.
Rosie – excuse me – Chef Rosie. Yes, Rosie will be graduating in the spring. She has been attending the Academy De Cuisine and doing quite well. She was nominated and awarded scholarship by the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality and has maintained a solid 3.6 through the year. Instead of a DVD player for Christmas she asked for Whustof knives. A car would be cheaper. She is doing her internship at The Inn in downtown Washington and loves it.
She recently cooked dinner for us and was terribly disappointed when I did not have enough room in my kitchen for a breading station. This from a child who preferred Manwich on a paper plate. Marianne’s first reaction was “Rosie with sharp knives?” But, Rosie has not had one emergency room visit since starting school, at least none that she’s shared with me. Anyway, the scene in the Long Kiss Goodnight comes to mind when Geena Davis wipes blood from her lip, throws a 10” knife at a kitchen cabinet and shouts, “Chef’s do that!” Rosie said it was always a tossup between police work or motorcycle racer. Chef makes me happy!
And Scarlett – what’s gone on with me? Actually very little that I’ll put to paper but the enormity in my universe has been my company. It has been going out of business since last February. Sort of like that leather shop up the street that’s been going out of business for six years. Each week our venture capitalist has a different plan, yes, you’re in business or no, you’re not. One day I’ll go to work and the door will be locked.
I don’t have tap dancing or body piercing skills, however I will check out the continuing education classes brochure from the community college. All other family members are in one piece – although, there are two new messages on my answering machine so there may be a p.s. to this letter.
My mechanic loves me, my doctor has my up to the minute insurance info, Rosie got rid of her motorcycle, Wynonna didn’t, Jerry got a new(er) car, the old one broke down on Rt.495 during rush hour, retirement seems viable around 2017. Most importantly, butter pecan still dominates my freezer!
We miss and appreciate each of you and want to wish you a Blessed and Joyous Christmas and Peaceful New Year.