Dear Loved Ones Near and Far,
Well, it’s that time of year again. The pressure to write this letter almost met it’s maker today. Damn card doesn’t mention our name. When life hands you lemons, I drink Lemonade…Sweet Tea Vodka that is. Sweet Tea affords me a hydrated break from my day, and allows me to plan on how the heck I’m going to move forward towards where I want to be, kind of like yoga, but no sweat. The letter got out late this year, because, let’s just say, I’m not the ONLY one with issues. I’m certified drunk as of the printing and sticking, but it’s been one of those days. A year shouldn’t be measured in the events of one day, but a series of bad days in a year should make a great novel. You enjoy these annual letters? Buy my book. What doesn’t kill us, well, thank God for good wine, Firefly, & the last of my blessed Xanax pills from when my health insurance covered my ear doctor. What? I can’t hear you, please don’t yell, but speak clearly in not too deep a voice in my left ear, the right ear is deaf, but rings constantly (confirming my belief in Santa Claus), the pitch is out of tune. The one bit of advice that I shall drill into the brains of my children is that the only way to survive the “good times & the bad” is to marry your best friend. It helps if they have a sense of humor, and you find that space between their teeth very, very attractive. John can make me laugh even as tears are streaming down my face just from the sheer disappointment, sadness, and aggravation of it all. I am so fortunate to have girlfriends that are there to support me (or listen) when I need it, & have the blessing of my family to know that they love you when things seem at their darkest. But all is not lost, I know & believe in “The Secret” & so we keep moving forward, simply throwing out the garbage placed in our path & keep focusing on the destination. But, If I call, Pick up & Thank You God for inventing Skinny Tea Vodka (due out for release March 1st, and my local booze shop promises to call me and sell me the first bottle, as we have that type of relationship).
I don’t know what I was thinking, but as the world famous Marion Barry once said, “The Bitch Set Me Up.” She was so darn small & cute & had the most beautiful hair & she loved to cuddle & I was lulled into this delusional, ill-conceived fantasy that she would cure my latest anxiety. Actually, about three days into our inviting her into our home after she had just enjoyed my Coach mink slippers for breakfast, I snapped out of my NyQuil induced slumber & wondered what in the H*E* double hockey sticks was I thinking? If you haven’t noticed by our latest collage of our blissful family looking very tan & at our best, there is a new jet black Giant Schnoodle with no eyes in the mix, we named her “Lucy”, but it was IMMEDIATELY changed to “Lucifer”. John doesn’t even call her by name, she’s “Sinclair’s Dog”. In the three months we’ve had her, she has tripled in size (she’s now 50 pounds & shall double again), ruined our carpeting in her sheer apathy to please anyone, eaten our staircase, eaten carpets, wood furniture, upholstered furniture, barbies, legos, hair bows, important documents, catalogs, magazines, mail, school projects, destroyed new (& old) shoes, perfected the art of stealth counter surfing (consuming several pounds of Boar’s Head turkey & raw chicken), can chew through a leash in 3 minutes, and absolutely annoys Lille, although I have caught Lille instigating some roughhousing. She’s so beautiful, but friends, she’s up to no good & it’s impossible to stare her down, because you can’t see her eyes. And she’s fast. You can’t catch her. She’s like a cross between Tigger, Alf & Satan. We have enrolled her in dog obedience training, but I’m not optimistic. Lucy spends most of the class teaching the other dogs how to swipe treats off the table with her skill of paw swiping, much to the shock & awe of the trainer. Dogs learn by hand gestures, & the bitch can’t see but her paws are as large as baseball gloves. Five minutes into her first session, she had successfully eaten her leather leash & was harassing the “shorter” dogs. Yep, she’s officially a Montgomery. Lucifer’s so obnoxious, when it’s time to go outside, she waits for Lille to get in just the right position so she can hurdle her just as Lille is about to relieve herself. Lille has taken up residence & constipation under the desk in John’s office where she sleeps & passes gas in her last days with peace & quiet, and folks, as of today, Lille’s days are numbered, literally.
Have no fear though, Jack 10, Ashton 8, & Mignonne 6, continue to live charmed lives. We kicked off the New Year in New Orleans, and returned to enjoy Mardi Gras with family & friends, and took a trip to Asheville & Chattanooga for fall break. We trekked back to the Big Easy for a few days over the Christmas Holiday (with the black beast & the old grey dog too), as I hadn’t done enough damage to my liver this year (I’ve been successfully dieting. Listen up! Less alcohol + less food = amazing weight loss). Jack’s tennis team won the 10U city championship in the Spring, and was a finalist in the Fall. Ashton & Mignonne are also enrolled in the tennis program, although I also admit, under protest. John & I concur that tennis for our children is probably equivalent to piano lessons for a kid that wants to play the drums, but I don’t know of any scholarship programs for Wii & Lego enthusiasts. Mignonne has decided that she wants to be an ice skater, but she’ll settle for just going skating with me for now (I’m not signing up for a five a.m. skating lesson!) Ashton grew out his hair, and I am not sure if it’s the volume of his current lack of hair style, but he’s caught up in height with his brother. I’d rather get a pap smear than go to the children’s haircut place, and so, well, my children look a bit weathered, but we fit right in on Daufuskie Island when we go. Mignonne continues to be my sweetest girl in the world and lights up the room & my heart. She’s the best snuggler in the family and still can’t say her “R’s” so we love to have her say, “Pweetiest Gurl in da Wurld”. Ashton has turned out to be quite the creative type, and has been known to outsource his homework to his sister, as her handwriting is neater. According to suburban public school standards Mignonne is now “gifted” (as are all three of our heirs – go figure). Jack is ready for a cell phone, but he’s not getting one.
We spent the summer again on Daufuskie, however, I was prohibited from “cooking crab in the house” by our home owner, which caused me to have less frequent, but more productive crabbing with the crab boil operation taking place remotely. If I was spotted at my favorite spot, a golf spy would notify our house owner in Canada, who would then “follow up” with the gentleman doing house repairs (the house is always under repair), who would stop by to “verify I wasn’t in business” catching me ‘blue crab handed” with a dozen or so of my little friends resting over ice in a bucket on the front porch. He likes my Gumbo, so I was safe. I shuttered my deviled crab business before relaunch, and spent my ten weeks of heaven playing tennis, & drinking Sweet Tea (Firefly). Daufuskie is up in the air as of this letter, as I have accepted an opportunity with a national consulting firm and go undercover on an assignment disguised as a career working mom and start a project with another of my favorite drink manufacturers in January. I’m hoping to negotiate an arrangement whereby I can “summer on my island”, I didn’t think it would be prudent to bring it up just yet, as it didn’t come up during the interview, and I left my crabbing business off of my resume. I figured they would need to see my amazingness in action away from a dock with a crab net, Miller Lite, sexy boots & 3 kids in tow.
Today turned out to be my greatest challenge of the year, and I am proud to be notorious for “speaking up”. Lille escaped her funeral today. I know it is coming, but didn’t think I’d have to edit this years missive at printing time (hence the stupor & the blessing of Firefly & my last Xanax). I never would have thought that bringing her in for a checkup for a little UTI & dehydration would lead to a nightmare diagnosis of diabetes, pancreatitis, heart murmur, & a failing system the day before Christmas Eve. Kids were crying, I was bawling, John even teared up. But, as I explained to my mother when I brought her home (alive) from the vet (everyone was expecting a burial, even Lucy who had enlarged the hole we dug in the back yard for her this afternoon), I just couldn’t put her down when she was wagging her tail & giving me big halitosis sloppy kisses. We did both have a great time in New Orleans, but we both promised to lay off the sauce again for 2011. I popped her a Zantac, gave her a rawhide bone & me the last one of my faithful friends. I pray she survives through the week & Christmas vacation. Sleep peacefully this holiday season my friends knowing LIFE IS GOOD. Have sweet dreams as you picture my offspring kicking each other & screaming in the back of the duct taped minivan, Lucy chewing through what is left of the upholstery, and John riding shotgun on his laptop. Lille is alive.
Secret = Your Destination & I know exactly where I’m going. Everyone can come with me, you just can’t ask any questions. All is right with my world.
Sincerely yours, Sinclair & the Rest of the Montgomery’s (John, Jack, Ashton, Mignonne, Lucifer, & Lille.