Happy Holidays To Our Dear Friends & Family,

I’ve been waiting to write this letter until I have a more joyful heart, or at least, until I can skip the paragraph about the terrible twin tower disaster. While I have a grateful heart, apparently, I’m not going to be able to skip the tragedy paragraph.

Thankfully for my family, we are all well and intact, but it has been a sad year. The worst of it being that yet another childhood friend has passed on. And, of course, the war.

My friend Judy was in her early 40’s when she died while waiting for a liver transplant. I had the good fortune to reconnect with her about a month before she passed, but I didn’t realize the severity of her illness. She died before I got another chance to speak with her. I will be forever disappointed in myself for letting this happen.

The war has had a strong impact on me. I was exercising, and since I was between books, I was watching a morning news show on television when reports of the 1st plane hitting the towers came on. While watching the report, I saw the 2nd plane hit the next tower. It is an image, just like for everyone else, that I will never forget. Seeing the 2nd plane hit and realizing that there was no way it could be an accident was just unbelievable. In my naivete, I never thought something like this would ever happen in my lifetime, at least not while my children were still young. Unfortunately, Andrew saw the footage of the people jumping out of the buildings before it was pulled from TV. Even though Funk picked the kids up from school at Noon that day – we just had such a need to be with them – we were too late to shield Andrew from seeing that. It turns out, Andrew’s teacher rolled a TV into the classroom immediately after it happened and they watched the news all morning. He’s had a hard time with it. It was a month before I even knew that he watched TV at school and figured out that that’s what was bothering him. Says a lot for home-schooling, huh?

On a happier note, Tara moved to a new high school this fall and is much happier there as a 10th grader. She turned 16 this summer and is loving life as a teenager. I have always told her not to be in a rush to grow up, as this is the only time that she’ll get to be a child – legitimately anyway. Luckily, she listened, and is enjoying what’s left of her childhood. Thankfully, I am fully aware that I don’t have much more time with her before she sets off into the world or before I have to share her with someone else, so I am seizing the moment too. I usually don’t realize what I have until it’s gone and then I mourn pitifully for what I should have enjoyed when I had it, but blessedly, I’m aware of this special time and I am able to enjoy it in the moment too.Tara has made great strides in her health this year. She was getting sick almost monthly, so in August, she decided to cut sugar from her daily life except for very special occasions. Consequently, she now craves healthier food and only feels a need to eat when she is really hungry. The reward has been that she hasn’t been sick since August and she dropped 30 pounds to boot. She is glowing with good health mentally and physically.

Andrew is in 7th grade. He too is in a new school with all new kids. It’s been a hard adjustment, especially going from a Montessori school to a traditional school – and Catholic at that. But he’s decided one thing since being there though – he’s going to be Jewish when he grows up. This May he will turn 13 – which is completely obnoxious. I can’t believe that I’ll be known as a mother of teenagers. I really don’t feel much past 19 myself (which is, by the way, the age I was when Funk stole me from the cradle). Andrew is easing into teen-dom with about as much grace as he eased into this world – and as gracefully as I am coming to terms with being the mother of teenagers. Suffice it to say, not very gracefully. But he’s ours and we adore him. Fortunately, he has more than enough lovable qualities to make his sometimes-nasty little attitude bearable.

Andrew is on the wellness path too. He decided to give up dairy products this fall since it aggravated his eczema and he has been rewarded with much less rashiness than usual. I was proud that he came to this decision all by himself and at such a young age.

Funky-poo is his usual happy little self. Since he married way up, what’s not to be happy about though right? Now that his dissertation is behind him, his favorite thing in the entire world is to be called “The Doctor of Funk.” Of course, we don’t give him the pleasure of calling him that, but others do. Right now he is in the midst of trying to get a grant to do a study about 9/11. If he gets it, he’ll have to go to New York for a month this summer to do the preliminary work. Poor kids and I. We’d miss him so bad being gone for so long that we decided we’d just have to go with him. My plan is to rent a little shack on Long Beach, visit friends and relatives and take short little trips every weekend. In between doing all that, the kids and I will bide our time, longing for the man of the house who is hard at work in the big city, on the beach. So far, getting the grant is still a long shot – but I can feel the sand between my toes already. It will come at a perfect time too, as I’m really longing to be with New Yorkers right now.

Funk joined us in the wellness craze this year, as he is now a regular client of Reiko’s. Since he’s been afraid of her from his first meeting seven years ago, he’s following her dietary guidelines almost perfectly. I should be emaciated with all the work I do cooking healthy meals for this family, but I’m not. I’m still struggling towards the wellness path – but at least I’m on the path.

We hope you are well and in good health. We’ll keep you in our thoughts as we pray for a quick end to this war for those of us here and for those suffering such longstanding hardships around the world. Please stay in touch, as we’re even more aware of how important it is to stay connected to the people we care about.

Many Blessings,

Annual New Years Day Open House

Serving Chili & Beer from 3-6PM on January 1st

Please Bring the Family

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