Dear Friends & Family,

This time last year was all about the possibility of Funk getting elected Mayor of Kansas City. When that letter was written, Funk and I both knew it in our bones that he would be elected, but we also knew that we were going to have to work really hard to feel that we deserved it.

The campaign itself was wildly fun, but exhausting, and though I can’t say that we’d ever do it again, it was a wonderful experience. By default, I became Funk’s campaign manager. And because Funk won the election, he now thinks that I can make him a fortune by hiring myself out to other candidates. I keep telling him that the job wasn’t as difficult as it was cracked up to be as all it took was being organized and having the ability to do five things at once, all on only five hours of sleep per night. You know, just like being a mother. The political consultants would like for you to believe that they possess esoteric skills. But that’s only because they want to be paid high dollars for doing woman’s work.

So far, being Mayor is much harder than we could have imagined. We realized the work would be long hours in the trenches, we just couldn’t have anticipated the level of ugliness. Luckily, our family is tough and we’re fast learners. All in all, Funk is doing a fabulous job. When watching him perform, it’s easy to see that he’s been training his whole life for this position. And I must say, my little Funky sure does look sexy when taking the podium at those town hall meetings.

Tara interned in the Mayor’s office this summer and found that she was a natural at the job, just like her father. So she’s changing her master’s degree to Public Administration, but not until she takes a year off to sow her wild oats, which, as of this moment, she plans to do in New York City. Working as a bartender. Or as a French tutor. Or whatever else pops into her mind within the next five minutes. I don’t really care what she does or where, only that it’s somewhere that I want to visit.

My sweet little Andrew had a really rough start in college this September. Funk went with him to Portland to do the freshman parent thing. I wasn’t allowed to go. Can you image that? Unfortunately, it seems that the memory that is imbedded in the part of Andrew’s mind where bad memories are stored is me clutching his sister for dear life, followed up by the wailing that took place when they had to pry me loose of her so that she could begin her first day of college. I guess Andrew wasn’t up for that experience again, hence, his mother being left at home. But I’m happy to report that I wasn’t the maker of the bad memories this time. All went well on the parent weekend, but three days after Funk left our infant child on the alter of his new school, Andrew came down with a really bad case of mono and had to come back home. He’s better now and will start school again in January.

Believe it or not, but winning the election wasn’t the best thing that happened to Funk this year. No, getting his first prostate exam, by way of, well, you know where, was the highlight of his year. And watching Funk get the exam was the biggest joy of mine. When I noticed that Funk wasn’t bouncing back like he used to, I scheduled him for a physical. Poor Funk didn’t know what a physical entailed once you passed age 50, but I did, and I could hardly wait to watch him partake in a similar medical nicety that we women have endured since our teen years. It was only when the nurse told Funk to take everything off but his socks that I saw Funk get an inkling of what might be coming. The exam took forever and just when Funk thought he escaped what had quickly become his worst nightmare, the doctor ordered him to roll over on his side. I waited in gleeful anticipation as I watched the doctor’s sausage-sized fingers go up under the sheet. Trust me, it wasn’t too hard to tell when the doctor hit his mark as it was at the exact same moment that I saw Funk’s eyes bulge out of his head. Sadly for me, my sadistic laughter was very short-lived. His eyes hadn’t even had the time to go back into his sockets before I heard the doctor announce to the world that the Mayor had the prostate of a 30 year-old. It was upon hearing those words that I knew payback would be swift and cruel for me. Sure enough, it was. Ever since then Funk has been strutting about the house like he’s a young bull in the ring and whenever he happens to catch a glimpse of me, it’s as if he’s seeing the Matador’s red cape for the very first time. I tell you true, it isn’t pretty over at the Funkhouser house right about now.

With love enough until next year,

The funks

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