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The Annual Letter

I got such good comments about our letter for the holidays I thought I would post it here.

The year 2008 has been a wonderful one for all of us. Our biggest news is that Matt and Tiffany got married in a lovely sunset ceremony in September followed by an even lovelier party ­– three days of party all told. One nice thing about all the runup and followup events is that we had time to meet their wide and delightful circle of friends. It was like that Bollywood feature Monsoon Wedding without the drama or the henna tattoos. With this event we can pass the responsibility for Matt and Tiff’s news on to them and their annual letters. If I had started these letters when I got married you would have thirty-six of them instead of only a dozen. Given the recent economic news and the value of my older letters you could sell one or two for a mortgage payment. I told you to save them.

Lorraine’s business is better than ever and our plucky media skills trainer improved presentations in Sacramento, New York (again), Toppenish, Walla Walla, and Atlanta, as well as all over the Seattle area. Her book Give Your Elevator Speech A Lift has gone into its second printing and she remains in great demand. But the real news, the stupendous news, is that she cleaned up her office! One weekend she unloaded everything out into the living room and then, like the captain of an overloaded lifeboat, ruthlessly pushed unneeded nicknacks over the side. The tiny stuffed animals, corporate trinkets, and swag bag chachkas slipped under the waves and brave Lorraine saved her ship. [note on January 1, 2009: The cleaning was a cruel ruse. The office is back to its old condition.]

Along with the wedding in Oregon wine country there was Maui, Sun River in eastern Oregon, and New York. Lorraine worked her magic with the contestants before they pitched their business ideas to venture capitalists. While in New York I saw my first Broadway show – Mama Mia – and had to remark that the singers and dancers were all pretty good.

I have a new job. I’m on the Seattle Office of Professional Accountability Review Board. That’s the citizen group that oversees the police department’s internal investigations program and they needed someone with a law enforcement background. We do not sit in judgement of police officers (the chief does that), rather we look at the process, network with the community, and make recommendations. They offered a $400 stipend which I thought was reasonable. Imagine my surprise to learn that wasn’t for the year, but every month. They threw in free parking at City Hall and a week in Cincinnati for a national conference.

While waiting to be discovered as the next breakthrough author I started a couple of new stories, a website, and a blog. Everyone has to have a blog. Take a look at The child advocate job keeps me hopping too. Two kids I represented for five and-a-half years finally got adopted in October. Another kid who was out of the home for five years finally went home, and his brother is soon to follow. I tutored African immigrant kids a bit last spring, mostly in their math. With all the woodworking I have done for more than ten years I have yet to multiply or divide fractions, but they still teach that to immigrants struggling with English. I don’t think the kids noticed the tutors passing around Math for Dummies.

It was a great year for quotes from Lorraine so I started posted the good ones and the other winners on the blog. This year’s winner is: “It’s a G** D*** miracle!”

Everyone have a great holiday season.

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