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Christmas, 2006
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Christmas, 2006

 

Dear Family and Friends,

 

Well, another year has come and gone. There was mudslinging, lying, and finger pointing and this was just Jimmy and Taylor arguing around the dinner table. With them continually employing weapons of mass deception, Nancy and Joe couldn’t decide if the best parenting would have been to cut and run or stay the course.

 

The Franklins ushered in the New Year in Ensenada, Mexico, with several other families who’ve asked not to be identified. Most of that time remains a blur owing to the finer points of tequila sampling. What little Nancy and Joe do remember involves trying to keep their children from blowing off their fingers with assorted bottle rockets and cherry bombs as well as from buying contraband that would have had them all enjoying the hospitality of a Mexican jail.

 

Spring break found the Franklins driving through Fort Carson near Colorado Springs into Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Imagine being trapped in a small rental car with Jimmy and Taylor, several caffeinated sodas and a couple of bean burritos. Their parent’s eyes mist over just remembering it, not to mention that they now have familiarity with every rest stop from Colorado to New Mexico. Jimmy got himself a nice “high and tight” military haircut from the PX in Ft. Carson which led to the discovery that Jimmy’s head is round enough to double for Charlie Brown’s, the smiley face icon, or a bowling ball.

 

While passing through Taos, the Franklins decided to do some hot air ballooning (see photo on card). Jimmy thoroughly embraced the concept. Well, mostly he embraced the side of the gondola owing to the fact that he and his father had split a particularly nasty order of shrimp tacos the night before. Poor Jimmy ended up hurling from a thousand feet up while Taylor shouted “Look out below!” and analyzed the splatter patterns.

 

Over the summer, Taylor and Jimmy were extended a warm invitation to attend summer school. Nancy and Joe understand this is much like being welcomed into Hell….at least that’s what Jimmy and Taylor reminded them every morning when they were dropped off and every afternoon when they were picked up.

 

In spite of summer school, the Franklins made their annual pilgrimage to Nancy’s homestead in Seattle. Grandmother thought it would be a keen idea to give the kids a paragliding experience. There are no words that can be used here to describe the feeling a parent gets as their offspring are strapped into a harness with a satanic death seeker and told to run off the edge of a cliff into the abyss below. Nancy would like to apologize for the thoughts she had about a certain grandmother’s harness at 1200 feet…

 

Jimmy is now a freshman in high school. This has generally meant an explosion in shower time, an increase in men’s cologne application, and a decline in conversational skills. Jimmy is a starting defensive cornerback for the freshman football team and quarterback on the reserve team. Nancy and Joe are getting used to hearing phrases from the public address announcer like “Looks like Jimmy Franklin recovered his own fumble.” He suffered his first injury- a minor concussion- during a particularly nasty tackle. After several hours in the emergency room where a CT brain scan reported nothing (thus confirming what his report cards have been telling his parents), and a shot of morphine, he was released. Watching Jimmy on morphine was the most fun Nancy and Joe have had with Jimmy since he was six, and so tired from a day at Disneyland that he fell asleep, face first, into a plate of spaghetti. Joe was hoping that the swelling from the concussion in Jimmy’s brain would mean a corresponding increase in his intelligence. Nancy assured Joe that swelling in ANY part of the male anatomy usually has something to do with stupidity.

 

Taylor, an eighth grader, is at the top of her game. At least the game she’s playing with her parents. Her favorite band is Nirvana (please see this year’s school picture wearing Nirvana t-shirt and Goth mascara) and, naturally, her favorite rock star is Kurt Cobain. Nancy and Joe are sort of okay with all this. After all, if she’s going to have a crush on a rocker, might as well be a dead one who made more money than Elvis this year.

 

Nancy is now well beyond the “M.I.L.F.” years.  She has decided that with the increasing “wing span” on her upper arms, she can probably fly herself south for the winter. This would be a good time since she’s now unemployed. Unemployment happens when you ask a 53-year old menopausal woman to take orders from someone who has no discernable business intelligence, has mixed diet pills with antidepressants, and inhaled a mouthful of spray tan during her visit to the “salon”. Unfortunately, this particular someone sleeps with the corporate managing partner. Since this educational experience, Nancy has been playing a lot of spider solitaire and speaking harshly to the plants in the back yard.

 

Joe, depressed about having lost both the House and Senate in this fall’s elections, has emerged as a modern-day Nostradamus, spewing forth dire predictions for the world as we know it. His family mostly ignores him, as you would a demented, homeless person. Much like a Playtex bra, Joe continues to have no visible means of support. He’s involved in the launch of a new gift wrap product called “DazzleWrap”. Having invested the children’s college fund in this project (in light of earlier reference to report cards, why not?), Joe now feels compelled to talk gift wrap day and night with anyone who’ll listen. Add to this his continuing love of cooking and knowledge of show tunes and Nancy is just waiting for him to cater his own “coming out” party.

 

So, as we say goodbye to 2006 the Franklins note that this is the 10th anniversary of the Franklin Family Holiday newsletter. Over the years the Franklins have heard references to bird cage liners, spare toilet tissue, and the ever popular suggestion that they stop killing trees. Keep those suggestions coming! One can never have too many friends and we always like to hear from you! Peace, love and happiness in 2007!

 

Love,

 

Joe, Nancy, Jimmy and Taylor

Copyright 2007 Nancy Franklin