“Holiday newsletter”

You know the kind of thing I’m talking about. An older relative or friend sends out Christmas cards with a folded sheet of paper inserted, dense with text about people you have never met, or whom you saw once as an infant. Or they shoot out an email newsletter, if, like many of my family members, they’ve been online since the BBS days. My other relatives are all on Facebook, which I quit last year, so I don’t see their online holiday updates; I wouldn’t see them anyway because Facebook insists on showing me people I’m not interested in. (I quit Instagram because it was turning into TikTok Lite. I just left Twitter, because billionaire megalomania and mean-spirited conservatism masquerading as libertarianism is boring to me. I am not myself on Reddit, so no family members will find me; and I doubt if many of them are on Mastodon yet. But I digress.)

Here’s my holiday newsletter, which explains why I haven’t been updating for a while.

  • I published Dog of the Dead on Kindle. People liked it.
  • My aged, weathered, arthritic, toothless cat developed cataracts and glaucoma. She has gumption and an appetite, so she’s still with me.
  • Boris Johnson resigned. The Queen died. Russia invaded Ukraine. Bolsonaro denied the election. My home state elected a governor who wasn’t an election denier, and a Senator who actually lives in the state and isn’t a snake oil salesman. I can’t remember the order in which these things happened.
  • The Phillies made the World Series but though they didn’t win, it was still miraculous.
  • I took care of my grandchild two days a week. Loving someone small with all your heart is very good for the mood. Also, small children are hilarious. And his parents are raising him beautifully.
  • I finally got COVID, but because I was vaccinated and double boosted, Paxlovid got me through pretty well. Actually, the RSV I got recently was worse. I continue to wear an N95 mask because why not? My city isn’t truculent about it. People are dying at the rate of 300 a day still, mostly people my age and older. The last couple of years I realized that people don’t think they’re ever going to get old, and they think being old means you’re not having fun and might as well die.
  • I managed to qualify for another World Over-50 US team, went to Croatia, and won my third official Over-50 World Championship in 70+ women’s sabre. I did it so I could fill up the plaque I have with all my medals listed. And I also did it so I would have an excuse to fly business class for once in my life (It’s nice, but not that nice).
  • My husband of 46 years died of the cancer that was diagnosed two years before. We had a lovely graveside service and a festive memorial picnic, and he is buried in a pretty place. I am fine now, thank you. No, seriously. People keep coming up to me and looking grave and haunted because death scares them terribly, and I have to tell them I am actually kind of okay. I’m not sure they like that answer. The grief counselor I’m seeing took a while to adjust to my attitude, which is that pain happens and the only way out is through. I think he’s used to fierce denial and avoidance. Everyone is different. Also, I had two years to grieve before my spouse died, so there’s that.
  • I rejoined Facebook, but only to use my neighborhood Buy Nothing group. People take anything: A smart TV, some exercise equipment, boxes of nitrile gloves, a rowing machine, Bottles of Ensure, incontinence bed-pads, two percolators, and a jewelry box I never used, for instance. You might say I should sell everything and get a little money, but that’s too much like work. I could get a junk hauler to come and take them away for a large sum, which is easier but expensive. Or I could link people up with their heart’s desire, and have them take everything away themselves for free, so my husband’s nice things can help him live on and so I don’t contribute more than necessary to the planet’s wealth of discarded playthings.

There you go. All caught up.

The function of these newsletters, I think, is partly to reassure people that you haven’t been sitting home alone ignoring them, nor have they been ignoring you. And believe me, I meant to update. But somehow all I could do for a few months was play solitaire on my phone.

I’m off to deliver a pair of baby gates to a neighbor. Let me know how you’re doing if you have a moment.

6 thoughts on ““Holiday newsletter”

  1. Anne Woiwode says:


    That is just about the best holiday newsletter I’ve ever seen (I actually read it all, which is a sign of it’s quality!). I’m glad you are fine – and still winning championships! Thanks for all you do for the earth, and for that little person you are indoctrinating two days a week – grandchildren are truly amazing.

    Much love and keep it up — I look forward to the 2023 missive!

    1. DMT says:

      Anne – Oh, wow, I’m so happy to hear from you! I’m glad you liked it, and now I’ll have to do another one next year 🙂 Hope you’re well. I wish I could do more individually for the earth, but I can try my best not to make it worse. Aren’t grandchildren astonishing?

  2. Sandy says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your husband passed away. I agree any time spent with grandchildren brings light and joy to one’s days. Even when one is has a mischievous glint in his eye and openly goes his own way respite anything his grandmother suggests.

    We will finally be moving into our new home. We have waited a year for furniture after losing our stuff(and it’s just stuff) on the tornado. We are fine and continue to fight the good fight against old age maladies.
    Congratulations on your fencing win. Please keep in touch.

    1. DMT says:

      Hi Sandy! Oh, my gosh, I didn’t realize you were a victim of the tornado! I’m so glad your furniture finally arrived and you are finally moving. This getting old thing is interesting, isn’t it? I was just thinking about that mischievous glint you mention, and honestly when I’m the grandmother and not the parent, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much this time around.

  3. Leslie says:

    My condolences about your husband’s passing. Also, grief is a funny thing; everyone needs to grieve in their own way and in their own time. I liked your holiday letter. It was informative and succinct while still interesting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.