Wishing you Happy, Healthy Holidays! Didn’t I just do this letter last week? How can it possibly be Christmas time again so soon? I swear it’s some alien plot that is accelerating time! We’ve enjoyed a terrific year full of blessings. More than I have fingers and toes to count. We are enjoying the second year of living “in the country” as Audrey calls it, on a 3‐acre plot just across the city line. My friend and realtor, Gloria, asked me if we were prepared for all the yard work. “Yeah, sure. It’ll be great!” Ha. This summer, the weeds staged a successful coup and assumed control of much of the yard. No horse, yet. But we cleared the back pasture, which required Paul to babysit two bonfires on the hottest day in July. We (not me, but Paul ‐ I’m just taking credit by association) cleared some ground for a garden, which produced some fantastic sweet corn, tons of peppers and some mutant carrots. We squeezed in time for travel. I took Audrey on a weekend trip to Chicago in March, while Paul ran a half marathon in Little Rock, Ark. Audrey and I saw the Broadway show, “Wicked,” and toured museums while Paul ran for miles and got all sweaty. But then, just as Audrey and I were getting ready to leave for the return flight, I noticed that my wallet had been taken out of my purse. Note to self: probably not a good idea to leave a purse wide open while sitting at a food court in a busy Chicago mall. We made it home thanks to a cash loan from the mall security guard. My faith in humanity was restored. In April (or was it May?), I took a weekend trip to Vegas with my mom and sister, Maureen. My mom and I watched an ice skating show while Mo went wild doing God‐knows‐what. I took a day trip to see the Grand Canyon while the two of them auditioned for some sort of Jubilee show. It was all I could do to get them out of the city without having to make bail. In mid‐May, Paul and I experienced our first scooter rally at the Mad Toto Scooter Rally in Kansas City. I took a long day ride with the group to Leavenworth, which was a beautiful course through hills and a gorgeous state park. Everyone was really friendly — and where else can you wear a strapless black dress with dancing skeletons and fit right in? Audrey dug it, too. Paul rode on a breakfast run, but by the last day, participation was waning. In June, Audrey spent her 6th week at Camp Kitaki. Thankfully, we couldn’t fit her camp horse into the back of the station wagon; otherwise I’m sure it would be plodding around the pasture as I type. We WILL get a horse … one of these days. The planets just haven’t been in proper alignment yet. We celebrated my mom’s 80th birthday in July with a Mattas tribal gathering at Ponca State Park. That park is gorgeous! I don’t know how we missed it in our travels around the state. Paul gave the kids, and adults, motorcycle rides. We sang, we laughed, we ate cake. It was good. In August, Paul and I went on another scooter rally, this time in the Quad Cities, Iowa. I invested in a trailer hitch for the wagon so we could haul two scooters. Many thanks to my friend Jon for
loaning his scooter to Paul for the weekend. Again, it was a fantastic experience and we enjoyed getting to know some folks from the Omaha Scooter Club. Audrey started 8th grade at Norris this fall and is doing well. With supervision. She’s into music, computer stuff, hanging out with her friends and reading. She really got into the presidential race this year as a supporter of “:Ba’ rockin Obama.” As we all did ☺ In September, I visited the Obama’s future home with a trip to Washington DC for the AARP annual convention, promoting Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. It was intense, visiting with hundreds of people during the day about the importance of rehab, then getting in as much site seeing and activities as we could at night. The AARP offered fantastic concerts – I saw Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole and Paul Simon. The 26‐year old therapist who traveled with me said she liked Paul Simon and thought he “sounded a little like Dave Matthews.” Good grief. Later in September, we had the 14th Annual Goal Awards celebration at Madonna. I was delighted to work with our keynote speaker, Lee Woodruff, whose husband, Bob, suffered a brain injury while covering the war in Iraq for ABC News. Lee met with many of our patients and shared her encouragement. Check out the videos of our Goal Award honorees on the Madonna Web site: http://tinyurl.com/4k8hfv. I’m really enjoying my job. In October, Paul and I celebrated 20 years of wedded bliss with a trip to Vietnam. I’m telling you, it’s the next Poconos. We had planned on taking a motorcycle tour of the northern part of the country for about 5 days, followed by a few days in Hoi An, which is in central Vietnam. Things never go as planned. We drove for hours that first day, including riding with the millions and billions of scooters, motorbikes, cars, trucks, buses and various forms of pedestrian traffic that fill the streets of Hanoi. We made it through all that, plus a few hours of hairpin curves through the mountains, but just as we were getting to our village for the night, I slid on some sand and crashed. Thankfully, I wasn’t seriously hurt, but banged up enough that I knew I wouldn’t be motorcycling any more that trip. The tour guide set us up with a new itinerary that included an overnight junk boat trip in Halong Bay, which was stunningly beautiful. You can see the travel blog at http://tinyurl.com/4wrkvd. In November, we visited Paul’s family in Springfield, Mo. for Thanksgiving and enjoyed three days of feasting and watching movies and sports with the Nance clan. Audrey has two beautiful Nance cousins who seem to grow a foot every holiday. I guess that means she’s growing up, too. This month we stayed put. Audrey and I were busy with the clown corps in the Star City Holiday Parade. Audrey and her friend, Ethan, were the banner carriers for the clowns. Paul has been busy with year‐end work for Strenuus. It’s nice that he can work from home. Though, I still can’t tell you exactly what it is that his company does. I assume it’s legal. Are you still reading? Jeesh! Go have some eggnog and enjoy the holidays! Keep in touch. Paul, Molly and Audrey Nance 9200 S. 64th Cir. Lincoln, NE 68516 402‐486‐0707
Holiday greetings accompanied by the obligatory summary of family activities.