Well, Ho, Ho, Holy Cow it’s Christmas again!  How in the heck does this happen?  Every year about this time, just when I’m enjoying the end of bugs and weeds and other summer-ish things this Christmas deal pops up!  I mean seriously, I’m barely over my tryptophan-induced coma and haven’t gotten through half of my Halloween candy yet!

As near as I can tell we didn’t do anything this past year.  Except move.  All of us.  Now we’re living in a glorified storage unit, Nate and Maddie are in Benson and Abbie is in the Blackstone neighborhood.  We bought a lot out west almost to the Elkhorn River but haven’t decided now whether we want to build a house on it or just put up a blind and sell turkey hunting rights.  Gotta love a side hustle!

Speaking of work, Nate’s still at Vesta and moonlights leading a class or two at his gym.  He also has a part-time gig at Helping U Barbeque where, near as I can tell, he learns something every week about how I’m completely inept at the grill.  Maddie left her hospital gig (big story there, no space here to tell it) but she’s working as a waitress at Mantra and still at Nebraska Dance Studio while finishing that Nursing degree (May graduation, YAY!!).  Abbie is now the Product Designer as well as all her other responsibilities at Opendorse.  I don’t know what she does but it sounds a lot more important than Manager at The Hartford Livestock Insurance which is what I’m still up to.  I’m also still writing a bunch on my blog at giffinlife.com and enjoying it.  Brandie’s still with Sterneck Capital and loving it probably mostly because she gets away twice a month to sunny MO.  She’s also the Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors for Grief’s Journey, a grief counseling service here in town.

We intended to travel to sunny Puerto Rico but SOMEBODY ordered a hurricane (I blame a vast left-wing conspiracy) and that got washed away.  We did make it to Denver in May for Abbie’s birthday and a Chris Stapleton concert where we froze.  The Denver trip was shortly after my first surgery of the year (back).  I’m still recuperating from my second surgery (knee replacement) as I write this.  You may ask, why two surgeries in one year?  Simple I had a BOGO coupon.  My take on these two experiences:  Omaha has great docs and nurses, new pain meds are fantastic and Physical Therapists are sadists.  Not really but they do hurt me a lot.

Both the girls went to Spain this year and didn’t take us.  Nate went to Indiana and didn’t take us.  Brandie and I went to outstate Nebraska and other Midwest locales and they didn’t ask to come along.  We don’t know why.

All in all it was a splendid year wherein yours truly and my merry band of misfits did our best to make our way in this old world.  We hope that you will keep the meaning of Christmas close to your heart this year and that you will make the time to enjoy the company of your own clan.