Christmastime 1985

Yes, Virginia, another family Christmas letter:

It’s greeting time again from Hoosierland — the place where all the credit unions are forever asking the disturbing question, “Hoosier banker?”

We Cratons have certainly had another exciting year here in Bedford. As one should be made aware, the passage of time is, of course, about the most exciting thing that occurs around these climes. Perhaps that explains why this year has seen us doing a bit more traveling than usual.

We are happy to report at the outset that we are all well (within reason, anyway) and that life in Bedford has proved to be only little worse than anticipated. Of the many precipitous events that have befallen us here, not least was our initiation into the ranks of the “Yes, But We’re Wiser For It” Homeowner’s Hall of Fame and Rapidly Disappearing Income Society. Yes, we have bravely withstood the onslaughts of climate, bank, and utilities all. Our lovely 1902 edition domicile has recenty undergne a rather thorough bowel resection. Inb the last two months alone our poor old home has had to have a complete electrical rewiring operation, a new boiler installation for the heating system, and all new storm glass window replacements to help keep in what the new boiler produces. (We love wildlife, but grew somewhat disgruntled watching the local sparrows — too dumb to fly south for the winter — steam-roasting miniature hot dogs round the upper sashes of our second-floor windows last year.) We are glad to have all this work completed, but hope that next year we can use our home-improvement funds to remodel so that we can move the goats out and the john in.

Dr. Debbie’s medical practice is doing nicely. It continues to grow by leaps and bounds (or heaves and wounds, as the case may be). At last count she had well over 2,000 patients. (Would that she could only acquire a comparable amount of patience!) She seems quite happy in her work (a good sign) and says she derives her greatest pleasure from draining sebaceous cysts (not a good sign). Outside of occasionally fantasizing a terrorist attack on the medical bureaucracy, Debbie seems content ith the way her practice is going.

Ben is growing remarkably fast and has already begun practicing for a stellar performance as a Terrible Two. He’s generally well-behaved, though, with only interludes of blatant contradiction (usually observed at the most inauspicious times). His biggest shortcoming is his vocabulary, or lack thereof. Though apparently quite an intelligent young gentleman, his entire lexical utterings consist of the words “juice,” “clock,” “ball,” and “exegetical hermeneutics.” His vocal reservations seem not to indicate any shortcomings of language acquisition, however, because he understands virtually anything anyone says to him. Why just the other day he and his dad carried on a very excited hand-motion discussion of space-time variations in respect to certain aspects of quantum mechanics.

Old Dad himself has semi-retired from the role of Mr. Mom and has — of all things — started to work. This past March he began his own little enterprise cleaning carpets. Now known as Cardinal Carpet Care, the business has done remarkably well, considering the management handicap. It’s still operating in the red, as one normally expects the first year, but hopefully it will soon convert to the ideals of Western capitalism. Barring that, perhaps it could simply be renamed something along the order of “People’s Carpet Collective.”

But ’tis time for these meaningless ramblings to cease for another year. We hope you and yours have a very happy holiday season. Till next thyme, we remain seasonally yours,

John Douglas, Debbie, & Ben Craton

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