Grapevine revisited
 Christmas Letter
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This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Christmas 02

The Day After Christmas
By James A. Nonymous, 1/26/03

It’s the day after Christmas; our three-floor townhouse
Is cosy and quiet, it's absent one mouse.
Our dear old cat, Leonard, departed last year,
No longer is present to keep our house clear.
While Charlie and Ann sat with Steve Christmas night
Our new cat named Midas gave mousie a fright:
In front of the fireplace so merry and gay,
Our Midas was playing and munching away.

And Steve in his slippers and I in my robe
Are soon getting ready to circle the globe.
My papers are signed for retirement, you see.
Beginning the First of September we'll be
As free as two birds or two clowns or two hoboes
And hopefully we'll soar as eagles, not dodos.
We're travelling often and travelling light
So we might stay with you the next Christmas night.

But this isn't meant to be next year's perspective,
But rather, our annual late retrospective.
And so I must tell you, I'm grateful this year
For years in the cornfields and friends far and near,
For family and children that bring us delight,
For warm homes that cheer us on long winter nights.
And for Steve's operations that were a success,
In these ways and more do we find ourselves blessed.

Since early in childhood I've really loved learning
And until I was thirty, 'twas for school I kept burning.
For thirty-three years I have been a professor
While striving for title of Andris the Lesser
I've wrote a few papers, set up a few labs,
Taught computers to colleagues in dribbles and dabs.
But my biggest boast, while I am ringing this gong:
The teachers I taught now stand ten thousand strong.

This year we had visits that made us quite happy,
We saw Stephen's daughter, the pride of her pappy.
In Boston she lives with dear Dawn, who's her spouse,
This year they bought and decorated their house.
The downstairs is owned by their good friend, Joanna,
Who's handy with woodwork and one careful planner.
Before Boston drivers and streets, I am meek:
Parked the car and then I didn't drive for a week.

And at the same time, saw Tamaji and Merrill,
Who were celebrating their 50th Affairel.
Their families had met where New York meets Japan
For a gala occasion with toasts, roasts and band.
With Elizabeth and Gilbert, we stayed on Cape Cod
And visited marshes and much sandy sod.
And Jennifer Phillips, our former good Rector,
Now has a new vicarage where they respect her.

My mother, God bless her, has turned eighty nine,
And other than back pain, she's doing quite fine.
She lived for a while with my sister and Jerry.
They're out in the country with bird, bark and berry.
But she missed her home, and the neighbors that came,
Her low kitchen counters, and lone Scrabble game.
So some time in January, she left from the hill ups
And hurried right on back to old five twelve Phillips.

Her grandson and wife, they've moved back into town.
They're living on Fifth Street, they sold all their ground.
And Jeff, he is walking and feeling so fit.
We all are quite pleased, cause his ankle is knit.
While Corby and Joe down in North Carolina
Are raising two sons and couldn't be finer.
And youngest son, TJ at Ohio State
Is becoming a middle school teacher of late.

And then, Brother Tom, of the two jobs or three,
And his good wife, Dee, have grandkids at their knee.
'Cause Heidi, their daughter, has moved in with them.
She's out on her own, and she's back in the swim.
Still living at our house is Adam, their son.
Whose bid for a masters in music's begun.
And Jessica now has become his fiancée.
With working at night, he's busy, you don't say?!

You say that you're ready to end this epistle?
Well, before we all fly like the down on a thistle,
This year has gone by just as slick as a whistle.
I must say that most of our life just continues
With bridge clubs and play groups and rag musicvenues.
We still come in last playing duplicate bridge.
But who the hell cares, when dessert's in the 'fridge.

My folio's done, and next year I will publish
And hope that it turns out more music than rubbish.
Both Stephen and I are inveterate hams
We jump at good play parts whenever we can.
He sings in the choir and I serve on the altar.
He lines up the servers, in case I should falter.
He lines up the neighbors with projects and plans.
And recycles newspaper, plastic and cans.

He reorganizes the birds in the air.
I can't find a thing unless he shows me where.
Each month we still meet at the Ragtime Rendezvous.
For a drink and some rags and a boogie or two.
My memory for music is still very plain;
It's the only thing left that still works in this brain.
My studies continue of our family tree.
And each new branch I find just fills me with glee.

In just this October my mom I enlisted
To meet a new cousin she didn't know existed.
Ok, you've been patient and read what I say
Or maybe you've already thrown it away.
But I hope that you haven't tuned out on me still,
'Cause I've got a final commission to fill.
I raise my glass high, and I offer a toast
You're one of the friends that I treasure the most.
So let me proclaim, as I run out of prose.
Happy New Year, Dear Friend, let me know how it goes.