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· Epistolary Happy Holidays ·

I've been on holiday for a month. This is not to say I've accomplished nothing, for though incommunicado I've been implementing tools of other trades — indeed driven by car to California and back, survived some bureaucratic school chores, wired my son's garage recently, and, even, endured the services of a distant knife-wielding dentist. I've also compressed the air of our holiday cheer with remarkably efficiency, which is to say I've sent off another abbreviated Christmas missive.

I thought to share it today — though you'll get no added Bush-whacking letter from Laura now. My last one, in Two Christmas Letters, in Minor and Major Washington Style, might suffice for some semi-inspired introduction. In any event, do enjoy our 2005

Happy Holidays

Dear Family and Friends,

Our year began with the death in January of Styles' beloved sister-in-law JoAn. To celebrate her long life with Styles' brother Styleshort, we flew in early February to attend her memorial service in California. They had been married almost fifty years.

Over spring break we flew east to Washington, D.C., staying in suburban Virginia in a B&B operated by Sharon Reingold, one of Stylish's P.E.O. sisters. Sharon and her husband Rob, who works with the American Meteorological Society, gave us an especially warm welcome in Washington's typically rainy, late-March weather.

Summer was more pleasant, starting with the Fourth of July. Suave and Savvy had us staying over with her parents at their beach cabin on Camano Island. Including Suave and Savvy, all of us enjoyed fireworks outside on a perfectly pleasant Northwest evening. On the following day we met up briefly with Styleshort at SeaTac. He informed us of his budding interest in one Wittywise Solemnchoice, inquiring if double-knee replacement was right for her: Savvy advised, "Go for it."

In early August we enjoyed separate getaways to Vancouver and Banff (Stylish with friends by train, and Styles on his motorcycle), later driving off to Rochester, where we visited a week with Suave and Savvy. On our way back we visited Soulful's brother Mort in Kansas City, toured briefly in Denver, made a loop through Yellowstone, and — to understand just how good we had it — headed west over Lemhi Pass in Montana near to the day Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery did so in 1805. Quite a thrill.

Here we've had still more wonderful experiences. In November Smart and Soulful informed us of their purchasing Suave's old place at 711 Nth Street. Just as significant was The Goodplace's winning a $180,000 grant in August from Seattle's Bishop Foundation and Soulful's being selected earlier — with other Northwest artists, including Dale Chihuly — to do a "Red Door" for Seattle's Gilda Radner Cancer Research Foundation. Smart and Soulful are doing fine here.

Best was our traveling over Thanksgiving to a Los Angeles wedding. Wittywise stood on two new knees — neither of them knocking, we thought — promising to become the new Mrs. Stylechoice of Camarillo, California. We are happy for Styleshort and for our lovely new sister-in-law Wittywise.

Our best to each of you wherever you are this Holiday Season.

Not bad compression, huh, for the shortest day of the year?

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