I'm a bit stumped this year.  It's time for me to make up a wallop of a holiday newsletter and it's just not flowing out of me like it has in the past. And you know how much I enjoy lying!  It's fun, it's healthy, it's good for a girl or a boy.  There are also more family members requesting this letter (ironic, no?).  I used to just send it out to the friends I thought would "get it".  I've got some ideas but….

Well, while I'm working through it, here's last year's letter.   (P.S. Suggestions welcome.)      – wg

Christmas 2008

Dear Friends & Loved Ones,

We hope this letter finds you well and that you have had a year filled with joy and grace!  Our year was much changed from previous years.   Most of it was spent transitioning to a school routine for young master Chance – (sniff! they grow up so fast!) – but once we acclimated to the new schedule we prepared ourselves to settle into the blessed quiet of suburban domesticity.

Fate, however, had other plans for the wg/Keen household.  As many families do, we spend much of our time at Chance’s preschool.   It was on one of these fateful visits that our year took a dramatic turn!  It had been raining heavily for several days, and the little tykes at school were fair chomping at the bit to get outside.   The day we dropped in happened to be the first day of sun and Keen and I stayed to watch the children rush with wild abandon onto the playground.

Only to watch horrified as a huge sinkhole opened up, swallowing a portion of the field and many of the children!  Of course, Keen, I, and the school teachers all rushed to the scene.  The children seemed to be fine but when we jumped down we discovered a network of underground tunnels!  That’s when we were confronted by the strangest sight the wg/Keen household has ever seen… an ancient man in a tattered 70s era three-piece suit stood in the tunnel with mouth agape, accompanied by assorted Mole Men; that legendary race of mutant half men, half mole (who are, surprisingly, quite a bit shorter than fictional media has depicted them).   The old man was obviously their leader and the Mole Men, perceiving a threat, immediately went on the attack; waddling towards us with razor-sharp claws extended.  However, as any parent knows, there is no beating the viciousness of riled up toddlers.  I yelled, “They took your snack!” and the preschoolers (Chance at the forefront) swarmed the Mole Men.  Keen, thinking quickly as usual, swiped a play parachute from one of the teacher’s hands to further subdue the little buggers (children and moles).  It was all over in minutes.

That’s when their leader approached us, finally overcoming his shock.  It was none other than the long-missing, teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa!  It turns out Jimmy really was buried in a field… but, not quite dead, he was rescued by the Mole Men.   With so many people gunning for him at the time, (and finding his rescuers in a sadly unorganized state,) he decided to stay amongst the Mole Men, ruling their underground domain.  (Mining for gold and jewels didn’t hurt, either.)

We were all incredibly moved by Jimmy Hoffa’s story.  He was still questionably mob-like, still living in fear, but he had also dramatically improved conditions for the working Mole Man (and who can frown at that?).  That’s when Keen and I persuaded the teachers to launch a school-wide, albeit secret, project to help repair the Mole Men’s tunnel (it’s amazing what a federal arts grant will cover these days).  It took several months, but we helped the underground society and continued to protect Jimmy’s whereabouts, while the children learned about community service, structural engineering, and the science of moles.  Win-win!

Now reflecting on our heart-warming year and this, the season of giving, we sincerely wish that you and your family enjoy your very own Mole Men moment.  Again, we hope you are well and our best to you all!

Love always,

The wg/Keen Family