Christmas Greetings from the Highlands Ranch Fergusons. Holy heck has this year been a roller coaster. Not the Disney kind, though. A backyard roller coaster. Built out of two by fours, pallets, and probably razor wire. And really tall. That might kill you. Buckle up. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
We’d normally tell our funny story in a chronological order, but we’d be diminishing the loss if we didn’t start by communicating our hard, sad news first. Byron’s mom Carolyn Ferguson passed away in May.
Carolyn, a fierce mom and born saleswoman, who kept selling nearly to the end of her life, will be missed by many. She’d been sleeping much more, was less responsive, and was generally deteriorating since January. Pre COVID-19, Byron visited regularly, post COVID-19 only virtually. Carolyn continued to say, right up until the end, how much she hoped she’d meet a good Christian man. Her prospects, unfortunately, had dwindled substantially, though she rolled down to various visiting “churches,” for song, sermon, and one-eye-open for that good Christian. Byron suspects that his mom took joy that her son, a proclaimed atheist, came along with her, even if it cramped her dating “game.” Byron hopes they have some nice singles groups up in heaven.
COVID-19, early in the year, changed some things for the Fergusons. Byron and Toni found themselves working from home- a luxury we do not take lightly. At the same time, Kyra, who graduated last year, continued to look for jobs that were becoming increasingly scarce. Nolan discovered he’d be watching his graduation from the living room with his parents. Wonderfully, the whole thing brought us closer together. The four of us played board games, looked to each other for support, took turns feeding the wood stove to bake sourdough from starter, fed the milk cows each morning, and shouted “good night John boy,” from the loft at bed time.
In July, in a sudden desire to return to home ownership now that all the Ferguson kids had graduated, the Ferguson’s made a sudden and last-minute decision to move from their “college” rental to something they could own. Apparently, everyone else in Colorado, trying to outrace COVID-19 finance circumstances, were racing to do the same, and EVERY single house they looked at was gone the next day. Considering the absurdity of it all, two of the Ferguson’s were ready to move to Italy, or buy an RV, or get a teeny tiny condo for two, unfortunately their parents still wanted a place where everyone could ride out the COVID-19 storm or corporate headquarters.
Finally, the crew found a place that would fit the bill. The Ferguson’s packed up their farm and moved to Beverly- actually just another house one mile away from their current one. Slightly smaller, slightly newer, all theirs again.
The Ferguson’s promptly set about making the necessary changes to their house to make it their headquarters and COVID-19 bunker. Back in 2012, when the world ended in that Mayan calendar debacle, the Ferguson’s had upgraded most of the cars to zombie tanks, and were still embarrassingly driving them around that way. The Ferguson’s have the last laugh now, cause those pandemic cars are now mostly parked in a garage gathering dust. In the same garage, lined with shelving sits row upon row of toilet paper, or Charmin gold as we like to call it. Let other’s waste their money on Bitcoin.
From the new Ferguson corporate headquarters, Kyra and Nolan continued their job search. Only months after graduating, Nolan was already bemoaning his lack of success. Kyra, now looking for nearly a year, only just managed to keep from killing him in his sleep. Luckily for everyone in the house that is not Kyra, Kyra found a job before Nolan and now works for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. Kyra’s job is very technical, but her parents understand as being paid to tell people they are wrong- aka the perfect job for her. Byron and Toni started the architect’s plans to turn Kyra’s room into their “Gift Wrapping Room,” when Kyra announced she’d be able to do her job mostly from home. Byron and Toni carried the wrapping paper back to the basement.
Nolan just behind Kyra, also landed a job- his in Colorado Springs with an Aerospace company- Dynetics. Byron and Toni, giddy that the wrapping paper room plans were back on, carried the wrapping paper back upstairs again. Nolan informed them both he was still “unemployed,” until he could receive his provisional security clearance, but we left the paper propped against the wall. By the time that Nolan’s clearance cleared (Clearance Clarence?), however, Nolan learned that he too could work from home. Byron and Toni carried the wrapping paper back to the basement once more. This time for the foreseeable future.
Around October, Byron noticed he was seeing double vision out of the right side of his view. Mostly, he used this to his advantage by doubling his money, “chance” cards, and shots of vodka. Unfortunately, while seeking a diagnosis, both eyes started not working and a trip to the ER revealed Byron is now the new owner of an immune system disease, myasthenia gravis, that attacks the junctions between nerves and muscles. The good news is it appears to be relatively treatable, and Byron is now sporting a swell eye patch until his eyes either do or do not fully respond to the treatment. Byron prefers to think that the eye patch makes him look like Snake Pliskin in Escape from New York, but in fact it probably makes him look like Ruprecht from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Also, in October, the Fergusons added a new family member. Byron had sworn, since leaving Parker five years ago, and losing our last dog Jon-Jon, that the Fergusons were done with pets. The other Fergusons wore him down, however, and in October the clan adopted Moneypenny, aka Penny. Toni laughs as Byron feigns indifference while still cuddling, playing, and petting his new favorite dog. Byron swears this one is the smartest he’s ever had. Kyra, who really is “in-charge” of the dog, and Byron, tag team training. Penny now knows and responds to somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 commands putting her a close second to our smart speaker Alexa, but number one in cuteness. Penny has her own YouTube channel. If you want the ultimate antidote to 2020 go getcha some puppy cuteness. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi-Vs5-H-4_d9gh26xYK-jA
No doubt some of the effects of COVID-19 will trickle on into 2021, but the Ferguson’s for one are particularly looking forward to their Christmas together. Something is warm and reassuring about time with friends and family. We hope your holidays are as equally a tonic to you! Let’s go rip up 2021!
Christmas from the Fergusons!