Greetings from the Parker Fergusons- Byron, Toni, Nolan & Kyra.

After last year’s newsletter, we finally did sell our house and move from Golden, CO to Parker, CO. We fully expected tropic retirement weather 20 miles further south, but apparently the chamber of commerce took a little “Iattitude” with their boasts of pool side
cabanas- we’re still in Colorado.

Our new home affords us all sorts of luxuries our old house didn’t- running water, indoor plumbing, that sort of thing. Actually our old house had that stuff; we just couldn’t all use it at the same time. The Parker house (or Tara as Toni likes to call it) has lots of space, multiple bathrooms, and plenty of water pressure.
Byron & Toni will tum two of the upstairs bedrooms into a Comedy Club. Hosting weekly cabarets for our resident 4-year-old comedians- Nolan and Kyra, seems like a good way to raise some extra cash. Kyra currently performs a comedy magic act. Kyra artfully raises and lowers a blanket in front of tier brother to magically find he has disappeared. (Masked
magician’s note: he actually just runs around the corner.)  Kyra’s act becomes unintentionally funny, however, when Nolan giggles uncontrollably revealing Kyra’s secret.
To be fair, Kyra giggles just as much when Nolan “makes her disappear.

Nolan’s strictly an old-school “jokes” guy. While listening to Byron and Toni’s butchered attempts to learn French from a CD, Nolan began reciting phrases, too. Byron turned to Nolan and asked, “Nolan, how do you say ‘breakfast in French?” Nolan, without skipping a beat in perfect deadpan replied, “Breakfast in French.” Bada Boom. Nolan also enjoys making up his own jokes, like “Q: Why did the dog not eat his breakfast? A: Because when he got out of the car, he sort of got bonked … ” Byron and Toni don’t enjoy these jokes nearly so much, but Kyra seems to enjoy them. The Parker Comedy Club is open 7 days a week with a two milk minimum. Breakfast in French is: Le petit dejeune.

Kyra, in addition to her promising comedy career, participates weekly in dance class. Byron and Toni anxiously awaited Kyra’s first recital this year. Throngs of family and friends received invitations to watch Kyra dance. little Kyra, however, refused to be included. Kyra decided the metallic green skirt now attached to her pink leotard was both A) not like practice, and B) not a Nieman Marcus product. Instead of dancing, therefore, Kyra crossed her arms and stood a good two feet away from the other kids.
Afterwards, Byron and Toni could be heard sheepishly answering the question, “Which one was yours?” with the answer … “Uh, you know the one that didn’t dance?” The other parents just laughed knowingly.Next year, we’re sure she’ll be lead in the Nutcracker Ballet.

Nolan and Kyra also take ice skating lessons. Decked out in hockey skates, helmets, and pads, ice waddling-lessons would be a more accurate descriptioi1~ Kyra-has taken tG the ice slower-than No/an. Toni recently switched Kyra from hockey to figure skates ( a sad moment for hockey fan, Toni.) Nolan, however, ploddingly waddles from one side of the rink to the other, dispatching seven-year-olds, ten-year-olds, and even a few thirty-year-olds playing pickup, with a quick clothesline, a trip, or an out-and-out pull down. Byron, being a dad, secretly thrills at our own budding Barry Beck, but halfheartedly contributes, “Now Nolan, don’t knock down those bigger kids,” for the onlooking parents or wives. Kyra continues to daintily skate between Nolan’s wake of destruction.

Gus, Molly, and Guiness, or two St. Bernards and a mutt, accomplished some feats of their own this year. Gus, our male 5t. Bernard, finished his AKC championship in about half the time of his mother, Molly. Toni puffs up like a proud Peacock when discussing all of Gus’ ribbons and future plans. In addition to “campaigning” Gus, Toni continues to scheme to place both Kyra and Gus in an upcoming production of Annie. Presumably, Kyra would play an orphan girl and Gus would play Sandy the orphan dog. Byron awakens from nightmares imagining a drool-drenched Annie cast caroming about the stage in a frenetic version of dog-meets-cast bowling. Only a Johnny Cochran defense “if its drool, it must be
cool,” might save us from financial ruin.

Normally its impossible for anyone other than immediate family (or the St. Bernards) to garner mention in our Christmas greetings. This year, however, Byron’s sister Diane inched her way in by skydiving. Byron, to his chagrin, is banned from such extreme sports, by both his own conscience, and perhaps more importantly by Toni. Byron’s attempts to pseudo·dive included standing on the sofa, tying a powder blue blanket to his back, and leaping to the berber below. Unfortunately, Byron even twisted his ankle doing that, so now he’s been banned from that, too.

The major news this year, terrorism and anthrax, occupied much of OUf attention. Fortunately for us, when a local anthrax scare closed the Parker post office, everything turned out fine. Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and hazardous material units cordoned off surrounding streets when a suspicious envelope leaked a white powder. Toni immediately suspected the powder wasn’t Anthrax. Instead, Toni facetiously suspected the powder was Byron’s. Toni hid, convinced that one of Byron’s mail·order magic tricks or gizmos sat leaking at the Parker post office. Fortunately, Byron had nothing to do with the envelope. Instead, some ne’r-do-well transported Jell-O Pudding across state lines. Not just any Jell-O pudding, however. Vanilla- a substance suspected for years of degrading this country’s moral fabric, abhorred by the political left, and only slightly more dangerous than pink cotton candy.

Living in a “covenant controlled” neighborhood required Byron to scale back his some-would-say excessive Christmas lights this year. The Ferguson house is now far too close to Denver International Airport to leave the surplus anti-aircraft lights with red and green gels running around the clock. DIA agreed to use Byron’s lights as backup, however. With spotlights removed, Byron hoped to compensate with additional strings. Together, Byron and the next-door-neighbor rented a hydraulic cherry picker to assist with lighting their respective houses. Not even Tim Allen ever did such a crazy thing. The day after Thanksgiving, the two began work. Unfortunately, the day quickly deteriorated into a
blizzard. With near whiteout conditions, and whipping 20·mph winds, Byron and neighbor- RJ., launched their staple gun attack on the upper eves. Unfortunately, the crane’s boom could only extend 19′ out and 30 feet up, requiring multiple rehitchings to reach the entire house. Theoretically, the 2500 pound crane could be moved by hand, but Byron and RJ. barely convinced the crane to stay parked on the steep driveway once the outriggers were retracted and parking break released. Nearly half·a·day later, Byron and R.J. finished the upper strands of lights. Both abandoned any hope of renting out their cherry-picking services to the neighbors to offset the cost of rental. They’re soaking wet clothes, frost-bitten fingers, and icicle bound equipment, forced them to retreat to the warmth of indoors to lick their wounds.

The next day (with 65 degree weather, of course), Byron and RJ completed they’re lights without the crane. R.J., much to his dismay, initially appeared unable to light his upper lights. A power problem, now unfixable without the crane, sabotaged RJ.’s display. Byron feared the same for his lights and quietly (without rubbing RJ.’s nose it) sighed with relief when the whine of the backyard generators indicated the upstairs lights were running. Toni, actually elated with the end result, still couldn’t refrain from asking, “How are you going to take the lights down?” A slightly panicked look slowly crept over Byron’s face, but he vows to carry on bravely.

From our new home base in Parker, Byron, Toni, Nolan, and Kyra, wish you and yours a safe, happy, prosperous Christmas and New Years. And P.S.- please don’t send us any vanilla pudding!

Byron, Toni, Nolan and Kyra Ferguson