Christmas 2004

Greetings from the Parker Fergusons. 2005 marks the 100th year anniversary of Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which we believe stated something about relatives. Einstein, a certified genius, struggled to keep up with his friends and relatives, and yet, he wasted countless hours to create a simple line: E=MC2. Many geniuses
lack common sense. We on the other hand, continue to find the Christmas newsletter a successful method to communicate with friends and loved ones the going on of the Fergusons. Gosh we’re smart.

In February, Byron turned in his bus pass, made his last contribution to a “homeless” 16th street mall resident, and took a new job closer to home. Byron left P2 Energy Solutions, for a new job as Software Development Manager for MDC Holdings, Inc. (better known as Richmond American Homes.) Byron can now say he has written software for Cows, Beer, Oil, and Houses. Still, he longs to write software for Pinto Beans.

Nolan and Kyra, our now resident second graders, continue to attend Challenge to Excellence Charter School. Kyra reads vociferously- swallowing up every “Judy B.” book Barbara Parks writes, writing in her journal daily, and taunting her father with regular recitals from the seat of our piano. Much to his chagrin, Kyra plays piano much better than her father. Byron is considering taking up any instrument that Kyra shows no interest in- which currently appears to only include the Pan Flute.

Nolan, when offered sufficient reward, progresses well in his studies, too. Unfortunately for him, his male role models can make the task difficult. Nolan’s Godfather- “Uncle Vance,” the world’s foremost authority on military history, straightened Nolan out on his Viking homework. Vikings DID NOT use slaves to row their ships, instead leaving rowing to professionals. Nolan gleefully took it upon himself to inform his teacher that she was wrong. Oops.

Fortunately, Nolan’s genial nature, and comic timing, wins friends. The teacher’s newsletter often quotes Nolan. A lesson on Mexican folklore detailed a tradition to send notes to deceased loved ones using kites. Nolan quipped, “I did that once. I sent it up on a kite and it came back down and bonked me on the head.” Another time, the bolts of an empty desk seemed to draw Nolan’s attention away from class work. Nolan’s teacher, inquiring what the problem was, was informed that, “I can’t study. That thing keeps staring at me.” Nolan and Kyra took larger parts in this year’s school production of Snow White. Over eighty kids tried out, and surprise, surprise, our kids made the cut. There are advantages to being producer and director. The show was double cast and had two rehearsals, two shows, and two Snow Whites. Kyra and Nolan played Dickory and Dock, the dwarves. What? You never heard of Weepy, Curly, Hickory, Dickory, Doc, Little Banjo, and Echo Echo? We’re guessing someone didn’t want to pay royalties to Disney. The C2E drama program will be performing on its own stage this year, since the school finally finished its four million dollar building in November.

Nolan and Kyra love their new class rooms. Toni loves the new stage. Byron loves that he can retire from his position on the board. In addition to helping out at school, Toni is now in her third year of professional wedding photography- and recently shot her 50th wedding! Surprisingly, pretty weddings make pretty wedding pictures. Weddings of pregnant brides at the trailer court swimming pool lack a certain “je ne sais quoi.” Open bar means a keg of Bud. Toni now accepts only celebrity and model clients who are having televised or professionally produced weddings.

In August, Byron became a member of a protected class- the over forty. Byron is quite relieved knowing that should a heartless corporation ever fire him- he’ll now be able to sue their arses off for age discrimination. Toni, threw a surprise party, and then flew the two of them down to Florida. (And boy, were her arms tired … )
In Florida, Byron and Toni visited with Byron’s sister, Diane. Diane, born on the same day but a year later celebrated her birthday, too. The group rested, relaxed, and recreated. Byron and Toni snorkeled off the Florida Keys. Ok, Toni snorkeled. Byron panicked, flailed about, drank seawater, and generally freaked out in quite the not pretty way. Fortunately the boat was only 25 feet away. When you believe you are drowning its hard to remember to float on your back, to take the snorkel out of your mouth, or to breath normally. After hyperventilating on the boat for nearly an hour, Byron returned to the water with a different (i.e. working) snorkel and a lime-green foam noodle float (he wanted water wings- but they didn’t have any), and got in 5 minutes of snorkeling before being whistled back to the boat.

Later that weekend, Byron, Toni. Diane, and Diane’s fiance Rick, decided to do some Jet Skiing. Diane and Rick rented a single two-seater ski. Toni and Byron had to have separate skis, however. Toni refused to ride side-saddle with Byron, exclaiming, “Hell no, I’ve seen him drive.” Byron offered to ride behind Toni on her ski, but apparently after being almost pulled under by Byron’s flailing snorkeling, it was time for a little apartness. Toni spent most of an hour jet skiing in tight circles around Byron using her wake to douse and soak Byron who sputtered about turning green.

Back in Colorado, Byron found his Lumina in need of more repairs. A leaky fuel rail caused the compartment to fill with gas fumes every time he drove. Byron needed to make a decision fast! Either get a new car, or start a new career as “Byron the Human Torch.” Initially, Byron felt the human torch act would be pretty exciting, but learned their insurance wouldn’t cover any accidents. The “man” is always keeping him down. After practically no research, Byron settled on a Toyota Echo. It’s small, but is certified for white water rafting same as the old Geo Metro. (Editor’s Note: See issue 3). Nolan and Kyra promptly dubbed the little car, “the spy mobile.” Byron has searched the Internet Movie Database for hours looking for any spy who used a Toyota Echo and has come up empty handed. At 42 mpg, however, it’s the perfect car for the fuel economy minded espionage agent.

Over Thanksgiving, Toni shot a wedding at the Stanley hotel in Estes Park. Instead of interrupting the holiday, the Ferguson’s loaded up their stuff and moved to … Estes. Just for the weekend, the four stayed in a rustic log cabin right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Ok, it wasn’t that rustic. It had a kitchenette, private hot
tub, and fireplace- which is just about as rustic as Toni likes it. On the last day in our cabin, Estes saw lots of snow. The four of us traipsed out in the snow for this year’s Christmas photo. Unfortunately, Gus refused to stand still for the shot. Several Elk in the area provided far too great a lure, and Gus bounced about the park like the bouncing bunny he is. The Ferguson complaint line: 1-800-Y-NOT-GUS, is now open for those of you who look forward to seeing the big galoot every year. We’ve tied a cell phone to Gus’s head and he’s ready to take your calls.

The kids- and Toni. are all looking forward to Christmas this year. Kyra, using duct tape (duh, that’s my girl), attached a lengthy three-page letter to our gas fireplace in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Unlike most kids, Kyra has no idea what she wants for Christmas- but has left Santa a few questions that NEED to be answered: Is
there really a Rudolf (sic)? How do you know what kids want? How do you get the window to the fireplace open? And most importantly- where do the dead reindeer go? Your guess is probably as good as ours. For the correct answers, see the bottom. We hope your Holidays bring you as much cheerful curiosity.

Merry Christmas from the Fergusons

Answers: 1) Yes there is a Rudolph.  Please ask your parents to help with your spelling next time.  2) They tell me.  3) I use an 8/32″ wrench.  4) Reindeer never die, they just get stuck in a rut.