Christmas 2000

Greetings from the Golden Fergusons!

Whew! We can breath a sigh of relief now, the United States has a President. 48 days of legal
wrangling ended because the court was out of-time. I suspect the entire-proceeding could
been solved much faster by Judge Judy (or maybe even Judge Wapner). What an election year
it has been.

That this year happened at all was something many were not predicting. Its safe to say that reports of the much-maligned Y2K bug were over exaggerated. Byron a Toni spent hours deliberating between spending New Year’s Eve in a Western Montana cabin writing our manifesto, or spending it partying like its 1999 in Aspen, Colorado- home of the fur-clad super rich. Toni chose Aspen. Big Surprise.

Actually, Byron fell into a lucrative contract to perform magic New Year’s Eve for the owners of Aspen Mountain ski resort, so the decision was pretty simple. Byron only performed an hour of magic, leaving the rest of the evening (and weekend) to spend with Toni- watching fireworks, and toasting the New Year.

In April, Byron’s Sister- Diane, got married, and the entire Ferguson clan flew out for the wedding. Byron a Toni both blanched with fear at becoming a business traveler’s worst nightmare- a family with screaming children. Attempting to head-off potential trouble, a few things were loaded into a duffel bag: drinks, snacks, candy, assorted sticker books, a garage full of Hot Wheels cars, a bevy of Barbie’s, legions of Lego’s, tape players, and much, much, more. The entire 4th army required less to invade Normandy beach.

Arriving unscathed, the, Ferguson’s took in Wilmington, North Carolina’s sights. Free time presented an opportunity to , trek to the beach. Nolan and Kyra took turns as “Reptar” destroyer Of castles. Dad carefully sculpted 16th century castles, magnificent forts, and stately spires. Nolan and Kyra (far less carefuliy) stomped them back ‘into the beach from whence they came.

During the wedding, Byron ignored all previous training, letting Nolan and Kyra partake in pacifiers and lollipops in exchange for silence. Nolan and Kyra gratefully obliged, although the sugar buzz lasted for several weeks.

Our next trip during the year was for less joyous events. Toni’s father began suffering serious heart-related health problems. Toni, while not close-to her father, still felt an obligation to her children to see him, and have them see him. Byron, Toni, Nolan, and Kyra, along with Toni’s Brother, AKA Uncle Rick, loaded up the mini-van to visit Toni’s Dad in Scottsdale, AZ. After a 12 hour drive, all arrived in Arizona. Toni, Rick, Byron, Nolan, and Kyra, spent a few days with Grandpa “Richard,” and wife Carolyn. Only a few weeks later, Toni’s father regretfully passed away, so we were glad to have made the trip.

The end of September brought a major job change for Byron. After quite a bit of soul searching, Byron left his job of 8 years at Coors. Byron is now working at a company called NoviStar doing much the same thing he did at Coors- but for a bit more money and a few other considerations. Those of you sending the letters asking for free beer can stop now.

In October; the family traveled to, New York to the wedding of “Little” Tommy Jackson. The Jacksons were next door neighbors to Toni and her family during her childhood. In fact, Toni baby-sat Tommy when he was little! Now he’s married! Talk about making Toni feel old.

The first few days in New York centered on Toni’s upstate childhood city- Binghamton. Toni preplanned every minute of her visit. Byron shuttled Toni from diner to pizzeria in an attempt to sample all the epicurean delights of childhood: Speedies, Phil’s Chicken House, and Nirchi’s pizza. In addition, the kids got to visit .,. Jackson’ Pumpkin Farm- a macabre cross between a wax museum and a farmer’s pumpkin patch. Famous figures, carved and painted on pumpkins, adorned various costumes on large stakes. A caped pumpkin represented Batman, Santa pumpkin was pulled by 8 slightly jaundiced squash with sticks -for legs, and even the Pope was present in his pious pumpkintude.

After Tommy (and Bride Erica’s) wedding, The Ferguson’s extended their trip traveling to New York City. Byron rejoiced at visiting the home of all those “other” salsas. Not a salsa could be found, however, at the Waldorf-Astoria- serving as home base for our city excursions. Byron, suffering sticker shock from the $5 cans of coke in the mini bar, and the $22
per person continental breakfast from room service, helped himself to the complimentary soaps, shampoos … wash cloths, towels, Waldorf-Astoria robes, and exquisite oriental rugs. Just kidding, we didn’t take the rugs.

Toni and Byron had a few different goals for their stay in New York. Toni hoped to sit in the audience of the Rosie O’Donnell show; Byron hoped for a real white knuckle taxi drive with horn blaring; both hoped to take the kids to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Rosie did not choose Toni for her audience- something about too much whining. Toni did, however, share in Byron’s taxi ride to Broadway. Nolan and Kyra sat entranced watching their Beauty and the Beast video magically transformed to live action on the Stage.

After a few days in the city, our vacation continued by traveling to the Rocking Horse Ranch in the Catskill Mountains. The whole family rode, roped, and relaxed. The posh accommodations (O.K. not as posh as the Waldorf) included a pool, 3 meals a day, a lovely multi-story fort playground, and horse back riding through the Catskill’s fall colors. The irony of leaving COLORADO to stay at a dude ranch in NEW YORK isn’t lost on us. Byron’s new job finds him driving 45 minutes to an hour from Golden to the Denver Tech center (Englewood.) Only weeks after changing jobs, Toni began the search for a new house. Searching the Internet for hours, Toni found a plethora of prospective new houses, saving our realtor tons of time (O.k. Probably not. Our realtor still had to show us all the prospects.)

Now that Byron and Toni’s house is under contract, the cogs of the huge real estate machine threaten to consume them. Byron and Toni quickly found a replacement house and placed it under contract. Now the series of inspections, last minute repairs, appraisals, and moving arrangements fill Byron and Toni’s waking thoughts. Nolan and Kyra remain happily oblivious to the situation preferring the motto- “Have toys, will travel.” Byron and Toni expect to close and move on their replacement home at the beginning of next year.

The most challenging part of the house hunt has been finding a house with a yard. Newer homes in the Denver area have neglected the backyard in favor of a “backfoot” or a “backinch.” None of Toni’s Saint Bernard Horses … I mean dogs, favor a significantly size reduced yard. Gus, featured as a puppy in last year’s picture of Nolan and Kyra, is now 15 months old and 157 pounds large. Gus requires almost an acre of backyard all by himself! (Toni insists I point out here that Gus also beat the number 7 ranked Saint in the country, recently.)

Finally, the FAA, NASA, and the neighbors all breathed a sigh of relief this year since Byron’s decided to hold off on Christmas lights. Nolan and Kyra have enjoyed riding around the neighborhood with Dad in search of excellent displays to satisfy his “fix.” Unpacking the lights just to repack them before moving just couldn’t be justified. Byron may, however, erect a gigantic Valentine’s light display this year when the withdraw sets in.

The Ferguson’s hope your holidays are happy and move free!