Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, my friends.  I wish you the very best today and every day.  If I wanted to try to save the USPS all by myself, I would have asked for your address and sent you my Christmas card and letter this year.  But, that would have cost about $1,089 in postage and another $1,044 in cards.  So, I’m doing it this way.  🙂


(Click on the picture to see more detail!)

ABBA Christmas Card 001

“Everything will be alright in the end, so if it’s not alright, it is not yet the end”.

Hello friends!  As you know, I always close my Christmas letter with the same quote I’ve been using for more than 2o years.  But, this year, I’m starting my letter with my new philosophy for 2013 from the movie, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.

This is my favorite time of the year.  I love when neighborhoods glow and sparkle from Christmas lights and holiday music soothes your soul.  I also take extra time to reflect on my life and realize, that even with setbacks, how blessed I am.

Last Christmas, I told you that Miss ABBA was diagnosed with cancer in March 2011 and she was given two to three months to live.  By God’s will, spring turned into summer and summer into fall and before you knew it, winter was here.

Miss ABBA was happy and healthy until February 2nd.  The following day, she went to “puppy heaven”, about three months shy of her 12th birthday.  It was so hard to say goodbye to my best friend that traveled the country (and Canada) with me from Ohio to Chicago to Maryland to the Quad Cities.  We had the best time in life and I carry her memories around in my heart every day.  It’s been almost ten months since she left us, but it feels like years.  I hope you enjoy the Christmas card of all twelve of Miss ABBA’s Christmases.

And, on Halloween, after almost seven years, the station I worked at as a meteorologist informed me that my contract would not be renewed.  While saddened, it wasn’t a total shock.  I’ll take the rest of this year off and face the future in January.

Life at home is wonderful.  I love my beautiful family and I love having my sister here in the Quad Cities.  Ray is still the Planning and Development Director for the City of Moline.  Gretel is now in the sixth grade, which is junior high at her school.  And, Tammy is still working as a server at Ryan’s here in Moline.

Earlier in the year, Ray, Gretel, and I spent a week at Ray’s parent’s house on Spirit Lake in Iowa.  I went fishing for the first time in about 30 years.  However, it was strange not having Miss ABBA there to go swimming.

This fall, I accompanied Ray to a conference in Houston, Texas, and in October, we went to Las Vegas for my birthday to see Madonna for the third time.  As always, she was amazing.  While there, we also got to see Elton John in concert and that man still has it.  He was incredible.

In the Quad Cities, we also saw The Band Perry and Pam Tillis in concert and we got to meet both acts backstage.  Coming up, in late January 2013, Ray and I are heading back to Las Vegas to see Lady Gaga in concert for the third time.

The big news this Christmas is that we, along with Tammy and Betty (Mom), are taking a Western Caribbean Cruise.  We’ll fly to New Orleans on December 19th to see the city decorated for the holidays and let Gretel enjoy gumbo and have real beignets.

The cruise, from December 20-24, is mostly out at sea.  When we told Gretel about the cruise, her first question was “Will we hit an iceberg?”  I replied that there are no icebergs in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean.

She then asked, “Will a shark bite a hole in the bottom of the boat”?  I don’t think she understands that this “boat” is 855 feet long with a width of 118 feet and that it holds close to 3,000 people. J  This trip is going to be so much fun!!

That is what’s going on with us here in the Midwest.  I wish you the very best this holiday season and in the new year.

 “May hope and faith conquer fear and hate this Christmas”


9 responses to this post.

  1. Merry Christmas Anthony to you and the people you love!!!


  2. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful memories with us. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!! May the new year bring you many new and wonderful memories.


  3. Posted by Cinchy on December 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I was waiting for you Christmas letter and glad I got to read it !
    Merry Christmas to you and the Family …. and Cheers to a great 2013!

    Peace and Love.
    Cindy and Bruce ……….. oh and all the furkids


  4. Hoping you and yours have the most wonderful Christmas, may you be blessed with peace, happiness and most of all LOVE.


  5. Posted by LaCinda Foster on December 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Merry Christmas


  6. Posted by Brenda Hagemeier on December 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Merry Christmas Anthony, Ray and Gretel. Hope you have a beautiful day.


  7. Hope your Christmas was wonderful….bet the cruise was fabulous! 2013 holds more adventures for you and your family..there’s a reason for every season. It was time for you to move on to something more special and I can’t wait to read of your excitement when you realize the next chapter was worth the growing pains. Happy New Year to a special new friend and his wonderful family.


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