Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Bah Humbug what every is appropriate in your politically correct world. It is the sincere wish from the Sideras family that you have a most pain free and best possible time this holiday season. It is not hard to discern my true feelings about that holidays and I look most forward to the season so that I can bask in my sardonic and cynical humor. I love this time of the year because it provides me with much fodder in which to interpret this, as some have call it,” the most wonderful time of the year.’
Those of you would have been the recipients of this letter in the past have been often regaled with tales of past Christmas tree hunts. The year we cut a tree that had a trunk as big around as my thigh and required us to remove most of the living room furniture, the worlds ugliest and crooked tree in the $15.00 and under category and my personal favorite the tree accidentally pulled the tree though a pile of dog pooh and subsequent indoor tree washing after it was discovered much to late after decorating.. What is that smell Paula kept asking? This year had all the makings of a great tree adventures cold, dark skies and raining for two days. The hunt was I regret to say most uneventful and we functioned like a NSCAR pit crew we had our jobs we executed and returned to the car with a tree which was better off cut down. I can only speculate that if Christmas tree farms are like school yards this one would have been the target of bullies. We embraced our humanity and did the tree a favor.
The year has been good and Luke informed us that this year was his year to be the featured personality of the newsletter. I have done exhaustive searching of the archives and measured on only the column inches but the actual character counts and found them to be pretty much even among the family. However each child always thinks the other one is the favorite so why not chose and remove all doubts.
In Luke’s defenses he is having had a very good senior year. He is maturing into a young man and showing us hope that someday he will fend for himself. He has moved up in The Dayton Dragons, our single A baseball team,. Grounds keeping organization and has been entrusted with the keys to the park on a time or two. He enjoys working with the team and got to grounds crew for the Cincinnati Reds when they played an exhibition game this spring. The result was the Reds players, in print, saying that the Dragons field was much better maintained that their home field. Also he has become somewhat of a celebrity at Fairmont by co-hosting the Friday morning video announcements. They are very funny, have high production value and well written. As with any Sideras no obstacle is too much for a laugh and we had the pleasure of hosting a live turkey in our garage for a week as part of the Thanksgiving Show. The highlight this season has been his video interview with Jenna Bush, the president’s daughter. The asked some hard hitting journalistic questions like ‘What is you favorite piazza topping?” Just for the record and they are mushrooms, goat cheese and artichokes. I guess with several Secret Service guys around it’s probably not the time to ask opinions on dad’s foreign policy. He is building a guitar from scratch in the garage and the wood shavings are coming in handy to abate the smell of the last project if you know what I mean. The coup de grace is him bringing home an A in Physics much to our pleasant surprise. Word count 277
Zac is now a sophomore at the University of Dayton majoring in International Studies. He had the opportunity to spend the summer in Morocco at the Al Akhawayn University . The trip was an intensive 8 weeks of Arabic language studies or so I am told. We went to a movie that was primarily in Arabic and I asked if he knew what was going on and he said he could read the stop signs. Along with his trip he ate a Rick’s Café in Casablanca and flew to Spain to run with the bulls. I have been informed that bulls are much quicker and bigger in real life. and it looked easier on TV. He also has been named as a Presidential Embassery at UD and represents the university at various functions. In addition to his school activities he was the feature of a newspaper article on his internship at United Way and his speaking program on youth and how community can promote a healthy environment to foster youth. Word count 170
Paula is doing well and recently got a promotion at UD as Director of Special Events of Advancement. She continues to work way to hard at her job. This summer three of her BFF (best friend forever) celebrated there fiftieth birthdays in Mexico. Details are still very sketchy and we have quit asking. I believe a good time was had by all. She continues to be the glue that binds us and the ribbon that makes this package shine and the only reason we continue to flourish as a family.
As for myself I am still employed by Nestlé. I had the opportunity to do some traveling this year and was lucky enough to be able to incorporate some climbing into one trip. Tim Kambitsch (my BFF) got to go to New York and climb at the Holy Grail of East Coast climbing, The Gunks over Labor Day weekend. Life is good.