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A Holiday Letter From the O'Lagers

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Wow! Another year has flown by, and the O'Lager family has so much to report -- and so much to be grateful for! I suppose the "highlight" of 2011 was the birth, on April 13, of Stella Zoe O'Lager, to our own little Kevin and his darling girlfriend, Fanny. They met at the sophomore "Pre-Prom" and have been an item for almost a year-and-a-half. They both hope to graduate high school in 2013, and until then will be living in our basement billiards room, which has a nice half bath.

Grandma O'Lager, 89, remains "on the right side of the grass," which is a blessing to us all. She still lives in the little apartment that Bill built above the garage. We've been so darned busy we haven't had a chance install central heating, so when it gets real cold we just roll her over to the house. Bill is looking forward to turning the apartment into a woodworking shop real soon.

Then there is our wonderful Jimmy, who turned 17 and is a senior at Cardinal Benedictine High. He had a bit of a "rocky" start that resulted in a two-month suspension ("Boys will be boys"). At the disciplinary hearing Jimmy made an excellent point -- "Sometimes automobiles catch fire on their own" -- but that did not sway the committee. Whatever, it's so nice to have him around the house.

At the moment we are hosting one of Jimmy's classmates, Juan, who also is under suspension for a pyrotechnic incident. If you ask me, his punishment was a bit harsh considering that the drama students rebuilt the set for "West Side Story" in only two weeks.

Little Ronnie will be 14 in March! He is a freshman at Cardinal Benedictine. We're so happy that he will be in the same school with Jimmy next fall -- his older brother can "keep him in line."

Sean, 11, is at Holy Ghost Middle School. As many of you are aware, Sean is a "man of few words." Or no words, says his teacher. I told her it's not her fault, and that he doesn't speak at home, either. But you watch, by the time I send you next year's card he'll be running on like a regular "chatterbox."

Finally, there is the apple of our eye, precious Debbie. She's going on eight and can converse like an "English professor." In the past six months she has made much progress living with one eye--far fewer dizzy spells, and in August she even went down the water slide! Bill helped me deal with the overwhelming sense of guilt, pointing out that anyone could have left the archery set where Jimmy could find it.

Recently widowed Uncle Paul came by for a week-long visit in July. He looks great! Best of all, that awful open sore on his forearm for the past two years may finally be going away. I'm no doctor, but it looked dryer to me. Go Uncle Paul!

Almost forgot! Then there is "purring Panther." After that nasty fall into the sink hole last spring she has refused to leave the laundry room, which is fine for now. Sadly I report that Edsel, our beloved dachshund, passed away in August. Ever the loyal trooper, he collapsed while dragging his hind legs home, newspaper in his mouth. I suppose it was his "time to go."

Oh, almost forgot about us! Jim and I are separated -- living at home for the moment, but separated. I don't mean to tell tales out of school, but one Friday evening I wanted to surprise him at work and maybe see a movie. Everyone had gone home except "workaholic" Jim, who I found atop the conference table, in carnal congress with a brunette from research. Can you imagine the look on his face when I asked him for a movie suggestion?

To cheer me up I signed up for a pilates class. Then I quit. What were they thinking? Our annual Christmas bash at the country club is next week. Bill asked me to go with him, to which I replied, "I'd rather be buried alive." Anyway, I'm going to dinner at that fancy new "Casa Maison." With Romero, the UPS man.

From all of us to all of yours, have a Happy and Healthy Holidays!