Phil & Abra Staffin Wiebe
& Cassius & Theia
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, this is one hell of a year to try and write a Christmas letter in, isn't it? The pandemic, the Uprising (we live only a few blocks from George Floyd Square), distance learning and working from home, and that's without even getting into the politics of 2020. So much has happened, yet at the same time so little. To quote the Doctor, time is "a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff," and it has never seemed more wobbly.
Phil is still working for Suez Water, but now he is mostly working from home. He has refitted the basement to be his work office, using the ping-pong table as his desk, an old TV as his second monitor, and a rug from India to cushion the icy cold of the tile floor in our unheated basement. He also has an excellent foot-warmer in the form of our black lab dog, Hawk. A few days a month, he has to go in to work to run experiments on the machines, but mostly his life is virtual meetings and data. And driving back and forth to the school to pick up supplies and assignments for the kids, and our weekly school lunch boxes. Thanks to those school lunch boxes, we have enough frozen apples and carrots for the next five years!
Abra had surgery to remove her gallbladder this summer. She'd been trying and failing to use a restricted diet to manage the pain episodes, so once the ban on elective surgeries was lifted, she did the thing. Not losing hours to unpredictable pain episodes is a definite improvement! The other major change in her life is her attempt to switch from being a night owl to a morning lark. Before everyone wakes up is the only time she has to work on writing, so she's been trying to switch her schedule to wake up at 5 or 6 AM. Y'all, this does NOT come naturally! She's been enjoying attending virtual conferences and writing talks that wouldn't have been available before.
Abra has also been supervising the kids' distance learning since they were sent home this spring. It's a full-time process, from the moment they wake up until 5 or 6 PM. It's rough. There is crying and screaming and hitting and biting and running and hiding. Not every day, of course, but too often. We cannot WAIT for the vaccine roll-out. And our kids are some of the ones doing the best in their classes!
Cassius is 9 years old now. He has recently made the strategic decision that pajama pants are the best pants for the whole day. Hard to disagree! He is thriving in advanced math and has started learning piano. He loves all things game-related and is currently obsessed with Minecraft and Terraria. He also loves to read and to play imagination games with his sister.
Theia turned 7 before Thanksgiving. She had a gold- and Trolls-themed birthday decorations all over the house, and she enjoyed a birthday Zoom call and card shower. She loves all animals and insects and the weird in-between critters. Her list of desired pets: bearded dragon, chinchilla, hermit crab, kitten, spider, ant farm, owl, bat, unicorn. Her current goal is to be a zookeeper when she grows up--or maybe an opera singer. She loves everything pink, cute, and unicorn- or fairy-related. She also likes to help Mom cook.
At least in this, the Year of Our Pandemic and Distance Learning, we are all still here (no, literally here, all trapped in one house 24/7). Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, we wish you a 2021 worth celebrating!
Phil & Abra
& Cassius & Theia
Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1135686.html on Dreamwidth.org.