Greetings, everyone, and welcome to our on-line Christmas newsletter: multi-media, environmentally friendly, and (we hope) mildly entertaining. We enjoy reading our friends’ end-of-year newsletters, as they are a good way to keep up with people we care about whom we don’t get to see so often. We hope you enjoy ours.
We live on Magazine Street in uptown New Orleans, in a century-old house near Audubon Park. The house, old as it is, has some quirks (e.g. antebellum plumbing, electrical wiring by Mr. Edison himself, and many formerly right angles no longer right). But the location near the park is ideal for running or walking. And everything else we need is within walking distance. And Ray’s commuting time to his downtown office is just 20 minutes when traffic is light.
We belong to Holy Name of Jesus Parish, where we usually attend the 6 p.m. Sunday mass. Both of us take regular turns as lector. In addition to that, Ray plays guitar with a fine group of music ministers, and Suzanne serves as a eucharistic minister and coordinator of the ushers.
Suzanne, retired as a state employee, continues to be busy. She teaches yoga classes at LIFE Yoga Studio, West Jefferson Fitness Center, and Premier Health Club, and occasionally subs at X-Treme Fitness. She has become quite the race-walker, training daily in uptown New Orleans and logging 30-40 miles per week. Memorable races this year included the Hotter Than Hell Marathon (July), the Shamrock Dolphin Challenge in Virginia Beach (8K on Saturday, half-marathon on Sunday), and the St. Jude Latin Music Half-Marathon in Miami. The latter two gave us a good excuse to visit family and friends in Virginia and south Florida.
Ray is a lawyer at Adams and Reese LLP, practicing appellate advocacy. That means handling appeals in Louisiana’s appellate courts and, occasionally, the federal Fifth Circuit. Ray’s one-sentence job description: “I write killer briefs.” (Or at least he tries to.) In his spare time, he enjoys learning how to play the guitar. Besides the church music at Holy Name, he has tried to focus this year on slide blues. The effort has shown modest success this year, as he has learned passable versions of several songs in open-G tuning.
What, you want to hear some of this stuff? Well, as Billy Delle says, if you can take it, we can dish it out. Not whole songs, just snippets, unpolished and home-made. Peaches, Rollin’ & Tumblin’, and Goin’ Down South are with slide; the other two are without slide.
Oh yes, we promised you entertainment. Here is the true meaning of Christmas, as interpreted by Mr. Bean. On viewing it (at around 2:00 and after), I am reminded, not of the Gospel infancy narratives, but of Revelation 12:3-5.
Our wish for you: have Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Blessed Baktun. And best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2013.