Xmas 2008

Survivor: Vacation (and then there were 5)

It’s time for the FitzMaurice family 2008 review. If you have a low tolerance for boredom, skip the letter and look at the card again.
We drank the New Year in at Bob and Barb Doiron’s ski house in Vermont. It was the usual thing: all the guys were sick or injured, and crashed before the ball fell, and all the women threw us under the bus. A good time, and a banner occasion for the brewing industry. My drinking style was completely unhampered by the rotator cuff surgery on my left arm. I can open beer cans one handed, a skill to be proud of.
February was Daytona time again. They had a good race, we had beautiful weather, and, as a bonus, the loud, obnoxious parrot one of the neighbors had on his deck went to the great bird feeder in the sky. Ahhh, peace and quiet.
March was Red Sox spring training, and this year we got to see an entire game! And they won! Carolyn was in her glory.
April was the start of the driving season. I had to drive my old Subaru, since I was banned from working on cars until my arm was healed. I was a good boy, did all of my physical therapy, because I had things to do and cars to drive. I also made a new friend, Dr. Fei. I hit myself in the right eye with an exercise band and spent a Friday night in the Emergency room and at Opticare. The staff at the hospital didn’t know what to do with us. We spoke English as a first language, had insurance, were not dressed in pajamas and didn’t bring a posse. Not the normal ER residents. Dr. Fei was a trip: Engrish was not his first ranguage. After pouring every chemical he could find in my eye, blinding me with a spot light, and telling me “Rook disa way” he decided it was going to be o.k. I spoke with an accent for a week.
Jumping ahead to August, it was time for the whole Fam Damnly vacation. Eight of us left Waterbury at 4:30 a.m., destination Myrtle Beach. Allowing for the fact that over half of the group was female, and potty breaks were going to be longer, our E.T.A was 7:00 p.m. No one bothered to tell my sister in law, Ginny’s car, and it had its own agenda. Four hundred miles into the trip, at the almost exact half way spot, the car blew a head gasket. Thanks to modern electronics, we found a nearby Subaru dealer, rented a car, and arranged to be back in two weeks. We only lost 3 hours because of the detour. Michael was going to have to leave after the first week to start school. We had asked the Doirons if they would like to join us down south, and they made arrangements with Chris Roddy, who has a small plane, to fly down and join us for a few days. The head count went from 8 to 10. Michael flew home, we were down to 9. Brie and Miranda left next, now it’s down to 7. Bob and Barb left the next day, now we’re down to 5. That’s the final head count. Because of the attrition, we had space to fill in the cars. What to do with the space? Shopping! We filled two cars right to the top, even with all the seats folded down on the SUV. The weather forecast was bad for the last few days, so we decided to leave a day early and save on the rental car. The Subaru dealer was less than thrilled because we knew the repairs were covered under an extended warranty, and Ginny only had to pay for part of the rental. Sometimes it pays to have family in the business.
In September we went to the Pocono’s for a track day. A group of us left a day early and stayed at the Mount Airy Casino for a night. Kevin was the big winner, walking away with $2.75 at the end of the day. The Autocross season was winding down, and when the points were calculated I won my class, and Joe Skibisky came in second, co-driving my old Subaru. The Subaru has a traction problem and spins the tires at the slightest provocation. It was very nostalgic driving it; the tire smoke reminded me of visiting my grandmother in Naugatuck. There’s nothing like the smell of burning rubber to bring back memories.
It’s time to wind things up. The family is well, and stayed a consistent size. Business is a struggle, but at least the lights are still on and the paychecks clear. We’re getting ready to celebrate Carolyn having a significant birthday in 2009. We hope your year made you laugh as much as ours did, and hope you all are well.

Kevin & Carolyn
Old and Catching up

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