WEP: The End is the Beginning

This is my first time to participate in the Write…Edit…Publish Challenge. I want to thank Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godin for this blogging event. I decided to use a fictional Holiday/End of the year family newsletter. It takes a look back at the events of the year as it draws to a close and looks forward to what the new year might bring. I hope you find it amusing.


Dear Friends,

I hope this Christmas letter finds your family in good health and good cheer. The Calamity family has had a very exciting and eventful year so I wanted to share the highlights with our dearest friends.

Granny Calamity celebrated her ninety-ninth birthday back in March. We’re all so happy to have had her with us all these years. She insisted on making her own cake. You know how she can be. When Cousin Carol tried to move the cake to the table, it was so heavy that she dropped it on Grandpa’s foot. He screamed so loud that everyone came running. The cake was still in one piece but Grandpa was still screaming in pain. He picked up the cake, threw it out the back door, and accidentally hit their dog Lucky. It knocked Lucky out cold. We had to take Grandpa to the hospital and Lucky to the veterinarian. Grandpa got a cast and a walker which made him none too happy. Lucky got brain damage. He sounds like a bullfrog now when he barks and he occasionally just passes out and falls over. We think poor dear old granny might have mistaken a bag of cement for a bag of flour when she was making the cake.

Grandpa was miserable with his cast and his walker until he had an unexpected visit from old friends. Three World War II army vets showed up at the door looking for a Chester they had served with during the war. They talked about the “good old days” and about the war for hours before one of them finally decided that Grandpa was not the right Chester. They invited Grandpa to their reunion anyway before they left. As they left, I heard them arguing over the name of the man they were looking for. I think they decided his name was Charlie instead of Chester but Grandpa was happy for the day. He may have made new friends or met with old ones. We’re not sure.

After only twelve years, Cousin Stu graduated from college with an associate’s degree. He must have been well known on campus because there was quite a reaction from the audience when the Dean called his name, Clo Stu Calamity, during the ceremony. We had a family celebration afterward and Uncle Andy brought some of the wonderful apple cider that he makes himself and sells at The Kountry Store. He didn’t stay for the party because he had to work. It was the best batch of apple cider he had ever made and we all drank a lot of it. I think the party got pretty wild but none of us remembers very much about it. We all woke up on the floor the next morning with really bad headaches.

Uncle Andy came by that morning to pick up his bottles for recycling and saw everyone’s condition. He smelled one of the bottles and said the apple cider went bad. What he really meant was that somehow it had fermented and we all had gotten very drunk. The only thing wrong with us was that we all had hangovers. There is never a dull moment when the Calamity family gets together.

Uncle Andy felt so bad about messing up his apple cider that he finally retired. We later learned that there were a number of graduation celebrations that night that ended just like ours because of Uncle Andy’s apple cider. He didn’t understand why orders for his apple cider went up tenfold after that weekend. He had to keep telling people he had retired.

After retirement, he decided he wanted a pet. I went with him to the animal shelter thinking he could find a nice dog. Instead, he saw a kitten with an extra toe and chose to adopt him. He said cats with an extra toe were good luck and were smarter than most pets. He must have been right because he taught that kitten to sit, roll over, and play dead. He takes that kitten with him almost everywhere he goes. He even puts him on a leash and walks him like a dog. It is a little confusing when he takes him to Granny and Grandpa’s because he named the kitten Lucky just like Grandpa’s dog.

I saved the most exciting event of the year for last. Granny received an award from the Mayor. A couple of months ago Granny insisted on going to the bank to get some money so she could do some early Christmas shopping. She refused to go through the drive-through so we went inside. Just as we reached the front of the line, three men wearing ski masks and carrying guns ran through the door and yelled that they were robbing the bank. The teller got the money together and handed the full bag to the robbers. Right then Granny keeled over flat on the floor.

The robbers started arguing about not going down for murder. They dropped the money and ran out the door. They ran right into a group of police officers walking over to the café next to the bank. The robbers were arrested and are now in prison. An ambulance was sent for Granny but she regained consciousness just as they were about to put her on a gurney. She stood up, brushed herself off, and threatened to punch the paramedics if they touched her. The Mayor decided to give her an award for her role in stopping the robbery. I’ve enclosed a photo of the award ceremony but it’s a little blurry because my hands were shaking from the cold. Granny is the tiny red spot on the right.

All in all, it was a very good year for the Calamity family. I wonder what exciting things the new year will bring.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for the coming New Year from the entire Calamity family.

With Love,

Ima Calamity


copyright ©2017 L.J. Leighton All Rights Reserved

Word Count: 990 FCA