Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy 2009

Dear Friends,

The big news this year is that our daughter Lillian is going to have a baby come May. In fact, the due date is Mother’s Day! She’d been trying and hoping for this for a long time, and finally all the planets were in alignment this year and she’s expecting. We’re all happy and thrilled and looking forward to having this latest addition to the Guzillo tribe, but there are, of course, some minor complications.

Linda and I are too young to be grandparents, and Lillian can’t decide what to name the baby, and I can’t decide what I want the baby to call me. Linda suggested Bub, but I’m thinking that "Bub" would be a better name for the baby than for me. If anyone reading this has a good idea for what the baby could call me, please don’t hesitate to write.

We’ve been busy getting ready for Lillian’s baby, and we’ve also been busy being retired. We moved to Danville, VA where Lillian lives right after Linda presided over her last graduation as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at VSU. Since then, she’s been working on remodeling the house. She ripped out an unusable ironing board cupboard in the kitchen and replaced it with a beautiful spice cabinet. Then, she water-proofed the basement and painted every lick of it. That turned what had been a cellar into some very nice space. Her appetite whetted, she called in the contractors, painters, tile men, carpenters, floor men, plumbers, and assorted fellows with heavy hammers. They set to work remodeling three bathrooms, all of the floors upstairs, and the entire kitchen. When that was done, she set to work hand-building wooden cabinets to place over our 19 radiators. And now that our rehab projects are done, Linda is going to move on to helping Lillian set up the baby's room!

And me? I’ve been hiding upstairs writing and re-writing my novel about German soldiers on the Eastern Front (I’m done!) and writing my blogs (I’ve got 4 now) and dreaming about literary fame. I didn’t get the Pulitzer Prize I was nominated for, but I did get a t-shirt from Lillian illustrated with the cover of the nominated book: Third Winter of War: Buchenwald. (Both my books are still available at Amazon.)

When we haven’t been hanging out with Lillian and remodeling and re-writing, we’ve been taking vacations. This past year we went to Las Vegas twice with Mabel and Tony, and they passed on the secret of winning at blackjack to me. We also did a long 9-day cruise in July to the eastern Caribbean. What made it especially exciting is that we were pursued constantly by Hurricane Juliet. She chased us around Haiti and the Dominican Republic and up to Coco Cay in the Caribbean. Linda didn’t have enough cruising, so she talked her mom into going on a 15-day transatlantic repositioning cruise on the biggest and best ship in the world (The Voyager of the Seas—complete with skating rink)! I stayed home and graded papers for my online students.

We’ve also gone to the Great Smokey Mountains with our friends Joe and Carol Glaser and had a series of happy adventures, but please don’t ask about what happened when we got lost while driving and the roads disappeared and the paths we found ourselves on got narrower and narrower and narrower.

We’re having a great time vacationing and keeping the economy strong and are already planning next year’s trips and “arrivals”!

(the photos: Lillian and Santa, My sister Donna and me in a refugee camp in Germany 1948, Linda and her big brother Bruce in Brooklyn in the late 50s)


Stacey Barton said...

Sounds like a wonderful year! Congrats to all of you on the pending arrival of Lillian's baby. My son (of his own accord) starting calling his grandparents Memaw and Papa and it stuck. He adds their first name to it to differentiate. ("Memaw Suzie" and "Papa Jerry.") Maybe you like the Hemingway reference.

I found this link for nicknames for grandparents:

Hope 2009 is a splendid year for your family.

Stacey Krueger Barton

Karen J. Weyant said...

Wonderful News for a Wonderful new year! Have a safe and happy holiday.

Geo-B said...

Congratulations! That's great news and bodes for a great coming year. I was born in 1949 and have a warm feeling for all ---9 babies. I can't say why, don't know. Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, John and Linda (and Lillian)! Grandparenthood is a great place to be. My advice is to name yourselves what you like, but don't get too attached to it. Like as not, the child will dub you what he/she will. And you'll be ecstatic about it. Happy Holidays to you all. --Eva

wnygrl585 said...

Merry Christmas to you and Linda and a Happy New Year. Sounds like 2008 was a wonderful year for you. May 2009 be equally as well.

Congratulations on becoming a grandparents.
Can't help you out with the name but I'm sure you will love the first time you hear "Grandpa" (or version of)
Happy Holidays :D ~~~ Chris~~~

Urkat said...

The baby will figure out what it wants to call you soon enough.

Anonymous said...

I think Pop-pop is a good name for grandpappy's.