The Christmas Letter-2010

Well folks here we are another year down. For those who don't  know, or don't remember last year on Christmas Day I sent on an e-mail out reviewing some of the highlights of 2009. I got such a great response, this year why not do it earlier? I also have been going through some of my old writings and retyping them on the computer, this time backing them on an external hard drive so its making me reflect on a lot. I have also come up with some new material, both on my website (http://www.justinmattes.com) and my blog (http://justinmattes.blogspot.com)

First the family, the biggest thing being the death of  my grandmother,Theresa. Almost all of you  know she had Alzheimer for a very long time and moved in with my Aunt Dee in Park Ridge. Up until a few months ago she was very heath physically, but it was getting harder for her to eat and she  really loss strength quickly. Everyone says it was for the best, but I miss her still. I will always remember her warm smile, dinners on  Sundays, her and grandpa going to Florida and so many memories it's very hard to= write about without crying. Although the though that enters my mind the most is she and Grandpa are together again finally. I can't drive in the Allendale area without thin*king about them

The rest of the family is doing fine. Mom and Dad finally have a bathroom attached to the bedroom, of course it isn't finished yet. They are planning to retire in the next few years and move to  Delaware. Part of me wants to stay around here. After all the years of moaning about getting out of the area, I am starting to realize how hard it will be when we do in fact move. Still that's a few years away and if there's one thing I know, anything can happen.

My one brother Chris, his wife Natalie and their son Zander are fine. Zander's is full walking mode now and has already outpaced me. He gets cuter as he gets older.  They will be here for Christmas which will; be very exciting to see Zander open presents. My mom is thrilled  she gets of buy all kinds of toys again.

My brother Pete bought a duplex outside of Philadelphia and has  settled in very nicely. He has been seeing his girlfriend Sue for over a year now. They both ran in the Philadelphia Marathon last month.  My folks, Chris and Natalie, my cousin Jen and her friend Manny and I braved the chill to cheer them on.  I will probablly go down to visit him again by myself in the spring

As for me this year has been long, very long.  +I should have known when I welcomed in the new year with a cold. It seemed as if I just couldn't pull anything off the year without a lot of hitches. My travels were really my downfall! The annual license plate convention was in Arlington Texas and it was one of the worst trips I had. From the ti-me I took off from Newark to the timeI lande it seemed the cards were   stacked against me. I stilll had a lot of fun though. Then the family trip to Delaware I had  my now infamous jet skiing accident, my back still isn't right. That triggered other physical, and there for emotional problems. It was serious and for a first time in years i lost a lot of my independence.  I wound up spending the month of August home. I went back swimming at the Y once a week which really helps.

By October I was back to my old self physically, but there's still stuff going on/. I did do  an overnight at the Hershey Car  Show with Bill Dickerson, a long time license plate  friend from New Hampshiere, drove down here. By 6AM the next morning we were on the road. I actually SOLD some license plates, which is very hard out there. I was also thrilled to get an article out of the trip!!

Well that's about it from Woodcliff Lake, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannauka and a toast to 2011.

All the best