Merry Christmas!


It’s that time again – hard to believe another year has passed. Not hard at all to believe that here it is, Christmas Eve again, and I’m only now getting around to writing our Christmas letter, though. Procrastination is a skill that needs to be developed slowly, and it’s always best done next week sometime.

The French have a saying: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” I have no idea what it means, but 2014 was another year of change for the San Antonio Kings, just as every year seems to be. Here are the highlights (and a lowlight or two, just to keep things fair and balanced).

Our son Andrew, having graduated yet again from The University of Texas at Austin (his motto is “the first time was so nice, why not do it twice?”) considered (for almost two whole nanoseconds) returning to school for a “piled higher and deeper” degree, decided he already knew enough stuff, and set off to change the world. I had no idea one could change the world from the Colorado ski slopes while crashing on a friend’s couch – if I’d only known, my life might have turned out very differently. After tiring of carving up the Rocky Mountains for what I’m sure seemed like several months to the owner of aforementioned couch, Andrew looked around at what else was available, and casually landed a job that his dear old dad would have died or killed to have, but was never able to achieve. He is an attitude determination and control officer (ADCO) for the International Space Station, working as a contractor for NASA at Johnson Space Center in Houston. I can’t even write the words without breaking into a goofy grin (which, unfortunately, is indistinguishable from my other expressions). I do feel the need to point out that Amy and I are exclusively responsible for the lofty perch Andrew has landed on; we lectured, browbeat and nagged (some of us) poor Andrew for years about his attitude. “You need to work on your attitude, son; where’s your determination? Control yourself; get a job, boy, you’re almost four years old and we DO NOT TOLERATE laziness in this family. Now, get out there and fly the Space Station, but hand me the remote before you go.” Good parenting is responsible for so many successes, and we get so little recognition.

Rebecca finished her last year (for now) at The University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, while holding down two and sometimes three part-time jobs, learning some of the most disgusting things it’s possible for humans to know (can YOU name all the bodily fluids that an expectant mother is capable of producing?), and still maintaining a semblance of normalcy. She also landed the job she wanted after graduation, as a labor and delivery nurse at St. David’s Hospital in Austin. I encouraged her to get a job in North Dakota or Maine, but for some unfathomable reason, she thought it would be better to stay in Austin if possible. There must be some kind of undue influence or inappropriate pressure going on; why in the world would she want to stay in Austin? I think I need to do some additional investigation, and maybe call in an air strike.

She’s also recovering from a bicycle mishap. Although her helmet was sitting stylishly on her bed at home, and THAT will NEVER happen again, her brain is still where it’s supposed to be, and she’ll be fine. Another cyclist collided with her (we know who you are, by the way, and “I’m not a people person – I don’t really know what to do” is not an excuse for leaving someone bleeding in the street), and she took a short aerial tour of the Forty Acres before landing squarely on her front teeth. They’re still there, but it’s nonetheless disturbing to hear the dentist report, “Well, I was able to get MOST of the asphalt out of her teeth…” Even with a slight concussion and various scrapes and contusions (she taught me that word), she was still the smartest and most beautiful daughter a Dad could have, and she’s even better now. Every dad thinks this about his daughter, but I’m RIGHT.

Amy is still in the “pearls and swine” business for now, but her love (other than me, of course) is historical research. With almost no information about you, she can tell you where your great-grandparents were born, what they had for dinner on their 4th wedding anniversary, and how they were linked to an important figure in Texas history. My great-great-great grandfather, for instance, was 5th cousin twice removed to the contractor who provided the nails used in building the outhouse where Sam Houston’s 7th cousin 3 times removed once tried to relieve himself, but couldn’t (wounded in the Civil War – poor guy). I dare not express skepticism, or she’ll show me the deed records and family trees that prove it.

She also completed a contract with an academic publisher to publish her collaborative work in the summer of 2015 on Texas history during the Civil War. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but it’s deeply cool – full of bravery and cowardice, heroes and villains, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Tommy Lee Jones is playing the lead in the movie.

I’m still moving (albeit more slowly all the time). I spent the year changing hobbies (I build model airplanes now – almost as counterintuitive as shooting for a PD patient, but less dangerous). I also continued to volunteer for various causes, to write in my blog (The Crooked Path, thecrookedpath.net), and I published a book in April called Walking The Crooked Path (on amazon.com and the bottoms of birdcages everywhere). I also recently joined the board of a new non-profit organization in San Antonio created to educate patients and professionals about movement disorders. And, most importantly, I walk Izzy.

Merry Christmas and Prayers and Best Wishes for 2015!

Corey (and Izzy), Amy (and Corey), Andrew (and Andrew), Rebecca (and Clovis)

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