Martin and I made ten holiday greetings this morning.
Since I just got here, I didn’t set up the event here at Aviano, but it was the same people who had done the greetings last year at Ramstein (when I planned the event), and they knew who I was. Even the new crewmembers knew who I was. Why? Because my greeting last year was the single most-played greeting in the country, or so they told me. It ran a lot nationally and locally. The crew had a computer this year, too, continually running last year’s greetings.
Yours truly’s was on there, on the Regis and Kathy Lee II (Kelly Ripa) morning show. I didn’t know about that one. It also apparently ran on a Holiday Disney show, the super bowl, Good Morning America and of course, the local television stations.
They said they sent out what THEY thought were good ones, and then the networks picked their favorites out of those. AFNEWS said it was my huge smile that won me the coverage. (Really. Go ahead and roll the eyes. I did!)
So, in keeping with the tradition, Martin and I made a total of ten greetings. One general to Cincinnati Tri-State. One to Carla and David and Pat and Puddin in Dayton. One to Mary Ann and family in Oregon. One to Barbie and family in Indiana. One to mom’s aunt Joan in New Jersey. Three to family in Texas. One to Robb in Maine (he’s a youth counselor now at a boy’s home up there) and the “sillyest” was the one to Denise in Wisconsin. In that one, Martin donned a red Christmas Santa hat that lit up, and I spoke directly to them in a funny voice. I hope all of them turn out really great. I think they will. What can be better than seeing Martin and I saying, “Merry Christmas” together and smiled and waved. It’s really cute. The crew said they wished all their customers were like me and Martin. We were quick and professional and loaded with cheese.
The office’s deputy chief took photos of us filming … I’ll send those as soon as they are downloaded. We looked great! Anyway, that’s the latest with us. Martin and I are getting better. We’ve been arguing a lot. Mostly about foreign policy. Being married to a European is soooo challenging. I can look past the incessant need to recycle. I even like giving up sliced bread for fresh loaves, but I wonder how many other young American couples argue about foreign policy. And the reason we argue (or rather, heated discussions) is because anything George W. does affects us directly.
Not like anything WE say to each other matters, but Martin, like any European, really likes talking about this, where I’m like, whatever honey. Let’s eat dinner. It’s nuts. But, like I said, we’re learning. We’re still trying to find balance between chores and money, but it’s all working out great. Our cats like each other. They are so much fun. Gizmo, the white Persian, is like a dog. He’s very loyal and calm. He lies on the floor on his back, and when he’s on his stomach, he spreads his back legs out, like a dog. He loves having his stomach petted and always comes to check on us. Baci is getting braver. She was really frightened of us and noises before, but she follows Gizmo around and lets me pick her up. She stands at the bathroom door in the mornings and watches me do my hair. They have definitely become part of our home. I don’t understand how people give them away or turn them loose so readily when they PCS. It’s crazy.
Anyway, that’s the latest. The newspaper is getting better and better here. Just this morning, Lia, a friend and coworker, came in herself and told me I’m really turning it into a product she WANTS to read. That was really a compliment, because when I first got here, Lia was the one who told me, “Julie, nobody around here really uses the paper other than for the classifieds. You have a tough job ahead of you to make into something credible again.” And it’s only my third week. I’m really flattered and Martin’s always saying he’s so proud. Life is good.