December 2004

Dear Family and Friends......



Greetings from the hurricane capital of the world!


As we look back over this past year, many memories come to mind.   Two in particular.   The first being Christmas Day 2003.   Instead of enjoying a nice quiet day at home eating turkey, I was dialing 911 and following an ambulance to the hospital with John inside.   I'm sure you all know by now about John's heart attack.  It was a life changing experience to say the least.  Some good did come of it though.   He now eats healthier (only because of threats from Emilee and myself!)  He STILL doesn't/won't exercise but hey....some things NEVER change!    If you don't already know, he had a stent put in on December 26th and was back to work a month later.   Then after having his stress test in August, and finding more blockages, they put two more stents in this past October 14th.  He should now be as good as new!    Another good thing that came of his heart attack is that he quit smoking for good this past year.  After almost 40 years of smoking, we all know it was a very hard thing for him to do, but the fear of dying sure out weighs the joy of puffing those nasty things!   We're very proud of him!!


The second major happening of 2004 was Emilee's graduation from West Orange High School on May 19th.  The graduation ceremony was held at the TD Waterhouse Arena in downtown Orlando and was complete with fireworks inside the building!   Her entire senior year she made the honor roll or principal’s honor roll every time.  We were so proud of her!    She has plans of attending a local community college in the spring to start her adventure into her future.  She has yet to decide what path she wants to follow, but she's sure of one thing.  She wants to make lots of $$$'s!   Since graduation, she has worked two jobs, meaning she works usually 7 days a week.  She tried to quit her part time job twice, but every time she goes in to give them a 2 week notice, she calls from the mall to say she's staying to work right then, and they won't accept her resignation!   She has been saving her money and enjoys seeing her bank account balance go up and up and up!  Because of working 7 days a week, she doesn't have a special someone in her life right now.  She's decided there is plenty of time for that, and besides, all guys are "losers" in her opinion! 


John is currently driving a charter bus.  He now works for a company called GEO Tours.  He enjoys his job MOST days.   More so when he has a senior group that "won't mess up or get my bus dirty!"  The one major downside to this job is that you never know for sure when your working or exactly what time you'll be finished.   Traffic plays a big part in it and we all know how bad that can be at times!   It's very hard to plan things for your personal life, so he pretty much works on a day to day basis.   A plus side is that he gets to go to all sorts of new places for free.  Now if only we could get him out of the bus to walk around and see them, and get the exercise he needs!   Like that's going to happen!! 


As for me, I'm still working my 3 days a week at Spring Hill Nursery.   I have threatened to quit a few times myself, but after being there for almost 13 years, it's like my second home and family.   I guess with any job there are good days and bad days.   As for my health, this past July was my 5 year anniversary of my last chemotherapy treatment, so they tell me I'm over that major hump now.  My past few tests have shown some abnormal signs, but they tell me it's nothing to worry about and all very normal for me.   Easy for them to say!   I just continue to go for my checkups and try not to worry about it.  


This year we also had to make a decision about my vehicle.  The lease was up on my Expedition.  It was time to either buy it, lease a new one, or purchase something else.  We chose the last option.  We decided on a 2005 Nissan Altima.  What a change from the Expedition where your riding up high, to a smaller 4 door car where you feel like your sitting on the road!   I love it though!  I am already used to the size of it and can go three weeks on a tank of gas.  What a difference!  


We made two trips this summer to Conneaut.  The first trip was a pleasure trip and then about 6 weeks later, the second one was to attend Aunt Sue's funeral.  Believe me, 20 hours, straight through, in a car, each way, with all three of us AND two dogs is FUN!!   Thank goodness we hadn't traded in my Expedition yet!   Even though the last trip was a sad trip, it was really nice to see a

lot of the family that we missed by not being able to attend the reunion this year.    We really enjoyed the cooler weather and being able to put a jacket on in August!   It was a nice summer break from our Florida heat.


We survived all three hurricanes without too much damage.  There was none to our house really.   We had a lot of clean up of tree branches and LOTS of leaves!   Last year we had a huge tree in front of our house cut down.   It's a good thing we did, or it no doubt would have been in our dining room.   We still have one tree in the back of our house that is leaning a bit and needs to come down, but we consider ourselves very lucky considering the damage we've seen to other people’s homes.   One good thing did come of this too.   Our small neighborhood became closer.  Everyone helped each other with the cleanup and people that wouldn't even speak or wave before now say "Good Morning" and wave when picking up their morning paper!   


Our dear little Yorkie, Abbee, will be 13 years old on New Years Eve.   She is about 90% blind and has a heart condition that she takes medication for twice a day.  Still, she loves to play with her toys and take walks.  However, most of the time Emilee or I end up carrying her!    Our Maltese, Marcee, is still as mean as ever.  She torments Abbee on a daily basis, but even though Abbee is only 5 pounds, she holds her ground and won't take any "crap" from Marcee!   Even though I never had any sisters, I hear that's what they do to each other, so I guess it's normal!   We still have our Quaker parrot, Kiwee and our parakeets too.   We started with two parakeets, but just this past week, someone gave Emilee two more, so now there are a total of four.   Emilee bought them a bird condo over the summer, so there is plenty of room.  We're also finding out that four isn't a whole lot louder than two are!  


That about wraps up 2004 for this Lewis family.   We look forward to 2005 and hope that it's a healthy and profitable year for everyone.   Through all that we've been through, we've learned that you should not take anything for granted and live each day to the fullest.   Life's too short to sweat the small stuff!   Enjoy yourself, stay healthy, and above all..... be happy!  




Our love to all.......


                                      John, Pam, Emilee, Abbee, Marcee, Kiwee, Mollee, Pollee, Dollee, & Hollee