Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - My Cousin Laurie

Christmas 2011

I was going to the office Christmas party this week and trying to figure out what to wear, and of course my eyes go right to my red sweater.

Now my mind, though sane, does march to its own drummer (nine drummers at Christmas time) and the red triggered my Star Trek geek. Wearing red makes you a target. This is true of cars, dresses and, most especially, shirts. Red gets you noticed--which is good if you want to be noticed, bad if you don't want to end up vaporized. I bought a new blouse, black...(why risk it)

This year....

Paul is still plugging away at Lockheed, 27 years now. Fingers crossed that the gig continues at least for a few more years, though he does have dreams of retirement soon. He is still working on the kitchen (a labor of love? Ahem, bless his heart) the end is near and I do mean for the kitchen and not Paul.

I am now in my 13th year at TCU, wow! Still loving it, raising more children every year and at times looking at who holds our future in their hands…

Paul and I went to Key West this summer with Martha and Jeff (sister and brother-in-law) had a great time with family and zipping around the island on jet skis and exploring the mangroves in kayaks, there may have been a Margarita or two in there.

We also took a trip to Florida at Thanksgiving to spend it with Paul's parents. We made a stop in New Orleans, I had never been there and had a great time, great food and wonderful coffee! It was great seeing the folks.

The girls are doing well; Stephanie and husband Richard are always doing little improvements to their house (built in the '60s) sounds like she inherited something from dad.

Andrea is plugging away at nursing school and we look forward to graduation in July. Nice to know there will be someone to watch after us in our old age? We probably won't be able to afford her!

Star Trek taught me more than not to get vaporized; it taught me that family and friendship are the most powerful forces in the universe. Sure you got your phasers, photon torpedoes, but with friends you can accomplish any task, escape any perilous situation, defeat any enemy--and you get to laugh together when it's all over.

In short, thanks to "Star Trek," we may all live long and prosper.

We will be headed to New Mexico for Christmas this year to spend time with my folks and brother Bob and his wife Chris, should be nice and cold (ick), hmmm, red sweater?

Oh, Ho and Merry Christmas!

Laurie Loken
20, 2011