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  • January 10th, 2016

Happy New Year

What better way to summarize the year 2015 than to do it on the last day of the year. It has been a year of ups and downs for the Vance family and we can only hope that 2016 will be infinitely better.
For me it started about a year and ½ ago with a stroke which screwed up my left hand and ended my guitar playing, something that really hurts because that’s been my way to mellow out for the last six decades. So now I listen to music rather than playing it. The stroke was followed up a month later with an operation on my right carotid to Roto Root the blockage. That’s taken care of now and I actually have good blood flow. In march of 2015 I came down with pancreatitis which is something I would not wish on my worst enemy unless my worst enemy was rush Limbaugh which is pretty much the case. The low light of the pancreatitis was spending three months being force fed pureed dog food through a tube which allowed the pancreas to get rid of inflammation.
At one time they were going to cut on me but decided to see if the tube feeding and my body would heal itself to some extent anyway which eventually worked. So now I can eat pretty much what I want although I’ve had to give up drinking wine or beer or any of the good stuff of life so New Year’s Eve for us will be football games on television and maybe a Pepsi Cola.
What the Hell, when you get to the 81 which I reached in September, stopping drinking and carousing is probably a pretty good thing. I take enough pills every day to stock a pharmacy but so far they all seem to be doing what they’re supposed to. My blood pressure is that of a teenager, better than it ever has been in my life. Cholesterol is fine, good EKG. For a sick old man I’m pretty healthy.
Marty the matriarch of the family is healthy, although showing the effects of mild dementia which screws up her memory. Her long-term memories are just fine– she remembers all the good old days going to Louie’s, in Macon, dancing and listening to that good 1950s music. Football games, proms, all the great memories of high school are still there.
More than a dozen years ago Marty and I drove to northeastern Ohio to pick a puppy from a litter for which the father was our daddy dog. We watched the litter romp around the back yard for about an hour and the last one to quit was a feisty little female and she became Molly the matriarch of our kennel for the next dozen years. Molly grew old as we all do and we lost her this year and it was a sad occasion.
Now we have a replacement, a fireball black French Brittany named Millie. Millie already has learned all the basics and is working on some other refinements. As far as I can tell she’s smarter than anybody in the family. We miss Molly tremendously but, Millie is nicely filling the gap and Andy is looking forward to seeing how she will do next October in the grouse woods.
The rest of the family is fine. Ron and Carrie are enjoying retirement more than anybody ought to. They spent six weeks as caretakers on an island campground in Florida last spring and are planning to go back for a month this spring.
Eddie’s business is burgeoning and he often subcontracts work to J.B., mostly electrical. Andy still is working for a siding company and right now totally engaged in training Millie. Amy still is working at MoDOT and has been our chauffeur, especially on the long trips I’ve had to make to the St. Louis university hospital for endoscopes and other things I’d rather not have done. She and Brad are involved with Jason’s sports activities and also spent a good bit of the year planning for and overseeing Christina’s wedding.
This is a short blog because I’m using voice recognition software and for some reason it doesn’t talk along the same lines as I do and I wind up having to correct about two of every three words. I hope to get back into the regular blogs especially those dealing with politics which will be a big story in 2016, probably not a very happy one. The Republican candidate slate is composed of fools, idiots and incompetents and it’s hard to see anybody emerging from that rabid pack with any common sense. Can’t say I’m extremely impressed by the Democrats either but the list of nonentities is much shorter and much more tolerable.
So until next time have a happy new year and we all hope that it will be the best one you’ve ever had the most profitable the healthiest and the happiest.
Remember the mantra of the 1960s peace and love. Flower power is a pretty good way to go.

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  1. Larry Stone

    January 10th, 2016 at 5:02 pm


    Joel: Good to get the update and to hear you’ve overcome multiple adversities and maintained your sense of humor! Wishing you and Marty the best for 2016! Larry Stone

  2. Mark Herich

    January 13th, 2016 at 9:57 pm


    Hang in there Joel, and best wishes as you travel along the road to recovery.

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