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Feliz Navidad
Para mis queridos hijos

   Merry Christmas from the "Other Side"
from Kay and Rudy
    Dad and I wanted to send you a Christmas message this year, since we've been a little out of touch lately.  So we asked Carl to pass this message along to you.  It's just a little easier if we do it this way, just once rather than seven separate messages.  You guys can circulate it down there.  We're kind of busy having fun "up here."  It's not really "up" here, it's more like "everywhere" here, but we don't want to get into the whole metaphysical-quantum physics thing at the moment.  As Dad says, "It's complicated!"

    Don't think that we have singled Carl out because he's special.  He's not.  In fact, I'm a little annnoyed with him because although he learned to play the piano, he doesn't practice every day.  (Dad keeps telling me not to bug him about it, but still...)  He'd rather spend his time making jokes and pretending he's retired.  But I'm sure that's just a phase.  I love him the same as I love the rest of you blockheads.

    Steve Jobs moved up here recently, but we don't yet have the Internet.  Of course, we don't really need it.  We communicate telepathically.  In fact, I talk to you guys all the time, even though it's pretty obvious that you don't hear me very much.  I'm sure you pick it up in bits and pieces, but frankly, I wish you'd tune in a little better.  I know you are busy, and that's OK, I guess, so I decided to take a moment and shout out our message to Carl.  Hopefully he won't mess up.

    Up here it's:  No money.  No bills.  No clocks.  No worries.  Just old fashion FUN... 24/7, so to speak... but that's just an expression... remember, there's no time, and everyday is the same beautiful spring day.  It's just "Diversión, Diversión, Diversión," as the gals from Bolivia say.

    I asked Carl to have some music playing in the background while you read our letter.  I suggested something that qualifies as "Celestial Elevator Music", or as Tom Waits would say, "... you know, something not too interruptive, something like... 'Shopping Music'."  I also asked Carl to stick on his recording of "Kindness".  I like that tune.  In fact, we play it up here a lot.  We have spruced it up with harps, piccolos and tubas.  He was just scratching the surface with that melody line.  But it's a good start.  So I recommend that you click on the link, so you can hear what I'm hearing, even if we have added more instruments to it.  Just click the link and use your imagination.



    OK.  There's been a lot of speculation down there about what it's like up here... you know... like how it's always springtime, angels drift around playing harps, and cherubs attend to our every need.  And all that stuff about meeting your dead aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents, and such.  Or that the lions lie down with the lambs, and "All is forgiven!"

    Surprisingly, it's all TRUE!  And even more.  So much more, in fact, that I only have a little time to get this message off, because I'm playing some Five-dimensional Hai Alai in just a few minutes with a bunch of gals from Venequeala and Curacao.  They asked me to tell you all, "Feliz Navidad!"  Oh yes, and also, "No luches. Sé indulgente y amable. La vida en la tierra es corto."  I'm sure you know this, but they just wanted me to remind you.  Also, "Ámense unos a otros. Mejor! E ir a pescar juntos. Haz las cosas que te gustan hacer. Usted está practicando para la verdadera diversión aquí."

    I know... my Spanish isn't perfect, but what the heck, I've only been speaking it for about a week, since right after I joined the hai alai team.  Carl can post a Google translation for the Spanish stuff.  He was smart enough to take Latin, French and German in school, but not smart enough to take Spanish.  What an idiot!  (Only kidding.)  So he will have to make due with The Google.

    "Merry Christmas!  Don't fight.  Be forgiving and kind.  Life on earth is short.  Love one another.  Better!  And go fishing together.  Do the things you love to do.   You're just practicing for the real fun here."

    Feel free to pass this message on to your own families if you like.  They might like to hear from us as well.  Like we say up here, "We're all just one big happy family."

    Carl assured me that he will be updating this web page from time to time with more pictures.  So send him your favorites.  He'll just grow them on to the bottom of the page.  By and by it might become an anthology.  And if you're unhappy with any of the pictures below, send him your favorites.  He'll remove anything offensive and post the new ones.

    Dad and I composed this Christmas letter, but he asked me to send it down to you all.  He's very busy with his new bicycle project, and besides he says that he preached enough while he was on earth.  He wishes he had spent more time playing the clarinet instead.  And he figured that you guys would listen more carefully if the letter comes from me.  He's a lot smarter than you think.  In fact, right now he is building the "perfect bicycle."  The project is proceeding nicely, in part because there is absolutely no friction or gravity up here in heaven.  The no friction-no gravity thing is great, but it also creates a problem when you want to ride a bicycle...  How to keep the tires on the road?  I'm sure he'll work this out.  He has asked a couple of his pals to help him out.  Right now he is talking shop with Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, trying to resolve the gravity issue.  Dad wanted me to pass along that those two guys have mended their differences.  Albert finally admitted that he was mistaken about that whole EPR thing.  Besides, they've moved way beyond that now and have not only verified the existence of 11 dimensions, they've identified several new ones that probably won't get into earthly textbooks for at least a few more decades.  They asked Heisenberg to help them figure things out.  He's a lot more certain about things, now that he's up here.

    On the home front...  Dad planted a vegetable garden this year.  He loves to talk about his yellow tomatoes.  His favorite joke still includes a hickory nut, a doctor and a dacquiri.  And, these days, he gets it right almost all the time.  Here's a picture of him taking a practice spin on his new bicycle.  When he closes his eyes, he can ride that thing anywhere.


    I'm doing very well.  I play the organ for the celestial choir, and although I love the old standards, Bach, Handel, and Beethoven, I especially enjoy playing a little boogey when no one is expecting it.  And no one seems to complain.  Every evening I play King of the Road on the piano, for old times sake.  Dad still loves it.

    I still enjoy knitting sweaters, despite the permanent springlike temperatures in heaven.  I knit very light cardigans for cherubs, who normally wear no clothes at all, but they love the cardigans because I put heart shaped buttons down the front.  I still am a bit uncomfortable with all the nudity up here.

    I am also very happy to report that Jesus, Mohammad, Krishna and Buddha all get along famously together.  They asked me to mention this.  They've been trying to get all the earthly priests, ministers, preachers, monks, disciples and followers to have a more ecumenical approach to things, but most of those people just don't seem to be listening all that well.  Personally I think all four of them are a little fed up, but they never show it.  I might just be imagining that, but I would be fed up, if I were in their sandals.

    Next week I am going on a pilgrimage to meet the guy known as "Lao Tsu," who lives high atop a cloudy pinnacle.  It is widely reported that his white beard dissolves seemlessly into the cirrocumulus.  Only the hardiest of souls makes it this high, but I am determined to be there by December 24, spend the day, and be home later in the evening.  It's a lot quicker going down the mountain than it is going up.  I might even ride Dad's bike, if he's worked out the kinks by then.

    Here I am playing a boogey rendition of Silent Night with one of my favorite cherubs.  She is helping me with the bass part.

    I have only one request.  NOW.  I know some of you will think this is corny, but I was raised on corny.  I like a little corny now and then, especially at Christmas time.   Please hit this link: Nice Things, and send off a list of all the nice things you plan to do next year.  I had a chat with Norman Vincent Peale the other day, and he told me that this is a very good way to start a new year... write down your best intentions and make them public.  That way you are a bit more likely to actually follow through.

    Finally, to you all, my beautiful sons:  Have the merriest Christmas possible.  Dad and I love you all, more than you know.

    Below are some of my favorite all time pictures of you boys:


Chris (just before his second baptism)

Carl (shoeless and clueless)

Richard (involved in "Risky" behavior)

Michael (wearing headgear that is no longer legal)

Paul (finding his vocation)

David (well?)

Robert (nice one!)



From Mom and Dad "on high"




Michael - Clean as a whistle