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The King Post-Christmas Chronicles

Let me start this by saying I’m cheating. I’m sharing my actual post-Christmas letter I’m sending out this year.

Dear family and friends,

I know. I know. I’m late with the annual King Christmas Chronicles. But that was my intention. I decided to wait until after the big day so our news wouldn’t be lost in the clutter of the other obligatory pretentious family news you may have received — frankly none of us have done anything that great in the past 12 months. The kids are good. Mick and I are good.

Hmmm … that doesn’t fill the page. Guess I need to dig into the 2018 archives a bit more.

• Let’s start with Josh. He’s a project manager with his construction company in Clive. He also enjoys getting his hands dirty in all aspects of the job and takes such pride in the company’s finished products — everything from new construction to remodels, both residential and commercial.

• Kaylee is working from their home for an orthopedic center. She handles scheduling, medical records, prescription refills, etc., and loves the fact she is no longer commuting to work every day. Funny thing is, she was also a patient earlier this year when she was knocked over by a very friendly dog at a local dog park and broke her ankle, ending up in surgery with two screws put in.

• Reid is a first grader this year. I know I’m going to sound like a grandma, but if your grandson was as exceptional as mine, well, you’d understand. Scholastically, he is at the top of his grade expectations, but the most remarkable thing about him is his vast knowledge of football, both college and professional. I’m not kidding — it’s almost a savant ability … and he’s only six-years-old. His “Elf on the Shelf” is even named after a local Hawkeye football player.

• Avery had another foot surgery this fall, this time her left. She got along really well and missed only seven weeks of work. (Not sure she actually “missed” it much.) She treated herself to a Florida vacation last spring where she went swimming with sharks. Needless to say, Mick and I were terrified until the moment we picked her safely at the airport on her return to the land of corn and cows. She has a new beau, Ryan, and it’s wonderful to see her so happy again.

• Carson is in security at Prairie Meadows. In response to recent mass shootings across the U.S., Prairie Meadows launched a new armed Rapid Response Team in July to help protect visitors and he was selected for the team, quickly getting a promotion to dual-rate sergeant. He also just bought a house within my “no more than 50-miles from Mom radius” rule and we’re all excited at this most recent notch in his “adulting” belt. (My 23-year-old, 6’4” baby is all grown up.) He’s currently in San Antonia cheering on his Cyclones.

Guess that just leaves us old folks and we don’t have much to complain about … well, we could complain, but if we started we probably wouldn’t stop (you know how old folks get). Actually, it’s all good.

• Mick continues his retirement job in grounds and maintenance at Prairie Meadows and other than those really hot or really cold days, thoroughly enjoys it. His pasttimes include continually announcing the weather at South Padre Island and Palmetto, Fla., refilling the bird feeders and turning off any fan I have blowing in the house.

• I’m still plugging away in my job as page designer and columnist at the four newspapers. In August, I began commuting to work each day to the office at the Newton Daily News. I actually took third place for my “So Anyway” column in the Master Columnist division at the awards banquet at the 2018 Iowa Newspaper Association’s Iowa Better Newspaper contests last February and have been notified I’ve placed again in for 2019. It sincerely is an honor just to be nominated. No, really, it is. Seriously, it is. I’m not kidding.

We have a new addition to our fur-family. In June, my beautiful golden retriever Aspen died, leaving a huge hole in not only our hearts, but in Cricket’s as well. So we brought an 8-week-old golden into our home to add as much love to our family as Aspen did. Willow is now eight months old, beautiful, funny and very lively, but she does have a fetish for my freshly laundered socks and slippers. I can no longer even count the number of chewed slippers and wet, snarled socks I’ve had to throw away. If you ever see me barefoot, you’ll know why.

Here’s hoping your 2019 is healthy and happy.

P.S. — I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but if I did, I’d pledge to be more on top of my Christmas letter game next December.

Contact Dana King at

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