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THANK YOU FOR MAKING 2005 OUR BEST YEAR EVER

By Frank Kaiser

If you hate those folded Christmas card inserts with the sender's “year in review,” this is one of those.

Without the Christmas card.

So first, a heartfelt Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukkah — whatever makes you smile.*

Like yours, ours has been one hell of a year.

Allow me to breeze over the death threats I received after publishing my Terri Schiavo column and the 1,255 cancellations prompted by my antiwar piece, “How Many More Must Die?”

Like I said, it's been a hell of a year.

  • 2005 saw the Suddenly Senior Website grow substantially, from 1,200 to about 1,500 pages of senior humor, nostalgia, trivia, travel, senior advocacy, “222 Best Senior Links,” and other useful information for those aged 50+.

  • The number of hits, pages visited, and unique visitors to the Suddenly Senior Website doubled this year from last. As did last year from the year before.

  • Thanks to you, our wise and wonderful readers, for giving your trust and your business to our advertisers, we now have a waiting list of companies wanting to advertise on the site.

  • Thanks to the our bought-and-paid-for Congress and their ill-advised Medicare Drug Plan, I've received far more e-mail than ever before, often 300 to 400 a day, seven days a week, from angry and confused readers. Although it often takes a while, I try to answer every one and do my best to help solve reader problems.

  • And thanks to a growing Internet, Suddenly Senior now gets readers from 131 countries around the world. Even Easter Island.

Who'd a thunk that such success would meet a little newspaper column for geezers started in 1999 by a guy who simply needed a job where he wouldn't have to lie about his age? From one syndicating newspaper back then to 53 today - with some two million circulation - doing Suddenly Senior is the neatest job I've ever had.

I will be 70 two days after Christmas. This is the best time of my life.

And now that my wife, Carolyn, is working with me doing the “Week's Best Jokes” and a slew of other chores, it's like a dream come true for both us, a dream that wouldn't be possible without you.

We are both so thankful for your letters, calls, and e-mails of encouragement and love. We especially appreciate your thoughtful e-mails of criticism and condemnation. It makes us reexamine issues and motives. I pray that we continue to admit when we're wrong.

We thank all of you who send the wonderful, awful, corny, dirty, crude, almost-always-funny jokes and cartoons. We get 100 to 300 a day. Carolyn's gotten to know many of you, and when one of her “regulars” miss a day or two, she's concerned and e-mails to see if they are all right.

A couple of special “Thanks” from me: First, to Rosemary Shay for her daily help finding and researching articles that are then reprinted and sent out to about 10,000 of you who want to get the latest Medicare, Social Security, and other news of importance to Suddenly Seniors. (If you'd like to be on the list, send a blank e-mail to Get-rxnews@suddenlysenior.com.)

Second, a very special thanks to Terry Wollin for her huge heart and excellent editing skills. When you see luster in my columns, it's Terry shining through.

Finally, to all of you Carolyn and I send our appreciation, our thanks and our love. May we all have a healthy, happy and peaceful 2006.

*So typical that this Congress called for the symbols and traditions of Christmas to be protected as that same group of lawmakers pushed through $50 billion in cuts for programs that provide vital assistance to the poor, including Medicare and food stamps, and passed over $90 billion in tax cuts, mostly for the rich. In the Bible, Christians are cautioned not to do as their leaders do, "for they do not practice what they preach."

Copyright © 2005 — Frank Kaiser


NEW THIS WEEK AT SUDDENLY SENIOR

Pharmacist Tom Braun's “US Healthcare: 21st Century Titanic” in his popular series, “Confessions of a Drug Pusher.”

Celebrating Your Essence

A wonderful Christmas story by Suddenly Senior reader and writer Steve Roberts. “The last time I did this exercise, here's what my heart brought forth...“

My Red Christmas Coat Remembered

Another wonderful story by MaryAnn McKissick. A seven-year-old girl’s Teddy-bear love of a garment makes for an elegant Christmas story.


RECENT COLUMNS

A GEEZER’S LIST FOR SANTA

What do you want for Christmas? How about a clock that tracks “senior time,” a clapper for your glasses, and of course, world peace? READ FULL STORY

TAKING MEDICARE PLAN
BY THE HORNS,
THIS SENIOR GETS GORED

Frank takes you along as he attempts to negotiate the shoals of Medicare’s drug plan, both online and by phone. Hold your nose. It stinks every bit as bad as everyone says. READ FULL STORY

WHAT YOU HAVEN’T READ
ABOUT THE NEW MEDICARE
DRUG PLAN COULD HURT YOU

Here’s the latest on Plan D, including much that you never read before. Cuts right through all the disinformation out there to the truth. READ FULL STORY

AND FOR THE SEASON THIS YEAR...

Santa's Retiring.
Any Takers?

Hundreds of years of wear and tear have left Santa with a sore back and bunions. As it is for the rest of us, it's time Santa retires. Next year, Christmas is up to you.

Gifts for that Senior in Your Life

When you've lived as long as most seniors, you've got everything — and then some. Here are some helpful hints for gifts seniors will never buy for themselves.

By the old Another wonderful story by MaryAnn McKissick. A seven-year-old girl’s Teddy-bear love of a garment makes for an elegant Christmas story.

Christmas with Louise

Winner of Louisville Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinner.

Christmas in Kabul

A post-9/11 twist on "The Night Before Christmas."


New Feature:

THIS WEEK'S BEST SENIOR CARTOON >>>>

THIS WEEK'S BEST 222 SENIOR SITES
http://www.suddenlysenior.com/links.shtml
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THE BEST OF SENIOR SEX
http://www.suddenlysenior.com/sexpage.html
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SEE THE BEST SENIOR NOSTALGIA ANYWHERE, http://www.suddenlysenior.com/nostalgiapage.html
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SEE THE BEST SENIOR TRIVIA ANYWHERE, http://www.suddenlysenior.com/triviapage.html


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MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Frank

Frank Kaiser frank@suddenlysenior.com

http://www.suddenlysenior.com/

The nationally syndicated column seen by more than one and a half million Americans over 50 who've become senior before their time.

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