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  Dear Friends and Family – For those who are familiar with the Allred Holiday letter (in which we have only reported the awful things that happened to us so that you, the recipients of this gift, might feel a little better about your own lives) are breaking the tradition of more than 20 years. 2020 has caused so much discord, disruption and suffering that making fun of the bad did not seem appropriate. Because many have inquired about the letter, I will offer a few assurances:              Robb has not changed. He still argues with the television, has “trigger commercials” that set him off; he argues with the dogs and himself. His newest quandary is that he can’t get “the look” he wants when constantly reenacting the commercials he hates to show me how it should have been done. He’s seven years old. Ironically, he did care about a dove which had taken refuge in our garage & pooped on everything, though periodically whispering, “…because its not dove season …yet.” While we
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                                      We're Going to Expedite This Holiday! 2019 Happy Holidays!                                                   I am awakened to a phone call. This is just one of too many to count. It is important to note that in these trying times, some things never change. Daddy (a.k.a. Col Marc Powe) is still escaping from memory care. Protocol dictates that the staff at Isle at Watercrest begin the call in this manner: Alex: Hello? Isle: Alex, your dad is okay but … It is here that I will next learn about how my father has done something somewhere somehow. Currently, there are several “open” investigations. On this phone call, however, I learn that Daddy has made it upstairs, through a locked stairwell again. The story, however, is best told from the perspective of Rose, one of our beloved caregivers. Rose: I was standing at my station when the nurses called from upstairs. They said, ‘Rose, the Colonel is upstairs,’ I said ‘No, this is impossi

Holiday 2018

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                Dear Friends and Family                                                                    Note: If you've never read the annual Allred holiday letter, here's the concept: Since 1999, we've pretty much been sharing everything that went wrong so that you can feel so much better about your own lives. You're welcome.               We started out the new year by looking for a new house and Robb was arguing with the GPS. Tommy piped up from the back seat. “Dad. You know what this chapter of your life is called? Dementia: The Prologue.” Robb replied, “Hey, Buddy, do you know what this chapter in your life is called? Toothless: The Beginning.” . . .   And here we go.               You’ll recall last year Kerri and Kyle lost everything to Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Not to be outdone, Katie called from San Marcos:   Katie : Momma! I’m okay but my apartment is on fire and flooding .                This event would later become known as the ex

Christmas 2017

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Dear Friends and family –             For those who know the format, yup, it’s another bah-humbug year. For those new to this annual letter, welcome. In this family, “making the letter” is a badge of honor (or humiliation). Since the inception of this annual letter of woe, it has been this way. For the kids, there is (most regretfully) a bit of a competition. Typically, Katie leads. Tommy hovers and the family joke is ‘good girl’ Kerri has only made appearances when she was hit by a bus (twice) or squashed a racoon. Kyle, still new the family and its tradition of celebrating disasters and misery, has not yet peeked…until now:  In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, after losing everything they owned, Kyle reportedly looked at Kerri and asked, “Do you think we’ll make the first or last paragraph of the Christmas letter?”             As they watched the water swallow up their cars in the parking lot, Kerri and Kyle decided to conduct their own Cross-Fit Championship games in their up

Christmas 2016 - the best/the worst

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For those who follow the Allred annual holiday letter, you already know .. this is the letter of doom. But this year, despite proclamations of years passed (almost two decades), was pretty rough. Col. Marc B. Powe, true American hero and our father, fell and is permanently brain damaged. At the time of his fall, he was caring for our mother, Karen, who has Alzheimer’s. That was January 8 th of this year, marking the beginning of the worst year of our lives while thousands of dollars were stolen from our parents, businesses refused to recognize our power-of-attorney status, and rip-off and scam artists loomed. At one point I had decided there would be no letter this year until one of my children reminded me how very much my father – their Papa – looked forward to this letter. So, in honor of my pop – the man who never got me in trouble despite my deeds because he so delighted in my antics; for the U.S. Diplomat who snickered in horrified delight when I called the Queen of Jordon o