2008 Year in Review

Alan started having migraine headaches at the latter part of last year. It seemed like they only came on Saturday or Sunday. Week after week, he would have them. They would only last a day usually. He went to the doctor and they kept trying different things. They gave him pills to take before getting a headache, but nothing that really took it away completely. They did find a cervical vertebrae that was herniated, but the doctor said that wouldn't be an indication of pain in the head, only in the arm. Finally they tried Imitrex, it's an injection that he gives himself in the arm. That gets rid of the headaches. He says it's a miracle drug! As of now, he's controlling them, and hasn't had one in a while, knock on wood!

We were in bed by 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. That's how you can tell you're getting old. Well, we're obviously not getting TOO old, because we went to Las Vegas in February. This city has become one of our favorite hang-outs in the past few years. We stayed at Bally's in a very nice room with a spectacular view. We ended up in such casinos as Caesar's Palace, the Bellagio, and Planet Hollywood, the Hilton and the Sahara. The highlight of the trip, from Brenda's point of view anyway, was when we saw The Platters, The Coasters, and the Marvelettes (who weren't really the Marvelettes, they were imposters because the originals have all gone up to that big sock hop in the sky). Alan enjoyed them the best, especially because one of them was flirting with him. The occasion for our trip was that Brenda was having hip revision surgery. After having her original hip replacement 24 years ago, it was finally wearing out, and time to replace it again.

In March, Alan gave Brenda a nice dinner at the Olive Garden with a few friends and family before her surgery. He paid for everyone's dinner, so that made it extra nice. Then on Tuesday, March 18th we went to St. Agnes Hospital for hip revision surgery. They got Brenda up the same day and everything went well. The therapists were pleased at her progress, so she went straight home on Friday, and not to a rehabilitation center. A week later her Mom and Dad drove up from the Shenandoah Valley and spent the next 2 weeks taking care of her. Alan really appreciated that so he could get back to work. At first, we had a therapist that came to our home, then she went to a therapy place down the street. All seemed well at that point.

In July we went to Anna Maria Island in Florida with the family. It was nice. We stayed at our regular duplex on the sand, just steps from the Gulf of Mexico. Our good friends from Tampa came over and visited. It was really great to see them again. When we got home, we heard that Columbia was having outdoor concerts on the weekends, so we went to a couple of them. We took our lounge chairs and sat under the trees by the lake, and really enjoyed the entertainment. We went to the biggest car show EVER in Ocean City, MD. Alan had a friend at work that had entered his car in the show. Little did we know that the WHOLE city had a car show that weekend. So Alan drove the whole way there (about 2 hours), then we went to the show, and he ended up driving the whole way back the same day. We had planned to stay, but every hotel was crowded. We'd never seen so many old cars in one place before. It was awesome!

In October, Brenda got laid off her job. Alan took her to visit her Mom and Dad for a couple of weeks. We thought, at that time, we might spend 6 months in the U.K. because of business, but it turned out great when (the same day that we heard of the upcoming surgery) we found out we didn't have to go after all. Brenda had a doctor's appointment on November 3 and that's when he told her the top of her new hip was slipping out of the bone and would have to do surgery again. He said it wasn't an emergency, but it would have to be done as soon as possible. So she set the date again for December 15th, and is not able to look for a job yet because of these conditions. She's been on crutches or a cane since March.

Brenda's Mom and Dad came over for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a blast. We ate then played scrabble and upwards. We started laughing so hard one time, we thought Alan was going to have a breakdown of some kind.

It has been a good year for us overall and we are very blessed to have what we have. Our wish is for you too to have a great 2009. Please stay in touch. You can email Alan at
alan@brandhofer.com and Brenda at brenda@brandhofer.com. Hope to hear from you!

Alan & Brenda Brandhofer