We send you Christmas Greetings from the desert once again. We wish you the best of everything this Holiday Season. We’re celebrating with part of the family here in Arizona. At varying times Pam, Bev, Mark and Gail will be here with their families. We’ve had friends at two Open Houses - one for Square Dancers and one for Trilogy friends, so we’re ready to sit back and relax with family.
One evening we attended one of the many Tango Dance shows in Buenos Aires. It was a trip with the cruise line, so we were seated at tables with various strangers. Get-acquainted conversations were rippling around the table, when the woman across from us mentioned she now lived in Sun City, Arizona but was originally from Chicago. Now with almost three million people in Chicago, you’d think we wouldn’t ask the obvious question, “Where in Chicago are you from?”
But we did, and she answered, “Deerfield.”
Well, now we were getting things narrowed down (only 20,000 in Deerfield), so we said, “So did we.”
“What street?” she replied.
Ray countered with, “You wouldn’t know it, it was just a little short, private street.”
Anyway, turns out the house in Deerfield that we purchased
in 1977 was built by this woman and her husband in the 1950's.
THAT’S TWO! Back to the trip. It really was incredible. Fantastic scenery,
wildlife sightings included over sixty varieties of birds, six types of
whales, various seals, dolphins and sealions. Naturally, the most
numerous were the penguins. As you can /see, our Antarctic gear
Everything man made in Antarctica was red. Guess so you could see it in the snow.When the warm weather came to Arizona, we departed for what we thought would be cooler climes. We traveled to Michigan to visit Paul, Robyn and Keegan in their new home, but alas they had an early heat wave, and we sweltered with the humidity. But Keegan was wonderful at sixteen months, so that made up for the heat. Next stop was Pittsburgh for a retirement party from the University of Pittsburg for a college friend. I was delighted to have another friend there whom I hadn’t seen in years. We had a grand time together. Ray was a good sport and let us ramble on.
Dee, Maggie & Joy - college chums
After the party and visiting with family in the Bay Area, we ventured over to Yosemite for some of its breathtaking sights for a while, then up to the Pacific Coast where we wallowed in the cool coastal air. In August we met our friends in Oregon for our now annual fishin’ n’ eatin’ n’visitin’ n’ pinochle n’ eatin’ get-together. Great friends and good times.
We stayed on the Pacific Coast until it was time to return to the Bay Area for another 50th Anniversary Party. Afterwards we visited a while before returning to Arizona in October where it was still pretty hot. But the nice part was we were back with plenty of time to settle in before the bustle of fall activities began.
We needed to return to Arizona in time to celebrate Ray’s
mother’s 90th Birthday in October. They had a nice party for her.
As usual we danced through the season (end of March) in Mesa enjoying multiple sessions weekly to various callers. We also get to enjoy the company of so many folks who come to dance during this time. We have the added benefit of enjoying bridge weekly with some of the dancers.
Other than the National Convention in Ohio and a few times while in the Bay Area, our dancing was limited to Mesa, but most folks would say that was plenty.
And here at Trilogy
Ray is on the board of the Computer Club, and I teach genealogy and web design classes. We have a Wine and Dine Group once a month. Then a fellow genealogist and I formed a Genealogy Club last spring, and it is going great guns with lots of interested folks still joining.
There are many social activities available, but we can’t attend them all. We attend the ones that appeal to us and which fit into our schedule, which limits several things.
Lloyd’s computer business and menagerie keep him busy most of the time. He keeps terrible hours, but I know I can reach him almost anytime of the day or night because he is glued to his cell phone. His dog, Serge, has him trained for daily exercise, which is good for them both.
Mark’s career and skydiving keep him busy most of the time.
He’s about a 5½ hour drive from us, but he has only been here a
couple of times this year. Once again in February this year he
joined a World Team in Thailand where they set another World
Record. Then in October he was in Arizona for the National Sky
Pam is the eternally bustling teacher. Her fourth graders keep her busy in the classroom, and she keeps busy with multiple extra programs at the school. Dancing, friends and theater occupy her time when she is not correcting papers.
Gail’s career as a pharmaceutical rep keeps her on the road much of the time, either calling on clients or going to seminars and training. Her success in this field has garnered many rewards in the form of trips and other niceties. Tom joins her in various cities when he can get away to do so. When she is not working she is busy with her circle of friends in multiple activities.
Bev and Rick are constantly engaging in some project. Rick has so many improvements to their house, he must have doubled its value. The yard is a wondrous thing, and the new Entertainment Center and pantry were winter/rainy time projects. With Rico and Selina now in different schools, Bev has twice as many places where she must participate. Their circle of friends has widened with the children in school. Bev is still a Girl Scout leader, a coach for Odyssey of the Mind plus plays tennis and somehow gets all of it done.
Paul and Robyn have had a busy year. They began house hunting early in the year. They wanted a place with a boat dock, in a good school district for Keegan, a larger yard, and a little more house. Well, they found it and moved in May. We tried to help out with a visit, but not sure we were that much help. They are busy with their engaging little boy. Paul still works long hours at Ford. and Robyn teaches at the local college a couple of days a week.
Monica is now a sophomore at Chico State University. She joined a sorority this year, so with school work, sorority events and working when she is on vacation, she is quite a busy young lady.
In the fourth grade at a new school with advanced programming designed to challenge her, Selina has made a lot of adjustments for such a little girl. She is busy with schoolwork, Girl Scouts, soccer, gymnastics and her special program, Odyssey of the Mind.
Our ever energetic Rico plays T-Ball, soccer, football, bocce and any other sport he can find someone to play with. He is now in kindergarten and reading things other than the sports scores in the newspaper. As always he is constantly on the go, which keeps everyone on their toes.
Keegan is almost two years old and talks up a storm. We haven't seen him in person since our visit in June but hope to remedy that in the near future. In the meantime he has left messages on our phone singing Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. His parents sent us a video where he wished us Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
We continue to enjoy retirement and are thankful for our good health, even if there are a few aches and pains now and then. Plans for 2007 are still in the making, but in 2008 we will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. So, here’s the deal. We are planning to take the family on a cruise. It will most possibly be out of San Francisco to Alaska the first part of August, and if any of our friends and family would like to join us, we’d love to have you. We’ll let you know the specifics as soon as we learn them. We had a great group of friends join us in Hawaii on our 25th, and it was memorable. Put it on your calendar, and we’ll soon learn what kind of group rates, we will be able to get.
That’s about it for the year of 2006. We
wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas
and the Very Best in 2007.
Joy and Ray