50th Anniversary

Easter Island

Hi, we're Joy and Ray Tennison, citizens of Gilbert, Arizona and Dublin, California, formerly of Lafayette, California and before that of Chicago, Illinois (and Deerfield).  We enjoy square dancing , traveling, the theater, doing genealogy research and activities with our family.  See our Travel Pages for more current info, and click on the links to visit the more detailed descriptions in the travelog.  If you're interested in ancient history check out our Christmas Letters which date back to 1967!  The photo above was taken on Easter Island in January 2013.

The year began with friends in California at a traditional New Year's Day dinner. We spent the holidays in California with family and returned to Arizona to resume
our activities there. We made a trip to Las Vegas in March to see Jersey Boys, which was enjoyable. Then in April we visited family in California for the holiday. Back in Arizona again we danced and attended club meetings until it was time to hit the road again.

By June we were in California getting ready to depart for the Midwest - first square dancing in Indianapolis, then visiting with son, Paul, and family, then with friends along the way. We returned to California by way of South Dakota re-visiting the sights there - just to see if anyone had changed anything on Mount Rushmore. All was well, so we were back in California in time to make our annual trip up the coast to Oregon with our friends for our week of pinochle and crabbing.

Upon our return in the fall to Arizona we flew to Berlin for the beginning of our river cruise down the Elbe to Prague. Somehow we had never visited Prague and thought this cruise was the ideal way to get there. Well, the cruise wasn't great, but our days in Prague were lovely.

The worst year of our lives has finally ended. We thank everyone for the support throughout Pam's illness. We feel privileged to have so many wonderful and supportive friends. It has been six months since her death, and we miss her every day and probably will for the remainder of our lives. Our 2013 Christmas letter is up. There are some memories of Pam here - and a link from her name in the left column.

This year started badly with us being called back to Arizona from California on New Year's Day to the hospital bed of Ray's sister. She died after a brief stay in the hospital. We dealt with the aftermath of that and then returned to our life in Gilbert and Dublin.

We square danced and enjoyed community activities in Arizona. In California we always enjoy old friendships and family activities.

We traveled with Pam to Victoria, B.C. after she got out of school for a nice rest. We enjoyed the island and it's sights and amenities. Lunch at the Empress was disappointing, but Butchart Gardens was lovely as always.

A big party for Pam's birthday in August was a huge success, but kept us busy for most of that month. Since Pam is a "purple person," here is another link to some purpllized photos from her party.

We did the Komen Walk again in September, and Gail opted for the 60-mile, 3 day version, which she completed in style.

In late October Pam, Bev and I embarked on a trip to Italy (Gail had just returned from there so didn't join us). We visited Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Assisi, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, and Venice. We had an incredible time, and I'll have a travel page up soon--promise. In the meantime, here are some photos. And some of Rome.

We returned to Arizona to get settled in the house and do some square dancing. We celebrated Christmas in California then left on a South Pacific cruise to cross Easter Island off of our Bucket List. We also visited Robinson Crusoe Island, Bora Bora, and Moorea.

Our Christmas Letter is up.

Early in the year we decided to look for a condominium in California to be nearer our Bay Area offspring and grandchildren. So, by June we closed the deal on our little place in Dublin, California 24 miles from our former home in Lafayette and 750 from our current home in Gilbert. It is tiny and efficient, and we love that. We have underground parking, a clubhouse, a fitness center, swimming pool and a spa. What more could we ask for?

Needless to say, now we had to furnish this new place. The last time I had to furnish a place from scratch was when we were married 53 years ago. Had I remembered how much work it was, I may have reconsidered. Anyway, it finally got done by Christmas.

Late July had the family vacationing in Dunsmuir, California, well most of the family--Mark was sky diving in Texas and Lloyd had difficulty getting sitters for his pets. But twelve of us were together for a week near Mount Shasta and enjoyed all the activities the area could offer. Hikes to waterfalls, visit to the Shasta Dam, a hike up to the snow on Mt. Shasta, swimming in Lake Siskiyou, You get the picture. The large house had a hot tub on the deck overlooking the river, so that was a favorite night time activity. We all dined together at night and managed to polish off an astounding number of bottles of very good vintage wines.

In August we square danced in McCloud then continued up to Coos Bay, Oregon for our annual get-together with friends. We returned to California and Arizona and returned to our normal activities for theremainder of the year.

The year was consumed with family affairs.  Our only travel was to New York City for a week, to Chicago for a reunion in June and to the Oregon coast in September for our annual get together.

Our Christmas letter is up.  You can read it here--in HTML form or download the PDF.

Our Christmas letter is up.  You can read it here.

We flew into Anchorage, Alaska to get to Whittier to board the ship for our 32 day Asian Cruise.  We visited Russia, Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and finally Thailand where we spent five days in Bangkok. It really was a phenomenal trip.  I'm still sorting through memories and photos to get everything posted on our travel pages. Soon, I promise.

From Colorado we continued into Utah to Arches National Park,
and Canyonlands National Park. Then we visited Great Basin National Park and its Lehman Caves in Nevada. On into California where we saw the sights and Sulphur Works of Lassen Volcanic National Park.  We visited with friends and family before returning to Arizona in the heat to get ready for our cruise.

JULY 2009
The 4th of July at Paul and Robyn's is always spent at Robyn's family reunion in Canada, just over the border. Paul has the week off, so Ray worked on various projects with him, we visited and played with Keegan. We square danced a couple of times, visited friends Celia and Duane where we played a lot of bridge, had lunch at Pat and Art's, and generally had a great time. A change in plans made us head for California. We tried not to cover the same territory we have been over so many times. We visited some Colorado sights - some firsts, some not--Rocky Mountain National Park,
Garden of the Gods, the Air Force Academy and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

JUNE 2009
We waited around home for our new solar system to be fully installed and for our new car to be delivered. Everything finally got done, and we left on the 10th. It was way TOO hot to still be in Arizona by then. We made our way to Tucson to visit Ray's sister, then made tracks to get to Milwaukee for the AACE convention. From there we visited friends in Michigan and on to son, Paul's, for some grandchild time.
With the death of Ray's mother in February we had some adjustments in life styles.  No more visits to Tucson frequently.  Pam flew back for the funeral.  Then we returned to our regular patterns. Friends from Illinois visited in March and Mark visited for a few days.  Rico's First Communion Mother's Day weekend had us in California for that event.  Skydiving in Eloy gave us another quick visit from Mark over the Memorial Day weekend.  We'll return later in the month for Monica's graduation from Chico State University.  Then, we'll be off. 

Christmas preparations, parties and family visits kept December the usual busy month that it is.  Mark and Pam came early for Christmas, then Bev, Rick and kids arrived a little later.  We celebrated the holidays, kids visited their great-grandmother in Tucson, and the time went quickly.  January we plunged back into our dance and social schedule.

We left Arizona after visiting Ray's mother in Tucson. We square danced in Milwaukee,  visited Paul, Robyn and Keegan in Michigan, friends in Flint, Michigan and Oregon, Illinois before heading westward.  A few National Parks and then it was time to meet the family in Seattle for our August 50th Wedding Anniversary cruise to Alaska. It was great, then in September we followed up with a renewal of vows and party in California for family and friends there.  Everything was really special.  We returned to Arizona for lots of square dancing in November and into December.

Square dancing, bridge, Wine and Dine, Genealogy Club, etc. etc. take up most of our time during these months, and this year was no different. We enjoyed some Phoenix Symphony performances and saw "John Boy," Richard Thomas, playing a middle aged juror in 12 Angry Men. Got a new computer, so setting that up took some time.  Our St. Pat's Party has become an annual event.  We visited family and friends in California in May then returned home to get ready for our summer trek.

We spent the month visiting exotic places we had never been before. Egypt, Oman, UAE, India, Thailand and Singapore. Read our adventures here.
  We flew in to San Francisco on Christmas Eve and spent five days with the family who were all assembled there for the holidays.  We were back in Arizona by the New Year.  Our belated Christmas Letter is up on the Web.
classes for the Computer Club and going on trips with the Genealogy Club kept me busy early in the month.  Ray's mother is now settled in an assisted living home and is doing well.  Square dancing started up mid-month, and now we know how rusty we are.  Before Thanksgiving we were packing and getting ready for our Odyssey to Asia aboard Oceania's Nautica. 
Our trip will take us around the world.  November's stops include Rome, Messina, Cairo and the Suez Canal.
Back in Arizona by the 4th and getting settled back in our home. Must sift through the dust that collected inside and outside during our sojourn. It takes a while.
  No square dancing until November, so we have time to do a few things.  Ray is busy going back and forth to Tucson, where his mother has been in the hospital.

By September we were in Oregon enjoying cool weather along the coast in Lincoln City, next Florence, and then Charleston (near Coos Bay) to be with friends.
Next stop California to visit family, friends and doctor. All is well with everyone.

A visit to Delaware's capital in Dover was a first for us.  Spent some time in upstate New York and celebrated our wedding anniversary at a lovely restaurant overlooking the Niagara River.  Drove through Canada to return to Paul and Robyn's for a two-day visit, then stopped in Illinois to visit a friend and continued westward.

JULY 2007
An extended stay in Michigan gave us time to get reacquainted with two year old, Keegan.  We visited square dancing/bridge playing friends and enjoyed both activities with them before going to a dance weekend in York, PA. 
With all that history so close, we spent time in Gettysburg and Philadelphia.

JUNE 2007
We visited cousins in Oklahoma, attended a Pecan Festival there and moved on to cooler weather- for a while anyway.  We stopped in Branson, Missouri to catch Andy Williams and Glen Campbell, then square danced at the AACE Convention in Milwaukee before arriving at our son's in Michigan.

MARCH - MAY 2007
March meant mo
re square dancing and theater, including The Producers.  It was our first time seeing this show, and we loved it.  Also saw a performance of Cyrano, which was great.  A visit to California in April gave us time with family and friends which we enjoyed.  Tying up loose ends at home before departing took more time than we would have liked, but it finally got all finished, and we're on the road for the summer.

Once the Christmas decorations were put away, the square dancers arrived in full force.  January and February were extremely cold here, and we lost a lot of plants in our yard.  But we did indoor things, like square dancing and theater.  Before Christmas we saw Gregory Harrison in Chicago, and after the holidays we enjoyed traveling Broadway productions of Man of La Mancha, On Golden Pond with Tom Bosley and Michael Learned, and Legends
starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans.  Also enjoyed touring performances by Bobby Vinton, Crystal Gayle, John Davidson, The Crew Cuts, The Diamonds, The Lettermen, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Mickey Gilley. 

November found us back square dancing on a regular basis, hosting a wine and dine dinner working with our new Genealogy Club and the Computer Club.  We spent Thanksgiving with a friend here in Trilogy, and all of a sudden it was December.
  We enjoyed the company of four of our offspring and their families over the Christmas season.  They kept things lively during their visits.   Christmas letter is up on the website.

By early October
we returned to the Arizona heat to get things settled in at home.  The yard was an overgrown mess, and the house had five months of dust accumulated.  Utilities had to be reconnected, and finally we were back in working order.  Taught a couple of Computer Genealogy classes and went to see the Broadway tour production of Chicago with Gregory Harrison - great show!

Our annual trip with friends in Coos Bay, Oregon was in early August and afterwards we stayed on the coast for the cooler weather while I continued scanning slides and documents.  Early September found us back in the Bay Area for another 50th Wedding Anniversary party, and more time with family. 

Unfortunately, the biggest heatwave in a long time gripped the normally cooler state of Michigan while we were there. 
We suffered through that, then went to Pittsburgh for a wonderful visit with friends, next on to the Advanced and Challenge Square Dance Convention in Ohio.  A made a hasty drive to the west coast to attend  friends' 50th Anniversary.  Visited with family and friends, stopped in Yosemite, then headed for the coolness of the Pacific Coast.

Square dance friends and activities kept us busy through the end of March, and then we turned
our sights to household interests.  I worked on genealogy, Ray fought the onslaught of weeds, and we did nit-picky things around the house.  Ray's mother had some health issues that kept us in Arizona.  With her safely back home, Ray felt okay to leave for the summer, so we departed for the Midwest.  With some hustling we arrived in Michigan in time for the holiday weekend to be with Paul's family.

The Antarctica trip was wonderful and amazing. I got sick at the end of the trip and gave whatever South American bug I had to Ray, so after our return we spent most of February recuperating. I'm going to get the travel info on our trip up ASAP.    We
are back to square dancing now that we've recovered.

We returned to Arizona after the New Year began.  Christmas with the family was great, and we even managed to get a family photo taken,
which is no small feat these days.  Follow the link to see all of us together.  We barely got settled in again when it was time to return to the Bay Area for some friends' 50th Anniversary party, then we had one day to finish packing for our trip to Antarctica!

Got the Christmas Decorations up first part of the month, entertained friends and neighbors and sent Ray Christmas shopping.  We'll spend Christmas in California with all the family in attendance.  Our 2005 Annual Christmas Letter is up.
  Its in HTML for reading online and in PDF in case you want to download it.  We're spending Christmas in California where the whole family will be together.

We returned to Gilbert early in October--too early!  It was still really hot!  Anyway, we unloaded Camelot and set up the house so we could get some order back in our lives.  It was nice to be back.   We got everything set up, and then boarded a plane to Michigan to visit grandson, Keegan and his parents.  By the time we got back it was time to resume square dancing, so we're back on the merry-go-round again.

Square dancing in Mc Cloud California beckoned when we left our friends in Coos Bay, Oregon, so we danced a week of C1 with Darryl Lipscomb before returning to the SF Bay Area to see children, grandchildren and friends.  We babysat grandchildren, visited with children, friends and relatives, went to the theater, and even square danced a bit.  Yosemite was our next stop where we steeped in its grandeur.  Then we drove to Las Vegas for some business and gawking.  The new Wynn's Casino is striking.

Black Diamond, Washington on Lake Sawyer was our base for the first week of August.  From there we revisited Mount Rainier on a beautiful sunny day.  Attended a kite festival in Long Beach and an Art Walk in Ilwaco before heading to Charleston to spend the last week of August with friends visiting, playing pinochle, fishing, crabbing and eating the fruits of the fisher people's labors.  Always a great time to be had there.

JULY 2005
By the 4th of July we were in Washington State enjoying cool weather along the coast.  Spent the reminder of the month in and out of little towns and lots of coastline.  Sequim, Olympic National Park, a ferry ride and Mount Baker were some of the places we visited.  The tall ship, Lady Washington, docked in the artist town, LaConner, during our stay there.  Also revisited Snoqualmie Falls.  This is such a pretty state.

JUNE 2005
Once we were all packed up into our motor home and replaced furnishings and decor in our home, we were ready to be on the road, and none too soon as the temperatures were really heating up.  Monica's Baccalaureate was June 4th in Walnut Creek, and the whole family was there for it.  Graduation was the following week.  After the festivities, we caught a plane to Louisville, KY for an Advanced and Challenge Square Dance Convention.  We returned in time to pick up Camelot and drive to Portland for the National Square Dance Convention, with a brief stop at Lake Shasta to see Bev, Rick and kids where they were vacationing.  That pretty much took up the month.

APRIL - MAY 2005
After Easter when we were alone again, it was time to pack up the house for a major ceiling repair.  We had to remove everything from the Great Room for the repair to be done.  Since we were leaving for California, we scheduled it to be done while we were gone instead of sitting in a hotel idly during the work.  So, off we went to visit family and embark on a cruise out of San Francisco.  Sailed on Celebrity's Mercury with a group of friends and had a great time.  When we returned, it was time for Selina's First Holy Communion in May.  Following the festivities we returned to Arizona to put everything back.  Whew!

Our new grandson, Keegan, was born January 20 in Michigan to Paul and Robyn.  We eagerly braved the cold Midwestern winter to visit with him and his parents in February.  He was wonderful!  These months are filled with activities in Arizona.  Square dancers from all over the country and the world arrive, and the level of dancing rises up to greet them.  Subsequently, a great time is had by all.  We enjoyed the return of so many new friends made over the last few years and filled our days and evenings with dancing, visiting and playing cards.  The end of March brought Easter and family to our abode.  It was great to have so many loved ones here.  Bev and Paul's families were here with our grandchildren in tow, Mark came in from San Diego, and Ray's Arizona family joined us for Easter Dinner.  Family photos in the desert here.

Our California visit with family and friends also gave us some time to Christmas shop.  We spent a night in Union Square in San Francisco and drank in all the city sights.  A Christmas Party with old friends finalized our visit then returned to Arizona to put up our own Christmas decorations.  We're squeezing in a little square dancing, did some entertaining and finished the shopping.  The Christmas Letter is up in pdf format, so you need Adobe Acrobat.!
Happy Holidays to all!

We left the Chicago area and visited with friends in Springfield, Illinois before some hard driving to make it home to Arizona.  Hit a snowstorm in Amarillo that tied up traffic, but no other difficulties.  Back home we unloaded our motorhome, once more being amazed at how much it can hold.  After two weeks we were off to California for a ten day visit with the family.

Louisville, Kentucky on October 1-2 was the scene of the final Mid-America Square Dance Jamboree, and we were there to enjoy it.  We visited with Square Dance friends from all over and generally had a great time.  We returned to Michigan for more visiting, some genealogy in Indiana and Illinois.  Then we spent some time in Chicago before Ray's class reunion on the 29th.

Early September found us back in the USA for a week where we drove around New Hampshire's White Mountains for a while.  We returned to Canada through Quebec where I brushed up on my French in the town of Compton.  Next to Ontario and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival with some Dragon Boat racing and genealogy research.  Goderich, Ontario was our stopping place for research on my mid-eighteenth century Irish relatives in Bruce County.  The end of the month we visited our son and his wife in Michigan.

The first half of August was spent in Anne of Green Gables territory, or Prince Edward Island, where we enjoyed the weather, the history, the lighthouses, the beaches and the Celtic music and dance.  Next we continued to Nova Scotia and visited the coast at Cape Breton Highlands, the place where Marconi sent his first trans-Atlantic message, an 18th century fortress at Louisbourg, the capital of Halifax, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lunenburg. 

JULY 2004
We visited a friend in Illinois then zipped through several states until we reached Niagara Falls, New York, then on to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Capitol in Albany.  We stopped in Kennebunk, Maine then continued to New Brunswick where we spent ten days visiting sights along the coast of the Bay of Fundy and enjoying its phenomenal tides. 

JUNE 2004
On the road finally we visited the ghost town of Jerome, AZ, then the wonderful Monument Valley of movie fame, stopped at Four Corners, then tramped through the archeological wonders of Mesa Verde National Park.  Next stop Colorado and the National Square Dance Convention.  Following the convention we stopped in Rapid City, SD where we revisited Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument and Deadwood.  Our final stop was at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.  Last visit was almost thirty years ago--lots of changes.  Managed to get Rico's three year photos up!

After the first of the year we got back to square dancing and managed to squeeze in ten or eleven two hour sessions weekly.  We renewed old acquaintances, made new ones and continued getting our home and landscaping in shape.  We played pinochle and bridge and had dinner parties with friends and relatives.  Our neighborhood party had forty-six new neighbors visit.  We joined a Wine and Dine.  Ray helped form a new Computer Club and is now in charge of speakers for the monthly meetings.  Had our fitness profiles done, so now weight machines are added to daily walking routine.  Family members and friends from California came for visits.  We flew to California for the Easter Holiday, then returned again in May for annual physicals and for Selina’s 7th birthday.  Stopped on the return to Arizona to visit Mark in San Diego.

Unpacking and settling in severely limited our square dancing and social activities.  We attended a wine and cheese party and saw the Rockettes when they were in town.  We put up a few Christmas decorations and celebrated Christmas with son, Mark, and daughter, Pam.  Telephone wishes to the rest of the family had to suffice this year.  We look forward to square dancing after the first of the year.

We arrived in Last Vegas in time for my jury duty requirement which, fortunately, was completed in one day.  So, we aimed south to visit our nearly completed new home.  We closed in mid-November and spent the remainder of the month unpacking.

We boxed and repackaged various items which we had rummaged through in storage over the last few years and finally got everything shipshape for the movers to come when needed.  Next we turned our attention to getting the party for Paul and Robyn’s Wedding Celebration underway.  Everything came together nicely, and we celebrated with them and friends on the 18th at Gail and Tom’s home.  The weather cooperated, and the evening was cloaked in candlelight, white lights, friendship, good food and good friends. We managed to visit some more with family and friends before heading off to Nevada where I had to report for jury duty on November 3rd. 

Labor Day Weekend we enjoyed the company of our grandchildren in the San Francisco area, and then flew to Michigan for our youngest son's wedding.  On a clear but windy day in the presence of his and her parents, Paul and Robyn were joined in matrimony on a Mackinac Island verandah overlooking the straits.  Photos here!   A buggy ride around the non motorized island followed the ceremony, then dinner, champagne and cake.  They honeymooned in Ireland, and we returned to our motorhome to hurry up the Pacific coast to join friends in Oregon for a week of dining, pinochle, fishing and friendship.  Next back to the Bay Area to prepare for the California wedding reception in October and movers when our Arizona home is complete in November. 

More breathtaking sights in Grand Teton National Park captivated us after Yellowstone.  We spent our 45th anniversary in Thayne, Wyoming while Ray suffered with a tooth that needed a root canal.  Then Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho made an interesting stop.  Ray's root canal was done in Boise.  We continued through Oregon and into McCloud, California we took the Shasta Dinner Train on my birthday and belatedly celebrated our anniversary.  We finished the month square dancing to Bob Baier and visiting with lots of friends. 

JULY 2003
The heights of a colorful balloon festival on Independence Day and the grandeur of Pike's Peak kept our spirits up along with the temperatures in Colorado.  Wyoming's towns of Cheyenne, Casper and Cody didn't offer any relief from the 90 degree heat, but Yellowstone National Park gave us cooler days and nights with the bonus of the magnificence of this national park's wonders.  What a time we had. 

JUNE 2003
June could have had better beginnings, a delayed registration sticker, a blown air spring, two blowouts in one day, and new brakes freezing up on our tow car and a few other episodes kept us from enjoying the first half of the month.  But eventually we made our way into Colorado and enjoyed the mountains and parks--Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Royal Gorge--in this spectacular state. 

APRIL - MAY 2003
When square dancing was winding down in Mesa, we decided we'd better make some decisions.  We had been looking at homes in the area and finally decided to build in a winter home in Gilbert at Shea Homes' Trilogy at Power Ranch .  May found us in California arriving in time to see our granddaughter off to her first prom.  Then we stayed with our two and six year old grand kids while their parents took a much needed vacation.  Now we're ready to roll. 

We left the Bay Area in early January and visited family in Tucson before arriving in Mesa, Arizona for some serious square dancing.  We will remain in Mesa through March to finish some lessons at the C2 level of square dancing.  We're dancing, visiting with old friends and making new ones.  We have also enjoyed the Renaissance Festival, saw the movie, Chicago, and our youngest grandchildren came for a weekend and brought their parents in February.  We had a great visit. 

Back in the San Francisco Bay Area we have been caught up in the holiday rush of family and friends.  We've enjoyed playing cards, square dancing, dinner with friends and family, shopping, the opera, a ballet and an ice show.  Hanukkah and Christmas parties filled enjoyable evenings.  We've had our annual physicals and dental check ups, and everything still seems to be in working order.  Thanksgiving was at Mark's in Sacramento and Christmas at Bev and Rick's in Danville.  Life is good, and we look forward to the New Year. 

We finally left Michigan by October 7th, only to be halted in Peru, IL by a motor problem which kept us there for a week.  We stopped in the tiny town of Falls City, Nebraska and retrieved lots of information on my maternal great grandmother's family.  But, alas, by this time the weather had changed and we hit some horrendous weather en route to California to join family and friends.

Following his two week hospital stay, Paul recuperated at home while we helped as best we could with Ray handling the outside work and me the interior.  Lots of his friends came to visit from near and far--one from as remote as Tokyo.  By the last week in September Paul had moved from wheelchair to walker to cane and assured us he could manage without us.  We packed up and were ready to depart when Ray had to fly to Tucson where his mother was having surgery.  So I  waited in Michigan for Ray's return so we could once again be on the road. 

JULY 2002
After returning to Michigan from our California visit, we stayed through the holiday weekend and made tracks to Canada.  We spent time doing genealogy research in Bruce and Wellington counties, then went to Ontario where we enjoyed Shakespeare in Stratford and Disney in Ontario.  We visited the highlights in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec before returning to Michigan to be with our son who was in a water skiing accident and required serious back surgery.  We will be here for a while. 

JUNE 2002
A visit with longtime friends in Springfield, Illinois started off the month of June and was followed by Joy's grammar school class reunion in Chicago along with lots of visiting with old friends. (Here are  the photos from the class reunion.)   Our route then took us to Michigan to visit with son, Paul.  Next we boarded a plane for ten days with grandchildren, children and friends in California. 

MAY 2002
We continued researching my family in Oklahoma and visited with another cousin near Tulsa.  By the middle of May we decided to continue north into Missouri and stopped for a week in Branson the Ozark Entertainment town.  We had a great time taking in the shows and enjoying the hospitality.  We spent the remainder of the month doing Tennison genealogy research in assorted counties of Missouri--got lots of good stuff.

APRIL 2002
San Antonio, Texas held our interest for about a week into April, and then we moved to lake country for some kickback time along the shore of Lake Livingston.  We visited with a cousin of Rays in Palestine, TX before driving north into Oklahoma where we researched my paternal ancestors in lots of tiny town and county courthouses.  We enjoyed visits with my cousin--near Oklahoma City.  The additional benefit of visiting in Texas and Oklahoma in April is the ongoing thrill of wondering whether a tornado will pounce on you.  We're living life on the edge. 

MARCH 2002
We visited with friends from California in Scottsdale, picked up son, Paul, when he flew in for a visit to Tucson, toured Sierra Vista and Bisbee in Arizona.  We visited Nogales, Mexico.  We climbed cliffs to walk through the 13th century Gila Cliff Dwellings in New Mexico, walked the Catwalk of Whitewater Canyon, visited the Space Museum and the beautiful White Sands Dunes in this state.  We enjoyed immersing ourselves in the early history of the Southwest and ended the month in Texas. 

Early in February we settled in Mesa, Arizona for a month of square dancing .  We had a great time dancing and visiting with square dance buddies from all over.  We saw the sights in Mesa and attended Lost Dutchman Days in Apache Junction. 

We began the year with friends in the Bay Area first with a New Year's Eve party then a New Year's Day dinner.  After more visiting with family and friends, we finally departed for a square dance weekend in King City where we enjoyed dancing and visiting with more folks.  From there we drove to Fresno where we picked up a dolly to tow our car.  Yes, we finally decided to drag a car behind us.  We ended the month in Tucson visiting with Ray's mother after a brief visit with his brother in Surprise.

December started off with a bang when Bev and Rick had their annual Christmas party on the 1st.  More holiday parties, luncheons, errands, shopping and a general round of activities keeps us busy most of the time in the Bay Area.  Hope everyone has a great Holiday Season.

The first of November we pulled into Mesa, AZ to get some square dancing done.  We even danced Mainstream one evening to fill out a square.  Got to visit with some California friends and were in town when Arizona won the World Series.  Made these folks pretty happy!  We returned to California and the San Francisco area to be here for Thanksgiving with the family. 

I hit the jackpot on several family research items while in Salt Lake City --some previously unknown maiden names of great grandmothers.  In genealogy research that is the key to delving deeper in your family tree. Next we had to be in Las Vegas to have the emissions test on our motorhome completed for licensing, then we visited Ray's family in Arizona to celebrate some birthdays.

As soon as we had a quick visit with kids and grandkids, we headed our home Northward to Oregon to visit in Coos Bay.  We were there when the terrorist attack occurred and were so grateful to be with good friends at this horrible time.  Later we drove farther north to Portland where we met with genealogy acquaintances/family researching Ray's maternal great-grandfather's line.  They were gracious hosts, and we enjoyed our visit.  We left Oregon and returned to Salt Lake City for a week of genealogy research.

Back to the San Francisco area again to celebrate our 43rd Anniversary and to collect clothes and suitcases for our trip to New York and on to Russia.  Spent four days in the Big Apple and enjoyed some Broadway shows--Annie Get Your Gun, Chicago and Kiss me KateGreat shows!  Then the long flight to St. Petersburg to board our riverboat to cruise the Waterways of the Czars.  What a great trip!  I'm currently working on the Travelog of our adventures.

JULY 2001
We returned to the San Francisco area briefly after our Anaheim trip and decided we would make the trip we had thought about to Moscow, Idaho to attend a week long conference on RVing, so we hit the road for some hard driving (for us).  The Life on Wheels Conference offers classes on RVing–the lifestyle, safety, and basic RV information.  Ray attended classes on tire safety, weight safety, fire safety, batteries, propane, generators, solar, towed vehicles and electrical systems.  I chose things like adjusting to the RV lifestyle, digital photography, budgeting for fulltime RVers, RV gadgets and accessories.  The instructors were long time RVers, most of them authors and/or columnists on the lifestyle.  It was an informative week.  From Moscow we headed to Coeur d'Alene and then west into Spokane, Washington before deciding once again to square dance in McCloud, California.  So that is where we ended the month, dancing A2 with Mike Sikorsky calling and enjoying one of our favorite pastimes.

JUNE 2001
Yosemite National Park was our first stop in California.  After four days of enjoying its sweeping vistas, we headed into the San Joaquin Valley for a visit with relatives before returning to the Bay Area to see grandchildren and children.  Monica's grammar school graduation and Rico's christening were June 14th and 17th respectively.  Paul was in from Michigan and Mark from Los Angeles for the festivities.  The end of the month we drove a car to Los Angeles and had dinner with Mark then went to the Anaheim Hilton for the National Square Dance Convention.  Great fun, but really tiring. 

MAY 2001
We spent a few days at Lake Powell, that gorgeous area formed by the Glen Canyon Dam, and then continued north into Utah.  We visited St. George briefly then continued up the Grand Staircase to Zion National Park with its soaring canyon walls and on to the beautiful red hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park.  We continued wending our way through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument before settling in Salt Lake City to do genealogy research for a while.  We moseyed across Nevada with stops in Elko, Winnemucca and Reno before entering California.

APRIL 2001
The Grand Canyon was just sitting there at the Northern border of Arizona, and we thought it was time to get ourselves there.   Drove leisurely northward with a stop at Montezuma’s Castle, then Flagstaff, where we got eight inches of snow, and on to Grand Canyon National Park.  It was cold (in the thirties) but spectacular.  After a few days we headed to Lake Havasu and then Las Vegas in time for Easter brunch at the Luxor.   We hung around Vegas for a while then headed back to Arizona to join Ray's brother and his RV club for a trip to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico, after which we headed north again for cooler weather in the Sedona area of Arizona. 

MARCH 2001
We left the Bay Area the first of the month, stopped to visit relatives in Manteca, then square danced on two successive weekends, first at Los Banos, then at Bakersfield.  After a stop in Palm Springs, we visited Ray's family in Tucson and Phoenix.

February's big event took place on the 2nd when Enrico Joseph (Rico) was born to daughter Bev and hubby Rick in Walnut Creek, CA.  He weighed in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and was 20 inches long.  Here's his web page for lots of photos -  Enrico Joseph - born February 2, 2001.  We spent much of the remainder of February visiting our new grandson whenever possible and helping the new mom get some rest occasionally. 

We got out of the holiday mode in time to gather our wardrobe and leave for a two-week Panama Canal cruise from  San Diego, CA to Miami, FL.  We had a great time traveling with eight friends from the Bay Area.  Met an old school friend on the docks in San Diego for a quick lunch before departing, then visited Cabo San Lucas and got to see lots of whales on a tour, then to a coffee plantation in Costa Rica before the fascinating canal crossing of this 1914 engineering marvel.  Stopped briefly in Cartagena, Columbia and Aruba before landing in Miami and heading home.   Enjoyable time. 

Holiday parties with family and friends.  Ray flew to Arizona early in December to visit with his Mom, I got the Christmas Letter done and some Christmas shopping.  Paul and Mark will join the rest of the family in the Bay Area for our Family Christmas gathering.  That should keep us busy until 2001.  Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Enjoyed visits in Arizona, stopped to see Mark in Los Angeles and spent a few days in Palm Springs before returning to the Bay Area in time for Ray's surgery.  All went well, and we had Thanksgiving at Bev and Rick's with all family, except Paul, present.  He will be here for Christmas. 

We're back after our interesting travels in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.  We had a couple of nice visits with Paul in Aachen.  We returned to the Bay Area for a few days, then headed to Arizona to visit Ray's family. 

We returned to family and belongings in Contra Costa County.  We saw Gail and Monica before they flew to Brussels, attended to some business, played pinochle with friends, and got suitcases for our trip.  Ray flew to Arizona to visit his mother, and I drove to Manteca to visit  relatives there.  I babysat for Selina, went to the theater to see A Chorus Line and got my hair cut (really needed that).  Mark visited here from Los Angeles, and then we departed for Europe on the 12th.  We have tickets to the Passion Play in Oberammergau, hope to get to the World’s Fair in Hanover, visit with son, Paul, in Aachen, stop in Berlin and visit Belgium and the Netherlands.  We'll return October 23, 2000.

AUGUST  2000
We crossed the border back into the U.S. where we relaxed for a couple of weeks and celebrated our 42nd Wedding Anniversary.  We picked up granddaughter, Monica, in Vancouver and visited there, then Seattle, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and finally the Columbia River Gorge before sending her back home.  Next we visited Ray's uncle in Salem, and headed to Crater Lake, that spectacular volcanic hole with unbelievably blue water.  Spent my birthday in Ashland, Oregon seeing Twelfth Night and having an exquisite French dinner.  We left Oregon and found ourselves near Square Dance Country in McCloud, so we decided to indulge ourselves and spent a week square dancing to Bob Baier with loads of old friends.  Had a great time. 

JULY  2000
After having our RV torn apart at the border crossing into Winnipeg, we spent some time sightseeing there before going north to Saskatoon.  Edmonton's mega-mall and Calgary's Stampede were stops before Banff, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and the Columbia Ice fields where we walked on the Athabasca Glacier.  Spent the end of the month in the area known as the Okanagan, just relaxing. 

JUNE  2000
We visited friends in Springfield, Illinois , did some genealogy research in Galesburg, then went to Chicago to visit family and friends.  Left there to square dance in Milwaukee, then drove around other parts of Wisconsin doing more research and enjoying the scenery.  Drove through Minnesota and stopped in Sioux Falls,  and Aberdeen, South Dakota. We headed north to Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota before crossing in to Canada. 

MAY 2000
Savannah, Charleston, Fort Sumter, Boone Hall, Columbia, Asheville, Great Smoky Mountains, Oak Ridge, Nashville, Hermitage and Mammoth Cave.  And after that we headed to Ohio and Indiana for visiting and genealogy.  We've been on the move. 

APRIL 2000
We spent the entire month of April traveling through Florida, first down the west coast stopping in Sarasota , Fort Myers ,  the Everglades, and Naples   before heading to Key West for Ray to meet some friends there.  Back to the Miami area for a computer fix, then on to Disney's Epcot and MGM in Kissimmee.   Our  final visit was an extended on to the historic city of St. Augustine.

MARCH 2000
Began the month in Arizona but quickly moved to New Mexico, then Texas, Louisiana and finally Florida.  We have been in caverns , on shipping lanes , in swamps, capitols , bawdy houses , and plantations .  Got blown away by a Texas windstorm and unexpectedly rode on a small ferry .   Visited Big D and the Big EasyI have some great photos taken with our digital camcorder and just need the time online to get everything done in web pages.  My online time has pretty much been limited to five or ten minutes once in a while to pick up emails at various RV parks. 

Visited, played pinochle, bowled and played Mexican Train Dominoes in Surprise, went to an Indian Hoop Dancing tournament, a Chocolate Festival and a Senior Fitness Fiesta.  We square danced in Mesa to Mike Sikorsky and Randy Dougherty and enjoyed the "famous" Organ Stop Pizza which features a 1927 Wurlitzer Theater Organ.  Drove through Apache Junction towards Tortilla Flat (sounds like a bad Western novel, doesn't it?) then to Kartchner Caverns

The new millennium New Year's Day Cioppino dinner in Walnut Creek, California.  Thirty plus of us enjoyed the camaraderie and great food.  Some bridge and pinochle before Winter Festival.  To Morro Bay , next Ventura, Valencia, Van Nuys and Palm Springs .  For Ray's birthday we attended the Palm Springs Follies, a great Ziegfield-like vaudeville show.  Next "the world's largest swap meet" in Quartzsite , AZ and finally Superbowl Sunday in AZ. 

The CHRISTMAS LETTER IS UP!   Spent the first part of the month with Monica since her mom was in training in Deerfield.  We had a brief celebration before Bev, Rick and Selina departed for Florida, Christmas with family at Gail's, and Paul returned to the Midwest.  Then Mark was in town after Christmas.  We enjoyed New Year's Eve with good friends and deemed it a fitting way to end the millennium. 

Some time was spent with business/personal activities then we headed to Mendocino for some Giant Redwoods and rugged oceanfront.  Returned for Paul's pre Thanksgiving visit, then Thanksgiving, and a nice square dance weekend the end of the month.

Our old motorhome balked slightly at being put out to pasture on a Southern California airfield, so it gave us a few problems before we drove it (fully loaded) to pick up our new rig (YES, we are calling it Camelot--not Camelot II, but  just Camelot) in Las Vegas.  We finally made it to the RV dealer on Monday, the 4th and Mark flew in on the 10th to drive (old) Camelot back to Los Angeles.  We drove to Arizona to visit Ray's family where Bev and Selina flew in to be our first houseguests. We visited then headed back to California where we watched the sunset on the beach in LA (actually Playa del Rey), square danced in Solvang, then relaxed with long walks along the waterfront in Pismo Beach before heading north to shed excess baggage from our new home and pick up things we cannot live without. 

A visit to Reno gave us the time to obtain our Nevada driver's licenses.  We returned to square dance in the Gold Country over Labor Day.  Ray is consulting and we're awaiting word to pick up our new Rexhall American Clipper motor home in Las Vegas, hopefully by the end of the month. 

We have jokingly characterized this month as "homeless and sleeping around."  Actually that does sum up a lot.  Ray "officially" retired on August 5th and was back consulting the following week.  We square danced in the Bay Area and in Las Vegas.  Slept in various hotels and at daughter's homes.  Celebrated our 41st Anniversary with dinner and theater (Jekyll and Hyde) in San Francisco, daughters birthdays with get togethers and my birthday with an elegant dinner overlooking San Francisco bay (actually Alcatraz). 

JULY 1999
Packing, storing, moving - the same thing day in and day out.  We will be "homeless" as of the 20th.    Guess I'll have to start a "logbook" page to keep interested folks aware of our whereabouts.    Keep in touch via Email  (Joy) or (Ray)

JUNE 1999
The house officially hit the market June 1st with a realtor's tour,  open house the 6th , and bids the 7th.  The house is now listed as "pending."  We close in mid July.  Not sure what we will be doing in the immediate future, but eventually we'll order that new "Rexhall" motorhome and be on the road in the USA.  But before that maybe back to Europe--or elsewhere.  We're just not sure yet.  Email and this web page will be our communication.   I hopefully will have time to update grandchildren's pages and put up our China trip once everything is finalized.  So, stay tuned.

MAY 1999
May is a blur of contractors, painters, landscapers, rug installers, floor installers and any number of other strangers trekking and tracking through our house, which incidentally no longer looks like our house, as there isn't a single item of ours to personalize it in any way.  Granddaughter, Selina celebrated her second birthday and is not quite certain what is happening to Grandma and Grandpa's house! We managed to see a production of Kismet and to go dancing one week end in May.  No China pages done yet. 

APRIL 1999
We celebrated Monica's 12th birthday.   Paul and Mark came home for Easter and shortly thereafter we headed for China.  Shanghai, Suzhou, Qufu, Tai'an, Jinan, and finally, Beijing.  We traveled with twelve friends, and the tour company added only four others, so we had an elite group of eighteen.    A good time was had by all, and I'll have travel pages up as soon as life settles into something like normalcy. 

MARCH 1999
The exterior of the house is now a "sell" color, and the interior is full of boxes either being packed, stacked for transporting, or just open for wondering!  Enjoyed a great square dance at Bolado Park (Hollister, CA) and now are back at work on the home front!  Ye old computer has been in ICU for almost a month, so this is just getting up-to-date. 

The month began normally enough with a nice round of bridge, then a Gourmet dinner at our home, but we quickly moved into the "getting ready to sell our home" mode and were all of a sudden meeting with realtors, decorators and contractors.  After three weeks of moving sales, charity drop-offs and a huge pickup, we still have a house full of "treasures" to  sell, donate, store or ???  Had to cancel out of two square dance events which is a first for us.  We enjoyed the new San Francisco production of Evita courtesy of daughter, Pam. 

Guess the holidays got to me because my back "went out" the first week of the month, and I'm still babying it.  We played bridge a couple of times and square danced at King City.  We're trying to get mountains of work done here at home.  The rains have now begun. 

Hope your Christmas was grand.  We managed to get our 1998 Christmas letter  "snail mailed" and published on the WWW before Christmas, decorations up, gifts wrapped and Christmas dinner served, so I'd say we did pretty good!  I did find a wrapped gift in my wrapping area the day after Christmas, but only one, so that's not bad.  Gotta get ready for our New Year's Eve party. 

Bridge, pinochle, a good production of Oklahoma , square dancing in Napa, a trip to Arizona, dinner and overnight in Calistoga have kept us busy so far, then Thanksgiving ended the month with it's usual festive food  fest.  All but Paul were here for dinner!

October began with a flurry of activities beginning with bridge on the 1st and pinochle on the 2nd.  Ray went to Ohio while I Selina sat.  We enjoyed an impromptu trip to Denver.  I visited the mint and we had a great dinner at a favorite spot.  A gourmet dinner and the Rodeo kept us fed and entertained at the end of the month.

Spent the Labor Day weekend in the Gold Country in a century+ old hotel and square dancing.  We enjoyed our anniversary gift of Christopher Plummer in Barrymore and a stay at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles.  We also attended the Picasso exhibit and the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona.  Hosted our gourmet dinner group, went to the local theater, and granddaughter sat while Ray traveled to Arizona and Oregon. 

Ray and kids retaliated for his January Birthday Party
by surprising me on mine.  Fifty plus family and friends gathered at the kids' condo clubhouse on my 60th birthday!  And I thought we were going out to dinner.  Celebrated our 40th Anniversary at brunch on the 9th.  I enjoyed the company of both granddaughters this month.  Saw Dames at Sea in San Francisco, went to a movie in San Diego when there for another surprise party for a high school friend.  Hey, getting old isn't half bad! 
JULY 1998
Hope you started the month with a great 4th of July holiday!   We've been catching up on yard work and other chores.  We square danced at the USA West Square Dance in San Francisco and earlier at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds.  Ray went to Ohio, and I handled the home front alone.  I'm adding Travel Pages from our trip every few days!  Check some antics from our cruise.

JUNE 1998
Once the Chicago BULLS  won, I exhaled and updated web pages, caught up at work, yard work, house cleaning, etc.   Between games we attended  our granddaughter, Monica's, 5th grade graduation, had dinner with friends and got the photo album from our trip done. 

MAY 1998
We landed in Barcelona May 1st and spent a few days sightseeing before separating from our fellow cruisers.  Traveled along France's Mediterranean coast and to Monte Carlo before heading to Italy and the wealth of Italian sights.  Returned home on the 16th in time to celebrate our youngest granddaughter, Selina's , first birthday. 

APRIL 1998
Our granddaughter, Monica , celebrated a birthday; we played bridge, played pinochle, had dinner with our gourmet group, had Easter dinner with family and friends, and finished the taxes.  Not a bad start for April.  We flew to Ft. Lauderdale the 16th and then left on our TransAtlantic cruise on Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas out of Miami on the 18th for a thirteen day crossing with twelve friends.  We had a great time. 

MARCH 1998
Ray moved to his new office and traveled only to Southern California.  We square danced in Hollister and Bakersfield and took an RV trip to the Redwood country. 

Bailed out a couple of times from El Nino.  Ray flew to southern California, and I played catch-up at home and at work, spent Valentine's Day in Stockton, and later square danced   in Monterey. 

We began 1998 with friends at our annual New Year's Eve Party and square danced in King City.  A surprise birthday party for Ray's big 60 was a huge success!  Seventy friends and family came from all over to join the party.  See his Birthday Page   for photos! 

Parties, decorating, shopping, , projects, guests, wrapping presents, entertaining, writing Christmas letters---always a busy month.  Here's our 1997 Christmas letter

We square danced in Napa, took our granddaughter, Selina, (and her Mom, Bev ) to Phoenix, had an annual dinner in Calistoga with a group of friends and had a quiet Thanksgiving. 

Daughter, Gail , and I visited Italy, France and Belgium--a fantastic trip.  Pictures are on our Travel pages .