Holiday Greetings to you and yours,
The tree is up and decorated, the shopping is done (of course by Karen and Claudia), the annual picture card has already been sent out, and Claudia added more Holiday sweaters to her collection this year. Our last bit of Holiday preparation is this letter – which I am finalizing the day after Christmas!
This year was memorable, ranging from fun to difficult, from sad to satisfying, and from challenging to astonishing (that would be the Golden State Warriors winning their first NBA championship in 40 years).
Karen is managing her back pain as well as she can. It has been a year of follow-up, medication adjustment, and more minor surgery (on one hand due to carpal tunnel pain). Karen pushes herself to manage our household, mostly as a single parent for half the year.
Zack moved home in the Fall from Santa Barbara – it is nice to have him home as he helps cook and other chores / errands around the house. He has a job lined up to start in the New Year and will attend the local community college as he continues pursuit of a Film Studies career.
Grant is in his second year at University of Washington; he is studying Computer Science with focus on Informatics. He is now in a shared room with one other frat brother at Alpha Delta Phi – survived living on the porch with the other pledges last year. He worked again this summer as a camp counselor near home, and then just before he went back to UW in the fall he had sholder surgery (his arm kept popping out of the shoulder joint) – the recovery is progressing but it limits his activities for another 6 months until fully healed.
Andrew was also a camp counselor again this summer but at Cal Berkeley Strawberry Canyon Camp (following in Zack’s footsteps). In the fall he decided to move to Orinda Academy – it is a smaller school but also in Orinda. He has been attending about 2 months and we all agree it is a better fit for him.
Claudia finished her dance career attending her final competion in the summer – she still keeps up with her dance friends (and Karen with the Dance Moms). In the fall Claudia joined the Miramonte HS Cheer team – she has enjoyed making new friends. In addition to school she volunteers at a pet shelter and recently joined the Los Amigos program where she will visit a Centeral American country next summer (not sure where yet) to volunteer for ~ 6 weeks.
Marc’s sisters Robin and Joanne (plus husband Steve) all retired this year. Robin’s retirement occurred in the Spring – she enjoys the ability to see her children / grandchildren more frequently. Joanne & Steve closed their small business late this year, and by early next year they will no longer make the daily commute to their shop.
Our nephew, Cooper Weisbaum, graduated from HS (Karen attended) and is now attending Southern Oregon University. Cooper’s parents Bruce and Courtney continue to do well in Portland. Karen’s Dad Dick and wife Cynthia are still in Sedona and fit in lots of travel, including a visit to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving.
As for Marc, still in Kazakhstan. We had a large maintenance turnaround this year and another equally large planned for summer of 2016 – continues to be challenging and rewarding work. We also completed a kitchen / master bath remodel in the first half of this year – was able to be the General Contractor with help from many (primarily Karen) to keep everything moving while I was on rotation. We took a long time planning the remodel but once we started the execution went per plan – we are very happy with the results.
Wishing you a healthy and happy 2016.