Tonight Jenk and I decorated our tree, just the two of us for the first time in many years. It means that another year has flown by in what seems like the blink of an eye. For me the year has brought lots of extra work, the beginning of my last year of teaching, and some health concerns, but we are thankful for our many blessings. Our lives have been blessed by loving family and many wonderful friends. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.
One of the highlights of this year for me was the Mother’s Day celebration at Jim and Michele’s home. They started this celebration when we first learned of the return of Mom’s cancer, and they have continued the tradition. This year we were thrilled to see special people that we seldom get to see: our Aunt Kathy (my dad’s sister), both her “children”, our Aunt Harriett and Uncle Alan, plus our niece Karen and her family. It was an unforgettable day.
For Jenk his fifth year of retirement was enlivened by joining our exchange trip to China in April. He enjoyed having the freedom of visiting friends and exploring new areas surrounding Xi’an while I kept busy with the students. He has also been busy this year serving on the boards of two condo boards and as finance chair of our church. He continues to enjoy the freedom of retirement and says he looks forward to my joining him, though during my weeks at home this fall he said I “ruined” his “regular schedule”.
Marc is once again coaching basketball at Saugus High School, and has a new role as co-department chair of the science department. His innovative methods of teaching advanced chemistry through pod-casting is being adopted by others in the district. In his free time he enjoys time with friends and supporting various sports teams.
Beth continues to travel with her job, with a trip to South Africa being one of her most interesting destinations. Her non-work time is spent with her wide circle of friends, exercising and spending time with a special young man.
After the trip to China in the spring I once again set out with a group of students to France in June. Once they were settled with host families I took time to visit my friend Claude in Paris, and spent an incredible week on the Mediterranean in Collioure with my friend Michele. We talked for hours, took walks, went swimming and generally relaxed. In August the new Chinese group arrived and I started my last year with the most students ever, and a new AP program to develop. A blood clot, transfusion and two hospitalizations slowed the semester, but I have been back since mid-November. Now there are only 4 more days until the end of my last fall semester. In the spring I will have a student teacher and in June my last classes will be done. I will miss the kids but definitely not all the hours of grading.
All four of us join together to wish you a most blessed Christmas and a new year that brings many joys.
Jenk, Patty, Marc and Beth