December 2017
Dear Family and Friends,

Another year has nearly passed and while there are many things in the news that are worrisome, we try to concentrate on what is good and positive.  You make our lives richer and happier so we prefer to think of those we love!

2017 was another busy year for the Stephenson clan.  In January I flew to Germany to help Margit, my German “sister” to celebrate her 65th birthday.  We have been sisters for more than 40 years and Margit has recently recovered from her cancer treatment, so this was a great chance to celebrate!

In May Jenk and I drove to Texas to see his sister, Carolyn.  We also made Jenk’s nostalgic trips to places where his family once lived.  On our last night we were able to have dinner with a lot of Stephenson cousins!

June meant time to leave for me to go to China with another group of students from Saugus High School.  Unfortunately, early in my time there I slipped on some wet tile and managed to break my pelvis in two places.  It was a long and complex trip home, but thanks to our friend Li, who traveled with me, I was able to return.  After a month in rehab I came home equipped with wheelchair, walker and other gear.  Six months later I walk without using any of the above!

Jenk spent his summer and early fall taking care of me, but also enjoyed time with our friend Li while he was here.  Jenk still had time to work on his genealogy and to do his job on three different boards of directors and at church.

After my annual trip north with our Chinese fall group Jenk and I left for France where we spent 2+ weeks traveling with our friends, John and Linda Clark.  It was their first trip to France so we enjoyed showing them some of our favorite places.  After they returned to the U.S. we spent a lovely week on the Mediterranean with our friends, then to Lyon where we reconnected with Armenian relatives that none of us had previously met.  Armine (82 years old) is my mom’s first cousin, the daughter of my grandfather’s brother).  It was a highlight of our trip as we got to know them and share stories. 

After a visit with my friend Claude in Burgundy Jenk and I headed to London.  While he had been before it was my first time in the UK.  We spent 8 days exploring London, walking miles each day.  It was a great time to be there as there were no crowds and we never needed our umbrellas!

Marc, Beth and Nathan are all well.  Marc remains busy with school, negotiating and coaching.  He is excited this year as he will head to Alaska after Christmas to see the Northern Lights, travel by train, and even experience dog sledding.  Beth and Nathan are both very busy with their jobs, though Beth’s work seems to keep her in the air more than in her office.  She did manage to include a weekend in Paris during one work trip to the UK.  She and Nathan found time for at least a few short trips together.  But the biggest news this year was that Nathan became a C.P.A.  We are very proud of his hard work to do so!

This year we lost our dear Uncle Alan following heart surgery.  There was a celebration of his life in September.  We are thankful that we still have two healthy and active aunts, my mom’s sister Peggy (95) and my dad’s sister, Kathy (92)!  We try to see Aunt Kathy when we can, and are planning a trip to Washington to see Aunt Peggy. 

Merry Christmas and may 2018 be a better year for all!

Love,  Jenk and Patty