Here's the message we're sending to friends and family with our Christmas cards this year:
As I write this, we’re having our second snowstorm in less than a week – a Nor’easter! It looks like this will be a real old-fashioned New England Christmas for a change. We’ve had a year filled with travel and settling into semi-retirement. We like it!
Rick is still working in his instrument repair shop, but has cut back his hours significantly – a good thing, since many of the independent music stores he has done business with for years have been bought out by a big conglomerate called Music and Arts that has its own repair technicians. He is still keeping up with his cornet and trumpet playing in the Lunenburg and Townsend town bands, the Yankee Brass, and a group that plays at church that he likes to refer to as the Holy Cows. Rick’s dad Jim turned 93 in October and his mother Jeanette is 86. They are still living in their house in Acton. Since his Dad finally relinquished the car keys this year, Rick goes there at least once a week to take them to the grocery store and doctors’ appointments. Rick’s sister Linda lives near Seattle with her husband Craig, where she works for Microsoft developing web pages. Craig already retired from the company and now spends a lot of time hiking and playing competitive bridge. Linda visited her folks recently and it was nice to see her again since we last got together when we vacationed in Washington State back in 2004. Rick’s biggest treat this year was buying himself a Jeep Wrangler. Can you see its name on the license plate?
Kathy loves the flexibility – and lack of interruptions – of working part-time from home. She has been the Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Library Association for almost a year now and is enjoying advocating for school libraries, mentoring her colleagues, and representing her association on various statewide committees and at library conferences all over the country – this past year in Seattle, Washington DC, Reno, and Phoenix. She is also chairing a task force for the American Association of School Librarians that will write benchmarks and assessments for the national standards for school libraries. So, she is managing to keep very busy, but in a good way! Her Mum and Dad, Jean and Freddie, (81 and 82) are also still living in their home in Lunenburg with her brother Ricky. We celebrated their 60th anniversary on November 29th. When Ricky isn’t working, he’s either surfing or ice sailing, depending on the season. It’s great to have him and all our parents nearby and with us for family celebrations.
We had some great trips this year aside from Kathy’s conference travel. Last April we went to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Lancaster County, PA in the Jeep; took another road trip in Bugle 1 in early September to Acadia National Park in Maine; and finally – the fulfillment of Kathy’s lifelong wish – visited Disneyland in Anaheim, CA just two weeks ago by way of her conference in Phoenix, with a stop for a couple of days along the way in San Diego and La Jolla. The highlight of that trip for Kathy was when she was invited to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with the Disneyland Band! It’s great to be able to travel anytime we want and we’re trying to do as much of it as our budget and other commitments allow. Kathy enjoys chronicling our travels, other musings and photos in her blog.
James is in his second year as a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA. In September he moved downtown to a cool loft apartment, complete with a spiral staircase, with his cats Poldy and Stephen. He’s a talented writer and the newspaper is giving him plenty of opportunities to hone his skills. He occasionally shares his thoughts about symbolism and literature in his blog, Everyday Semiotics and has recently started playing bass in a band that will perform at Northampton’s First Night celebration.
What more is there to say? Life is good and we recognize that we lead charmed lives. We wish the same for all of you and your families in the coming year and always.
Kathy, Rick and James