Saturday, January 01, 2011

Christmas letter

Here's what we sent this year:

Dear Friends,

We have had a much easier year this year, happily moved into our renovated house. We enjoyed tomatoes, snow peas, and even eggplant from our two raised bed gardens.

John’s illness is progressing slowly. He is still able to travel, including a trip to Bremen, Germany, and Stockholm with Andreas and Nino, German friends from graduate school days. He enjoys organizing wine dinners and a local group called Drinking Liberals. We celebrated John’s 65th birthday in August with a small dinner party. We drank a bottle of 1842 Madeira we had bought on our honeymoon in Madeira in 1987.

Pam spent a lot of time this year helping Elizabeth with the college process. Pam did do one short triathlon in the fall but is doing less training than in recent years. The Science and Technology in Society program she runs is hanging in there, though it has been a stressful year because her closest colleague in the program had a successful heart transplant. Her new excuse for some peaceful time is fountain pens with many colors of ink.

Elizabeth is loving her senior year at Concord Academy. She and Pam took a long road trip to visit colleges last summer after Elizabeth finished a summer course for high school students at University of Chicago in Egyptology. She is interested in studying ancient Near Eastern archeology and also preparing for a graduate program in art conservation, with the idea of eventually working in a museum with archeological artifacts. She has decided to apply to Emory, George Washington University, University of Delaware, Bryn Mawr, Boston University, Brown University, and Harvard.

St. John’s College did not work out for Paul, but he moved in spring 2010 to Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he had a very successful spring semester. He finished up his language requirement over the summer at our local community college. This fall has been tougher—we arrived for parents’ weekend to find him so sick Pam took him to the doctor, where he tested positive for both strep throat and influenza. Catching up after missing more than a week was a bit overwhelming.

We’ve simplified our lives a lot, which reduces the stress of the unexpected things that come up. We don’t have the control over our own lives we expected, but life is rich in its details.

Pam, John, Paul and Elizabeth

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