TABLE OF CONTENTS
1555 Mountain Road Thunder Bay, ON P7J 1C7 December 2001
Dear Friends and Relatives
CHRISTMAS 2001 We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness and success and contentment. We hope you are in good health that each year is better than the one before. We also look forward to hearing from you at this time of year so we can share the highlights of your lives. Now I must confess that I've written so many Christmas letters that I'm starting to plagiarize the old ones. To provide some continuity of context, I'm leaving last year's letter on the website also.
Joy has nearly completed 2 years as Senior V.P., Academic, at Fanshawe College. They just added the word "senior" to the title, and told her it's just an abbreviation for "seniority" and has nothing to do with "age"! Her responsibilities are very extensive, but she loves the job, and the people there are wonderful.
I'm counting down to 1.5 years to retirement, and still teaching Co-op and Information Technology. I'm starting to notice the things I'll miss when I go, like how funny teenagers are, especially when they're not your own! And I feel so sorry for some of their parents!
Kris and Lynn have just bought a nice house in the Mooney's Bay area of Ottawa and moved in in September. Then Kris showed a new side of himself: he bought a table saw and many other tools, and started to remodel the house. He and Lynn threw out the entire kitchen, and started with new subflooring and cabinets and plumbing and did a most professional job. Joy and I were extremely impressed. How much ability lies beneath the surface of a formerly useless teenager who couldn't even keep his room clean, let alone help with anything. I used to think he didn't know which side of a hammer was up! I must also compliment Kris on being a wonderful father to Lynn's three children, he has all of them involved in wholesome sports and activities and spends most of his free time with them. He still works for QNX and Lynn still works for NavCanada.
Joel and Vicky sort of live like Joy and I: weekend romances. She still teaches in Smith's Falls and travels to Montreal whenever possible. She also enjoys coaching basketball, volleyball, etc. and plays in a female hockey league. Joel has 1.5 years left, to earn his MBA/MD degrees. He loves medicine, especially now that most of his experience is in clinics and hospitals. He gets to work in different specialties, and is presently doing family medicine in Smith's Falls. Just before Christmas he'll be in Thunder Bay at the cancer centre, doing one month in oncology.
Joel's rowing career came to an abrupt end, as far as serious competition goes, when he suffered a collapsed lung in early spring. This is caused by a small tear in the lung, allowing air into his thoracic cavity. A tube must be inserted to suck the air out, and then you hope it heals. He had to be hospitalized briefly, and it was a very close call for a while. He started rowing again recreationally, and feels fine by now. He and Vicky took their sculls to Victoria for the summer when Joel did six weeks in emergency medicine there. We are very much looking forward to Joel and Vicky's wedding on July 6 of this year.
Besides the above, there were really two highlights this summer worth mentioning. One was the reunion of former students of Steinbach Collegiate Institute. Most people in my class of ‘61 came, and it was a truly mind-boggling experience. Here were friends who hadn't seen each other for 40 years, and we still knew each other! We started the weekend with a barbecue in Mom and Dad's back yard, followed by a "story time", sitting in a circle on lawn chairs and reminiscing of how crazy some of us were. It was wild. Then the next day we had a parents' tea (unfortunately many people no longer have parents) and class get-togethers, and a big banquet which filled the gym. Finally a revived band which had been very popular in the seventies, but hadn't played together for 25 years took over the evening. They were fabulous, and played the good old-time rock and roll. Some of us actually got up and danced! It really blew my mind–the contrast from 1961 to now. Just the experience of dancing in Steinbach, and in the high school of all places! If you didn't grow up in a Mennonite town you wouldn't know what I mean!
The other really special highlight of the summer was sailing down to Goderich, near London which is land-locked, to pick up Joy for the summer holidays. We sailed back in very favourable weather, with perfect winds most of the time, made new friends and visited with the good old gang of Yoopers who we love so dearly (from the U.P., upper peninsula of Michigan). The trip was 512 nautical miles each way, and I was gone for nearly a month.
I should also add another milestone was reached in our family, namely Mom's 85th birthday. We had a wonderful celebration with all available relatives in Smitty's Restaurant in Steinbach, followed by more hospitality at Larry and Marlene's in Kleefeld. I flew to Winnipeg for the weekend.
Christmas dinner and gifts were shared within our family on Dec.1 at Kris and Lynn's new house in Ottawa. Lynn produced the finest dinner of turkey and roast beef with all the trimmings. It was the only weekend in which we could all meet. I think Kris and Lynn's place will become the hub for our family because of their central location, and we don't want them to travel on winter highways with three children.
Now I must say that I tried to keep this letter to a readable length by omitting specific names of friends and relatives with whom we have visited, traveled, laughed, celebrated, etc. Please don't be offended if I didn't refer to you by name, the letter would be too long. But let me emphasize how dear you all are to us and how we thank you for making our year of 2001 the richest and happiest ever. You are all dear to us, and we treasure your friendship and love.
**To see some pictures of our activities, please visit our website athttp://www.angelfire.com/ab/it
and send us a reply with the links at the top
Dear Friends and Relatives
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We hope that this holiday season finds you in good health and happiness and that each year is better than the one before. We also look forward to hearing from you at this time of year so we can share the joys, and sorrows if any, of your lives.
Newton's first law of physics should have been "Each successive year of your age is shorter than the one before". You blink a few times, and suddenly your children are grown up and gone and a new generation is born. So here's a short update of our very happy year 2000:
Not exactly grandchildren, but I call them our "pseudo-grandchildren", became part of our family as Lynn and her children and Kris established a happy home in Ottawa. Kris had graduated in summer with an honours degree in Computer Science and the Dean's medal for highest marks in science, and Lynn had earned both a degree in chemical engineering and computer science. Both have very high tech programming jobs in Ottawa and Kanata, and have a wonderful and energetic family life.
Joel is in year 3 of his 5 year program to earn both an MD and MBA degree and to row his way to the next Olympics in 2004. At this rate he'll make it. He earned another gold medal at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta this summer, and plans to train with the new Olympic coach in Victoria next summer. The BIG NEWS, though, is that Joel and Vicky will be married next August and we heartily agree with his choice of a daughter for us! So within one year we've added two daughters and 3 grandkids, no wonder time speeds up!
Joy will soon have spent one year as V.P. Academic at Fanshawe, having thrived on the challenge and being invigorated with the new career. They have a big expansion in progress and every day is exciting. She still travels to Toronto often, but it's so much easier than fromThunder Bay, and she has been as far as Whitehorse and Edmonton to conferences. Thanks for the good times in Whitehorse, Wade and Susan and Al and Diane, and in Edmonton, Peggy and Marielle and Chris. Of course, the best conferences are right here in Thunder Bay, which she visits every 3 weeks or else I fly to London. It's lonely, but manageable.
We did have a wonderful Caribbean cruise in March with some great snorkeling, and had a terrific summer on our boat with my best salmon fishing ever.
Joy and Kris and Lynn and Joel and Vicky are close enough to each other to meet in Ottawa on a long weekend such as Thanksgiving, so the family is not entirely separated.
My own job now involves teaching computer studies and co-operative education, which suits my interests very well. 2.5 years to retirement.
Season's Greetings from
Rudy and JoyReturn to Menu