This has been a busy year and an even busier fall. Perhaps this explains why I am only beginning to write our annual letter on New Years Day.
In April Terry changed jobs. I am still at Lucent Technologies but changed departments to work on Internet Telephony. We offer systems allowing telephone calls to be carried over the Internet. Phones can call phones or computers can call phones anywhere in the world over the Internet. It’s enjoyable work but a lot of new technology to learn. I’ve worked for the "phone company" for 11 years and this is the first time I worked with anything dealing with phones.
Terry still rides his bike as much as possible but the new job as kept him off the wheels too much this year.
I had an opportunity to travel to Scotland on business for my new department just after Memorial Day and since both Jan and Katherine had 4 days off we decided on less than a weeks notice to take the whole family to Scotland. We got five days of touring before my meetings and I stayed on for another weekend after. We got to see much of northern Scotland, the Highlands, Lochs (missed Nessie though) and Edinburgh. I also spent a couple of days on the Isle of Skye before coming home. Lots of beautiful scenery, sheep, interesting food (though we skipped the haggis) and history.
Jan was able to spend a week visiting her parents in Iowa this summer helping them clean out their attic.
In July Katherine spent 3 weeks in Spain, traveling with a group of students from her Spanish class. They spent the first half in Salamanca studying at the university and living with local families, where they were not allowed to use any English (many of the families did not know English). They spent the second half touring, visiting Madrid, Seville, Granada, Cordoba and other areas in southern Spain.
Katherine is having another good year at Bernards High School, where she is a junior taking AP Calculus, AP US History, AP Biology, Honors English, Art and Spanish. She played Field Hockey again this fall, was elected to the National Honor Society, chosen as a Peer Leader and selected for Concert Choir (which will perform in Carnegie Hall next spring). She still works at Café Josephine a couple of times a week (and likes to hang out there even when not working – many friends also work there).
While Katherine was in Spain, Jan and I took a short vacation to the San Juan Islands off the Washington State Coast. We were fortuitously chose the week that included the San Juan Jazz Festival at Friday Harbor but was still able to find a nice house to rent which we shared with Claude and Betty Barnett, good friends from our Walla Walla days. We were also able to spend a couple of days with Audrey and Leal Dickson, friends in Seattle, before flying home to meet Katherine’s return.
In September, Jan began teaching for a new school district – the same high school but new district. The high school had been operated by a regional district for the past 50 years. The regional district operated the high schools for six township school districts, but was dissolved by a vote. Each district now operates its own high school. Unfortunately the law that allows such dissolutions had many ambiguities that has lead to a very messy and factious process. Teachers were redistributed among schools based on seniority rather than where they had been teaching. The school boards are inexperienced at operating high schools and have made many poor decisions or made them very late. So this has been a very stressful school year for Jan, but on good side, she was chosen as Teacher of the Month in December.
This fall Terry’s work really heated up as we approached the deadline for a new release of our telephony software, which included my work as a central part. I worked 15-16 hour days and Sundays for about three weeks before we flew to California for a family Christmas. We had not spent Christmas with my parents for many years. My sister Karen (who lives in San Diego) was able to be there as well. It was a pleasure getting to know her new, seven month old, son, Kai. Only my brother, Art and his family, who live in Missouri, were unable to make it. We had a wonderful time including a quick trip into San Francisco, visiting Sausalito, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Terry’s father is able to get around the house better now that he has an electrically powered chair. He has Parkinson’s Disease, which has made walking very difficult without assistance. I helped them do a few things around the house that he can not longer do. In April I was able to spend a week doing things like widening the door into the bathroom, to permit wheel chair access.
We are still very active with the Adventist Forums chapter that meets at Columbia University in NYC and got to Broadway a bit more often this year, seeing Phantom (finally), Scarlet Pimpernel, and Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (it’s nice to have friends and family visit giving us the excuse to show them Broadway). We also enjoy the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival and McCarter Theater seasons and the occasional Early Music concert.
Best Wishes for the New Year
from Terry, Jan and Katherine
Jan 1, 1998