Christmas – 1975

Dear Arctic snappin street slushin’ “cousins” of the frozen north.

Once again the Yuletide has risen (along with prices, taxes, and blood pressure) and the time has come for the annual roundup of Barkeisms, fables and vignettes for the past year.

Although nothing spectacular, this year has been punctuated with several highlights and a few glimmers we would like to share with you.

The year started out with a bang when Bob and Shirley Osborne with their “younguns” Carol and Bobby, dropped in for an overnight visit during a whirlwind trip through Florida. While Shirley and Bob and Bob and Joyce swapped– uh– “truisms”. Bruce showed Carol how he made his darkroom (from the inside out) but he said he couldn’t develop anything — and George and Bobby punctuated the entire visit with periodic whoops and clatters placed at strategic points. It was fun and we really enjoyed the visit ( o.k the rest of you come on down!).

For almost 20 years we have been in Florida and we have never really seen South Florida, so this year, three time already, the first to visit the Morfeys in Deerfield Beach (the cafeteria will never be the same — if the recognize us we’ll have to order from the menu); the second to visit Mom in Naples (this included a traverse across “alligator Alley”, that “from noplace to nowhere” toll road, that is so desolate it is worth the $3.oo just to realize you’re just passing through; and the third, to visit Dick Leeds at their cottage in New Smyrna Beach.

Two long driving trips to New England were made in conjunction with business which gave us some time to spend with Mom and to help her prepare for the move to 3030 Park Avenue. I don’t really know what we did but we gained 10 pounds and had and awfully good time doing it.

Karen worked again last summer at St. Regis as the switchboard operator and receptionist. She is in her last year at Georgia Southern and working toward a Medical Tech./Biology major (if she can ever get her fruit flies to do their “thing” with others properly designated). She says that her course in vascular plants has taught her how to tell an oak from a pine, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Bruce took a winter trip to the mountains (North Carolina last year over Christmas Holidays — in the snow — backpacking — freezing. He says he’ll never forget it (neither does a man on the “rack”). He finishes Florida Junior College this year and he is preparing to go to some forestry School next (he’s got to nuts!). He has worked all year in the Sporting Good department of Woolco Department Store.

Diane started college this year! ( It only hurts when I laugh!) Like Karen, she is going to Georgia Southern and she joined the same Sorority. From the cryptic correspondence, we gather she enjoys it, though it presents a slightly different problem than high school. We must admit, with both of them gone, the place lacks a certain flair (the decibel level may even fall within OSHA standards).

George is, can you believe it, in the 9th grade. We figured he was 14 and holding until we realized he is looking at girls and smiling instead of frowning, and his interest in social events his progressed beyond the “yuk”. He is still active in scouts and football. He looks forward to senior high next year and keeps reminding me of the fact he can get his learner’s permit for driving this summer (deliver me through one more time… please?).

Joyce used to say, about kindergarten, “you know, this wouldn’t be a bad job if it wasn’t for the kids”, now she says “these kids wouldn’t be bad if it wasn’t for the mothers”. Why the change in basic philosophy? Why sure, you guessed it, she is now Director of the door slammin’, crumb grabbing’, runny nose league. While it is a challenge, she does have mixed emotions about it all, but she is doing a great job.

Dad has been working a bit NASA this year and has to learn NASAese, a peculiar government language characterized by acronymns. He gave a paper in Houston at the Earth Resource Survey Symposium (ERSS) and is working along with Perdue University’s Lab for Applications of Remote Sensing (LARS) on a joint project for a Forest Resource Information System (FRIS),(see what I mean?), utilizing satellite data as an integral part of the system.

In between and around all of the above, we managed to fit in some time at our lake front lot and grove. Our camper is there now , so we can spend the night. The oranges are just coming in, so as I sit here with the juice of a sweet naval dribbling off my chin, I will join with the rest of the crowd in wishing you the greatest of Christmases and the hope of a exciting new year.

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