Warm holiday thoughts of the Yule to ya’ll that burn up the fuel:
And the word has been warm this year, up into the ‘80’s until last week! Even after 24 years (can you believe it?) hot buttered rum and slapping mosquitoes just do not go together. Looking at the fantastic graphics at the top of this letter probably convinces many of you we are indeed the Jacksonville Loonies (a suspicion long since harbored). Somehow the idea of mountains and Florida make about as much sense as the hot buttered rum and the mosquitoes, but it really dramatizes one of our highlights of the year, a trip to Snowmass Colorado in August. The trip was sponsored by the Space Applications Board of the National Research Council who requested Bob serve on an Earth’s Resources Panel evaluating space systems for the ‘90’s and beyond; specifically, manned space stations and what observational characteristics should such a station have. We stayed in a fully equipped condo with balcony, and while he slaved all day, Joyce floated around the pool, gamboled in the Jacuzzi and contemplated on where all this has been all her life. But we did have time to burn ourselves to a crisp on a two hour chair-lift ride, and loose: (and find) Bob’s glasses in Aspen, our breath atop Independence Pass, our perspective in Glenwood Canyon and our bank-roll in Vail. There we do believe they have out tourist trapped Florida; we guess it is their answer to Disney World. Before this trip, Bob was involved on the Land Remote Sensing Satellite Advisory Committee (LRSSAC) who answered to the Secretary of Commerce. This required a trip to Washington D.C. in June. We went together and then on to Fairfield. I mean, the zoo, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, the whole bit and with no little ones having to go to the bathroom (only us). While in Fairfield we stayed with Joyce’s brother Gordon and his wife Martha who filled our chops with all kinds of good food and goodies. It was a great visit with them. As if we were being starved to death, we had a delightful dinner and evening with Lou and Ginny, Joyce’s oldest brother. It was nice to see them both on the same trip. Bob’s brother was just returning from China and we missed him, but with his mom visited Sela, (his wife) and were flabbergasted by the improvements they have made to their house. Ruth and Pete Powell, Shirley and Bob Osborne, great to see all of you, you haven’t changed a bit. Wish we could have seen the whole crowd.
On the home front: well Karen and Barry have done it again, must drink the same water mom and dad did…She (Karen for heavens sake) is expecting again in January. I don’t know if mom can stand it. She goes banana’s with Alaina as it is, and if that “young’n” is still toddling she will really be like the one armed paper hanger.
Spent Halloween with Bruce (seems appropriate, I guess) and had a fun weekend with him. He is really into the photography game at this point, and doing well. Halloween in Athens Georgia is not just a day, but an event with fantastic Halloween parties downtown. It is amazing to what lengths grown folks will go to dress up in costume. Diane has moved back South and is in Charlotte N.C. waiting in queue for a teaching position. We rented a U-Haul trailer and toted everything we could think of up to her. On the back of the trailer, it reads:” An Adventure in Moving”. Boy you can say that again, flat tire and all. Fortunately, Karen lives on legs of a triangle between Charlotte, Athens and Jacksonville. It is nice to drop Mandy off as we go by. Thought we lost the old dog, though. On the way back she was nowhere to be found. She finally emerged from some swamp amply festooned in organic ooze, and of course leaped into the back seat and white pillows, and then shook herself thoroughly. George transferred from Georgia Southern to the University of Florida this year, which means the fall-out zone has moved about 250 miles closer to home! He is enrolled in the forestry school (last I knew) and is sharing a condo just off campus. I don’t hear much about forestry, but a lot about the “chicks” next door. I spent the night with them (not the “chicks”) which was more like an indictment, and I learned that no matter what, don’t ask any questions, the answers may be harmful to your health. We did have a bit of a scare, his girl Karen Owens (K.O. and they are still together) also transferred to Florida, and managed to get hit by a car on a rainy day. Fortunately she is OK, except for a few bumps and bruises; a lucky girl.
Joyce and Bob? Still teaching tots, shoving trees into computers, square dancing (our aerobic exercise) and getting older (only chronologically, of course you would never know it to see us).
We wish you all the best for the Christmas Season and the New Year, and hope you will remember us if you are in the neighborhood.