“Tis the Season To Be…” I need a new bathing suit! Why can’t I find one? Don’t any of these stores have bathing suits? “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells…” Hark, what is it they are playing in this Mall? – It couldn’t be – “Ho, Ho, Ho!” it’s Christmas time! Who would have believed it? Just because we had the warmest November in weather record keeping history, and the temperature is now (Dec. 10) sitting at 75 degrees, I mean, who would believe it? We thought our more polar friends and snow bird associates would like to know.
What a year! Note the post mark though, we are still here. The Champion/St. Regis merger is about complete, and we seem to be in one piece (this week), having lost no one from our shop. The benign life of luxury and ease we were sure awaited us as soon as the last sibling departed, hasn’t seem to materialize though. In the first place, nothing seems to work like it is supposed to. Joyce’s first year in “retirement” represents a classic misnomer. What was supposed to be a year of dull transition turned into one of endless discovery, Oh my! All those things to do—and fix—and build….Now, you want to hear my problem? For openers, how about replacing all our original awning and jalousie windows with nice double pane (pain) thermal windows? Well we did, and did it all ourselves—ah, what a team! (?) We won’t dwell on the “WHOOSH phenomenon” we discovered as a window would fall out of place and smash, but the “ROAR phenomenon” generated by the result attracted the neighbors. I have just got to find that girl another job!
The A&A Destruction Company (Alaina/Alyssa) paid us a visit in June (Karen and Barry’s 2 and 3 year old girls). Brother—a three-ring circus that virtually made time stand still (ever see a 10 day month?). But it was really fun; I mean they are just of the age of enjoying things, like the zoo, power tools and razor blades. We had a grand time. But wait a minute! That is not all, but just the beginning, the tip of the ice-berg, and you “ain’t” seen nothin’ yet! You remember three weddings in ’84? How about three progeny in ’86? You got it! But not the same three: want to guess? It is sort of like the old shell game. Give you a clue; one is in western Kansas (Tribune), eats a lot of wheat products, snuggles up to jack rabbits in the winter and has tumble weeds as foundation plantings—yup, Diane and Jeff are due in January. This is soon to be followed by the couple who just finished a beautiful house on equally beautiful Lake Oglethorpe near Athens Georgia. They are in the frame game, but will have to put that on hold in March. That’s right, our favorite framers of wall displays (art), Pam and Bruce have announced. Finally, from the nurse who should know better, Karen and Barry are adding to the A&A production staff in June. George and his Karen have maintained the status quo in that department, but they did move to Panama City Florida just in time to get sid-swiped by Juan (hurricane) and then the full fury of Kate. They survived and George enjoys his new job with St. Joe Paper Co. Poor old Mandy (14 years) finally went for the great dog bone in the sky, and is now scratching some celestial flea. She was almost an institution around here and will be truly missed.
The year was not all work, though. Joyce went with me to Ft. Collins CO (Colorado State University) for a week in August. It was close enough for Diane and Jeff to drive over for a few days, which was nice. We spent some time in the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is quite incredible at 13,000 feet. In November we spent 10 days in Flagstaff AZ; the Grand Canyon (talk about indescribable), Painted Desert, the Navajo Indian reservations, and lots in between. I didn’t realize Flagstaff itself sits at 7,200 feet; the dryness, headaches and nosebleeds reminded us. A colleague helpfully suggested we lie down with our feet up and we ought to be OK in 3 months or so. The climate and vegetation contrast between Phoenix (dessert) and Flagstaff (high plateau, only 160 miles away) was amazing and educational. I don’t think there is another state exhibiting such a high level of diversity. It was sure nice to get back to where we could see the air.
It looks like 1986 will be an exciting year for us domestically and professionally, we hope yours too will be rewarding, and full of surprises as ours.