Christmas – 1986

Created by Bob Barker - as appeared on newsletter

Holiday Greetings, friends — We hope you all have a Capital holiday season, I know we will!

Crackle, Crackle, Crackle! Listen to those green logs sizzle -* % ? ? \\ & & — Oh, surprise! As the above address would suggest, we have moved to the Capital area. So much for the warm, balmy Christmases of the past 27 years, we are almost one of you northern types again, and this is being written while sitting before a blazing (if not roaring) fire. (The forester bought a load of green wood! (must be a throw-back to the Connecticut nutmegs.) You must wonder why, as the girl at the Department of Motor Vehicles when she said: “you moved here from where?” Not enough room here for the whole story, suffice it to say, after we gained our freedom (last child gone and the dog died), we decided when the opportunity arose, to write a new chapter. The opportunity presented itself in the form of SPOT Image Corporation (SICORP). SPOT (Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre) is an Earth observation satellite launched by the French Space Agency in February, 1986. SICORP is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. for these data. It is the first satellite to be launched as a commercial venture. Because of long experience with satellite data and applications, Bob was brought on board as the Director of Commercial Applications (Marketing, etc.). This was a complete change from the past, and the experience exhilarating and a challenge. Joyce, too enjoys her two story house (with basement), 26 miles from Washington and 45 miles from the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains in the rolling hills of western Fairfax County, only four miles from Dulles International Airport. In spite of the specter of winter, she is having a ball with all the new appliances and fixtures (her fingers at the switch of the garbage disposal are those of an artist). Preceding Joyce, Bob moved to the area in January. She joined him briefly in February to decide on the house and then for a lovely winter interlude in Tribune Kansas (if you think the area is flat in summer, you should see it with snow). What in the world would motivate any but the most seriously deranged to travel to Tribune, KS in February? Absolutely nothing – except, ah yes, a new baby grandson, Jacob Duane born to Diane and Jeff. We has a wonderful trip and visit, and Bob finally found out what farmers do in the winter. You really don’t want to know, but you work it into your flower beds in the spring.

In April, a second grandson, Robinson Leeds (Robin), born to Pam and Bruce, was timed almost perfectly to our final move to Herndon, VA. We were to stop in for a few days at their home on Lake Oglethorpe, near Athens Georgia. Of course by now, Joyce had totally regressed into a second childhood of bunnies and bears; round holes and squares.
In May we moved into our new home and in June, a note of sadness struck when Karen (KB for ours) lost a baby girl, Melanie Brooke through one of those strange pre-natal quirks that happen from time to time. A week of rehabilitation was spent with us, and she brought the two girls: Alaina and Alyssa. That was a break for us, Karen and Barry are fortunate to have such great kids. There is nothing wrong with their health, we can attest to that. We won’t say they are active, but when Karen suggested we take them to the zoo, we thought it redundant.

To finish the chronology, in July we went to Snowmass, CO (near Aspen). Bob was on a committee of the National Academy of Science. We were there 10 days and then went on to Fairbanks, AK where SPOT was exhibiting at a Cold Regions Hydrology Conference. Joyce and I manned the booth, and if you can visualize that, you can visualize most anything. We spent 10 days in interior Alaska, the Yukon, Denali National Park, the Artic Circle and of course, the Malamute Saloon (“The Killing of Dan McGrew”). On our return, or almost, Diane, Jeff and little Jake came for a visit. In September, we went back to Alaska, this time to Anchorage. It rained most of the time, but we did get to Seward, the Portage glacier (unbelievable), and the Kenai Peninsula. Shortly after our return, in October, Pam, Bruce and Robin came to visit. Boy these kids sure grow fast.

Well how about George and his Karen (KRO)? Not to be overlooked, but the only off spring we can report for them is black, hairy, has 4 legs (no thumbs) and is named “Whiskey” (if it were white, they would have called it Chablis). While we like to consider ourselves as equal opportunity grandparents, the arrival of a two pound Labrador Retriever hardly meets our criteria for new progeny travel. Actually all that happened in ’85, but we forgot to tell you. They did buy a house this year though, and are well settled in Panama City FL where they are both active in church affairs including singing in the choir. –This brings a whole new meaning to the words “dedication” and “ “sacrifice” (on the part of the congregation, that is).

Finally, Washington is a most interesting place to be, and it falls conveniently between the “North” and the “South”. We considered all this in picking a place to live and we do have plenty of room. So if you are coming to, going through, or just plain curious, stop in, set a spell, or spend the night. We really enjoy it when you do.

Much Love and Good Wishes for the New Year

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