Christmas – 1999

Am I Y2K compliant? – You bet – I plan to shut down at 10:15PM on Dec. 31,1999 and boot back up again at10:15 Jan. 1, 2000. Whether or not anything else will bee working we will just have to wait and see. While 1999 might be the “wind-down year of the century (millennium) it sure has not been “wind-down” around here, with perhaps one exception: my teaching responsibilities have been reduced to about ¼ time.

This freed up most of the spring, which allowed us an early start to Tribune, KS to visit Diane and clan in early June. The thought this was to be a relaxing trip was shot lived when on the second day I learned we were going to look for garage door openers. We got a dandy, with an electric eye cut-off switch and everything. Jake (the eldest) was there to help, and bail me out a time or two. It was hot, but by the end of the second day, Joyce and I finished up and looked with satisfaction (and parched throats) at our accomplishment. The door was down and in place.

Triumphantly we walked out the back door. Lo and behold, the garage door opened by itself! This underscored my long belief that inanimate objects somehow always have the last word. We went back in, activated the remote control and lowered the door, and hand in hand, tiptoed out the back, and the door stayed in place. Who knows?

After leaving Diane’s we headed for the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We got there via Steamboat Springs (an obvious destination of the rich and famous), and Dinosaur National Monument located on the border of Colorado and Utah. We spent two days in Teton Village, and two days in Wapiti, 15 miles east between Yellowstone and Cody, WY. Every time we ventured out, we saw wildlife. Picture if you will this scene: a bend in the trail and Joyce approaches up toward it. Simultaneously a deer (doe) down toward it, and they meet without 10 feet to spare.

I wish I could have caught their expression on video, but my glasses got caught in the strap and went flying and by the time I recovered, the deer was easing slowly sideways to get clear and then took off. We called this the “Mexican standoff”. Another more oafish episode (involving me of course) occurred along the banks of the Yellowstone River where we had stopped for lunch.

After watching in amazement as three buffalos swam the rain swollen Yellowstone River (those big old skinny-legged things), I had thought they had gone about their business. I returned to the car for my camera and on the way back to the picnic table I looked up after passing around some shrubs, right into the eyes of the huge lead bison just staring and chewing. Up over his back I could only see Joyce’s arms waving wildly. Clearly I chose a detour. We called this the “in your face” encounter. All in all, a great trip, a great time, and we would recommend it to all our great friends.

Meanwhile, it is time to bring this thing to a close for another year.

Our love to you all and hope you transcended any Y2K issues, and happy new year.