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From: Frank and Jo
Retirement continues to be completely hectic but a lot of fun. We've been planting trees and shrubs and flowers, and making a brick patio. And most importantly, we've been having a great time playing with Gentry, John and Noah.
We had a wonderful little ceremony in Oxford, England with my dad as minister, Bria as bridesmaid, and my aunt and uncle for guests. Bryan composed beautiful music for the ceremony, and had a violinist from the London Philharmonic to play it as my wedding gift. So neat! After the ceremony, we took a chauffered punt down the river to a hotel where we had our wedding brunch. Then it was off to the honeymoon!
We had a wonderful time in England, Scotland and Whales. We stayed at several castles: Glenapp Castle near Ballantrae, Scotland - a newer castle built in 1870; and also at Borthwick Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, fled to with the Earl of Bothwell - built in 1430. I find the history of England to be fascinating, and so enjoyed visiting the cathedrals and castles. We also went to the Edinburgh Castle and saw the Royal Crown Jewels.
We stayed for a week at Berrington Hall, in the Triumphal Arch Cottage (a gatehouse) in England and took day trips all around. For my birthday, Bryan took us to see two Shakespeare plays in Stratford-upon-Avon, put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliette (super-well done) and MacBeth (good, except they did not do period costumes, which disappointed us).
Only problem with England is everything is so darned expensive! But all in all, we had a wonderful time.
Please note that my email address has changed to : firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, in case you don't have my new address, it is:
776 Oella Ave.
Oella, MD 21043
Please stay in touch, and please send me your birth date too so I can put it on my e-calendar. Thanks!
From: Margy and Michael
WELL!!! Michael and I and our friends have survived not one, not two, not three, but FOUR hurricanes in less than 2 months. We were VERY fortunate to only have about 2 tons of debris from our many trees fall all over our land, with one blocking the driveway, one on the back room (with minor damage), and one over my entire flower garden. We are unduly pleased with ourselves, in that the roof Michael and I repaired ourselves last year did not leak one drop during all the deluges. Brian was a veritable saint to let us camp out at his place for 10 days during Frances when our power was out, then 2 days when power was out with Jeanne. The clean-up has become Michael's rehabilitation project, and he's going great guns.
Michael, by the way, is 99% back to his original cheerful healthy self. This after almost the entire year spent discovering that he had prostatitis, an anal fissure and internal hemorrhoids, making sitting down almost impossible for several months. However, I'm so proud of him -- he completed 3 courses in the spring and 1 in the summer (the summer one spent standing through the whole night class sessions) and doing very well in all of them besides. He is now done with the requisite coursework to obtain certification for Head Start teaching.
I've enjoyed the traveling in my new role as vacation coverage practitioner in central Florida. However, the corporate bean-counters have decided that they can make more money by having me back in several nursing homes - an idea not very appealing to me. SOOOO... I'm looking around. Loey has encouraged us to think about a self-appointed 1-year sabbatical in Kodai, which Michael and I are discussing.
Brian and I still dance regularly, and our volunteer dance group is about to crank up its program for the fall - shows in nursing homes and ALF's.
Otherwise, all is well out here on the farm. Animals fat and sassy. Blue skies have returned. Ground less sloshy. Have symphony tickets to some great concerts. My stress test and echocardiogram showed me to be disgustingly healthy. Maybe this year will redeem itself after all. Love to all of you.
My email has changed so please make changes in your email address book. It is now Sandra@kaimad.com.
From: Marilyn Cox (Uncle George & Aunt Elizabeth's daughter; one of my good friends from early days in Mt. Lake. This note is in reference to the death of her brother George.)
I received the following letter from Dawn Fast at the city office in Mt. Lake:
"Just wanted to let you know that the council has approved the building of an arch in the Mountain Lake City Park in memory of George. In fact, today they are digging the footings so the project is getting started and hopefully will be done within the next month. I thought I would let you know about this and you could keep the other family members informed. Pictures of the completed project will be sent to you. George was special to all of us and we are so happy to be doing this to honor him."
Chris sent in this picture of the lights from the World Trade Center site as they were turned on in the evening of September 11th, 3 years after the towers were destroyed.
A couple of years ago I promised to sew Chris a new quilt but never got around to it, so I ordered a quilt for him from Kopodeg in Kodai. Loey chose the colors, Stella designed and sewed the quilt top with some help from Shanti, and some other women quilted it. It's awesome! So now he's glad I never got going on his quilt....
Mary won something called the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship. Here is a link to their web site: http://www.educationaladvancement.org/programs/students/CDB_scholarship/overview.php
The scholarship pays for all tuition and books for Mary's choice of high school, although we think that she might go to our local public high school.
Also, I have a new email address: email@example.com. Thanks.
Dick and I are returning home from my 50th Kodai class reunion. Wow! What an experience. Most of us had trouble sleeping at night because of the intensity of the experience. So many memories flooded back, all the reconnections made, the excitement of sharing old and new experiences, etc. Mr. Ruggiero was there too. Mugwad and I cried together on greeting and again on leaving. Joan Long, Margie Essebaggers, John Heins, Nellie Kincaid, etc. etc. were all there. We had afternoon and evening programs where we shared slides of India, sang songs, ate an Indian dinner, read our stories (they loved my Bubble Gum story and encouraged me to publish so my head is quite swelled), and Bollie read our old "Once I was one little Indian, I did wear no clothes at all" story. With our new digital camera I will be sending many pictures once I learn how to.
I am happy as a clam teaching full time at Eastern University (American Baptist Affiliated). Mike, my husband, is pastor at Wellspring Church, where we are introducing the Alpha course to reach out neighbors and really enjoying it! Holly is turning 18, a senior at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, and planning to become a missionary (!), and Andrew is turning 16, a sophmore at North Penn High school, and planning to go into film (!!).
Over the summer I've worked at transitioning back into US culture. While I was in India Gary designed an addition to our small bungalow style house in Longmont which will make it a nice size house. However, problems with builders delayed the project and we are still living in pretty cramped quarters with most of our stuff in boxes. One day......
It's been great to see the family and go on trips in Colorado. Pictures below are of Aspen where we spent two weeks camping while Gary attended a wood turning class and Lake City where we still have some property on the river. On the other hand I miss my old buddies at Kodai and I haven't yet built up a new network of friends in Longmont.
Aspen and Lake City areas
Our whole family is on their way to Mexico for Kirby's wedding on the 9th. Gary and I leave a bit early to get in some diving and driving - pictures next time. Other than that, Nikhil has been accepted into USAID but won't start training til the spring, Priya has an interview coming up with the World Resources Institute, Chelsea is trying to balance two kids and a full-time job, Gary is about to start the electrical, plumbing, dry wall, siding, painting, tiling etc etc of the house extension, and I'm still hunting down jobs and trying to work off those extra pounds of curry and rice accumulated over four years.