Greetings to Friends and Family for 2004 !!!
This weekend we awoke to a rock-solid zero degrees Fahrenheit so we know Christmas and the New Year are forthcoming. There’s little doubt now (except in the White House) that global warming is a reality so let’s get on with enjoying however few ‘white’ Christmases we have left.
While we have much to be thankful for, this past year was one of loss, with Linda’s father Roy passing away in September. Even while his health deteriorated he continued following the stock market, inventing electrical games and living independently. His final wishes included setting up a fund in his mother’s name (Praxedis, a patron saint of the poor and disadvantaged) with the St. Paul Foundation to benefit disadvantaged children.
Linda spent much of this past year caring for Roy, but continued in her new successful career as an independent health care consultant working with rural hospitals. Who needs an exciting vacation when you can work in Kansas and Iowa? Due to time demands her large ‘up north’ garden suffered from her absence and John’s ‘attention’ but the seed catalogs are arriving already and even more varieties of tomatoes await us.
As the only person in the house with gray hair, John is called ‘sir’ by more and more people but remains an adolescent at heart. Having now worked at Ryan Companies for about 100 years he is starting to leave early on Friday’s to ignore the chore list at home and head up north to do whatever. His new humanitarian project, “Cheesecake for the Sudan” is still in need of funding.
Anne, in her third year at Hamline, is now a senior, and will graduate after two more semesters. Throughout college she’s continued working as a manager at Wendy’s where she attended her first corporate Christmas party. The ‘job’ also played into a new Ford Ranger (4x4 5-speed) that replaced the hot red Pontiac Grand Am ‘flamemobile.’ From her perspective the highlight of the year was as a roadie for the rock band “Northern State” at their Milwaukee concert.
The baby of the brood, Thomas, will graduate from Mounds View in the spring and is wrapping up his career there directing a Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” As a member of the Green Party coordinating committee (Go Greens!) he represented them well as a political panelist on KTCA’s Almanac. In February he is headed off to Washington D.C. as one of two kids selected from each state to participate in the Senate Youth Program. Watch for his picture with GWB and Condoleeza!
Best wishes to you all for a happy holiday season and New Year!
John, Linda, Anne & Thomas