Saturday, December 18

Happy Holidays - 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, we wish you the joys of the season and hope this finds you well.

2010 has been a fun year for us. Changes for Madeline and Peter. A pleasant stability for Kate and Stan.

In August Madeline accepted a one year position teaching 7th Grade Science at River Bluff Middle School in Stoughton, Wisconsin (just south of Madison). She's been going one hundred miles an hour ever since. Enjoyable, challenging and exhausting are all descriptions of her experience that come to mind. After her year substitute teaching, having her own classroom has been great. Hopefully she will soon have a full time teaching position (she seems to me to have a "full time plus" position this year).

Peter graduated from the University of Iowa in May. Then it was back to the Twin Cities to embark on the unenviable task of finding a "real" career job in marketing.

So far he hasn't found a long-term position. So he is doing an unpaid internship with the Friends of the Mississippi River, working as a waiter at a local pizza restaurant and working as a "manny" (a very manly nanny) three days a week.

Living at home has worked out fine so far. We get along well and there are worse things in life than living in close proximity to a "foodie" like Kate. In fact, as I can attest, there are few things better.

Kate continues to shine in every aspect of life - whether it's combating Medicaid fraud at the Attorney General's office, dreaming up culinary surprises, or just being fun to be around.

I continue to navigate my way through life very well (with lots of help and "advice" from Kate - whose only apparent flaw is her penchant for "nagivation" when she doesn't have the wheel). My 80% time job at Scoular is great, trips to the BWCA and get-togethers with "the boys" and other groups of friends are frequent. Life is good.

Our final family member, Greta, has reached the ripe old age of 14 1/2. Since the average life expectancy of Weimaraners is about 10 years - this is quite an accomplishment. She's still part puppy and part old woman. Her muscle control in her hind legs comes and goes. Her appetite is a constant, as is her desire to be on the other side of any door she sees.

Both my mom Carol and Kate's mother Kitty (and her partner Bob) are doing well. Distance makes it hard to see them as often as we would like. But we've seen them regularly this year.

Our biggest purchase this year was a pontoon, which allows us to range farther and wider on our many trips to our cabin. We bought it used, tied it to our dock, and, while we were back in the Twin Cities, it sunk (one of the pontoons had a tiny hole in it). The seller, who lives in the area and had sold it to us "as is," took it upon himself to get it out of the lake, repaired and returned to our dock without us lifting a finger. There really are some great people out there, especially in northern Wisconsin.

A wonderful addition to the cabin experience.

Once again this year's family Spring trip was to Utah. This time a return to Zion National Park. The photos below were taken on our ascent of Angel's Landing in the snow and ice on a warm, sunny day. Kate proved her intelligence by refusing to make the last part of the climb. Peter proved his athleticism by leaving Madeline and me in the dust (or, in this case, in the slush). Madeline and I slowly made our way up and down, being careful and probably kind of stupid at the same time. A very memorable day. It's such a joy to Kate and to me that Peter and Madeline are still willing to join us on trips. The reasons could be economic; but I like to think that it's the fun we have together. Plans are taking shape for a trip to Paris this spring!

A toast to you from snowy Minnesota. Come and see us!

Stan, Kate, Madeline and Peter