Happy Holidays! Joyful Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Best Wishes! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad! Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan! Glædelig Jul! Gajan Kristnaskon! Hyvaa Joulua! Buorrit Juovllat! Gledileg Jol! Nodlaig Mhaith Chugnat! Buone Feste Natalizie! Natale Hilare et Annum Faustum! Pozdrevlyayu s Prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom! God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt! År Ruumsaid Juulup! Season's Greetings! Peace!
I hope this holiday greeting finds you well. It does us. And once again together for the holidays. Traditionally I've used this holiday post as a bit of a retrospective on the year just completed. And I'll do some of that this time as well. But with Kate's mid-year and my impending retirement, I may be a bit more forward looking than is traditional. The possibilities opening to us are too much on my mind these days to ignore.
But first the facts. We are all healthy and well. Madeline continues to enjoy teaching in Madison. She is working on her masters in Experiential Education - which seems to me could be loosely translated as "having fun in the great out of doors." The program has included spelunking, canoeing, and the "experiential" part culminated in a backpacking trip in the Big Horn mountains this summer. It's been fun to vicariously enjoy her advanced education (though to be fair I should add that the program has turned a bit more traditionally academic during the fall semester).
Peter continues to love Denver. In addition to his job at Academic Impressions, he seems to find time to hike and snowboard and refine his beer sensibilities. He definitely is following in his mother's footsteps as a chef. "Food porn" is an important medium of communication between St. Paul and Denver. He and Kate both know how to prepare and present food. And it makes me happy that he hosts a Thanksgiving dinner for friends in Denver (traditionally a meal that I play a larger role in than normal - and one that he has sous cheffed with me since he was young). We miss having him around St. Paul - especially when he informs us that it is 62 degrees in Denver on days where it is 13 in St. Paul, but love his joy and enthusiasm about his life in Denver.
Kate has had the most dramatic changes this year. She retired in June after 39 (and a half) years at the Minnesota Attorney General's office. We promptly headed to California and wine country with the kids.
What a wonderful trip it was. It gave us much pleasure!
Kate has become a regular at a wide variety of exercise classes at the Y. If she isn't body shredding she is core conditioning or Tabataing or combining aerobics and style in her line-dancing class. I joined her at that class one recent Friday and it is clear that she is the leader of that particular pack. She is looking and feeling great.
As for me, I'm feeling great and looking as good as my facial and physiological structure will allow. I've enjoyed what will be my final year of work at Scoular, many pleasant hours riding my trusty Bridgestone MB-5 mountain bike and paddling my Old Town canoe, much laughter, trips and time with family and friends.
The future excites me as well. I retire from Scoular on January 15th after nine years working with a wonderful group of lawyers and clients. Kate and I will have a level of freedom we have never enjoyed. We'll exercise that freedom first by heading to Madison to celebrate Madeline's 30th birthday. Then home to pack for a sojourn east to help Kate's mother Kitty celebrate her 90th birthday. From there it's a bit further east, then south, then west, then north. We have a few general plans, but are trying to remain unstructured - taking each day as it comes and letting things lead us wherever they do. Watch this space for updates on our progress.
All the best to you and yours! Enjoy the holiday season, and every season. We'll do the same.
Stan, Kate, Madeline and Peter