Happy Holidays! Joyful Solstice! Merry Christmas (Bush got some heat from the Christian right for not putting these words in his holiday card - I don't want to mess with those guys)! Happy Hannukah (or should I say Chanukah? I believe there is no significant difference. A Hebrew word that is difficult to translate into English)! Best wishes! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad! Season's Greetings! Peace!
We wish you all the best this holiday season. It's been another great year for our family. For Kate and me, it feels like a year of transition. Madeline is in her third year at UW-Madison (we don't ever call it her Junior year - though technically she is a Junior). Peter is a senior in high school, busily determining which college is right for him (among those that will accept him - Harvard had to be dropped from the list for academic reasons. And actually the "busily" part is stretching it a bit). Things change, but as of this moment it appears that we will have children at two great land-grant institutions next year.
Both are great schools. If Peter goes anywhere other than Iowa, it will be Wisconsin. Next year Kate and I will have only Greta and ourselves to care for. Of course Greta takes a lot more day-to-day effort than Peter anyway. So maybe it won't seem like such a transition after all.
Since this is a GENUINE HOLIDAY LETTER, I should probably get some things out of the way.
Health - Still excellent for all of us. For details on my health, see the Lucky Seven entry further down the page. Nothing to complain about other than a few odd aches and pains. So far we haven't been victims of the cold and flu season. Things are good on the health front.
Work - We have it. Kate is beginning her 32nd year at the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. She continues to investigate Medicaid Fraud. Woe to Minnesota Medicaid Fraudulators.
I'm working at The Scoular Company as one of the four lawyers for the business. I've been with Scoular for six months now, and I really love it. The people are great to work with. And for me that means so much. I was able to reach agreement on an "80% time" work schedule - which allows me more time to sit around the house doing nothing while Kate works diligently away.
Madeline continues to babysit when time allows. And on January 3rd she will begin a weeklong engagement as a juror in Ramsey County. Don't go on trial that week. She is much meaner than she appears.
Peter has taken a position as a Sales Asso. at the Famous Footwear store in Highland Park. He's a great salesman (and unbelievably handsome), and one who knows a good-looking Navy Pump when he sees one. Our family shoe inventory is on the rise.
No holiday letter would be complete without a section on Vacations. After moving Madeline into her apartment in August we took a short trip to Appleton to visit our friends Dan and Francine Cross, and then headed on to Door County, Wisconsin for a few days.
On Madeline's spring break, Kate and Madeline went to Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But they didn't. They visited the Grand Canyon and Sedona, before finishing their trip with a couple of Vegas shows.
Peter's spring break a couple of weeks later found us headed to Aruba, where we had a great time snorkelling, sunning, reading and exploring. The constant wind bothered Peter's hair more than mine. Baldness has its advantages.
Throw in a few trips to the cabin, a canoe trip or two, a high school reunion, visits with family and friends, guests at Chez Morton-Peters/Oleson. Socially we've had a great time this year.
Here's wishing you and yours a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a great 2006. We hope to share part of 2006 with you. You are always welcome at our house, and we will operate on the assumption that we are welcome at yours.
Peter, Madeline, Kate and Stan