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Christmas 2008

Dear Friends,

What a year this has been! The financial meltdown is depressing and somehow seems to make you wish you had spent the lost money in your hard earned retirement accounts on something extravagant that you always wanted to do but didn't. We keep telling ourselves that life goes on and what you could've, should've, would've done is in the past, we have to look to the future to make the most of it.

This Christmas season might be a good time to remember the many things that we can still be thankful for. Our families, children and grandchildren, the country we live in, the friends we have, the cultural and recreational facilities our communities provide and the physical and mental health we still enjoy, among others.

We have slowed down and travel and seeing the world does not hold the allure it once did. A good home cooked meal, some nice wine to go with it, a good night's sleep in your own bed, a comfortable home, a nice garden seem have assumed greater importance than the attractions of distant travel. Well we did some travel this year, but it was a cruise which still holds a lot of attraction for us, because you don't have to pack and unpack every other day and the food is usually outstanding. This year's was down to and into the Panama Canal and some of the Caribbean islands, to get away from the winter doldrums in late March. January and February brought lots of snow and the skiing was better for Bill than in past years. Because of the exceptional facilities Midland provides for physical activities, Nancy works out every day at the Community Center to control the Parkinson's and Bill plays tennis every week in a facility with 16 indoor courts. Except for an occasional snowstorm, making driving hazardous, our winters are really very bearable. However global warming would not be that objectionable, particularly if it could be concentrated in Michigan.

This summer as usual we were Up-North at the Summons, our home in Omena on Grand Traverse Bay, for our usual activities, primarily sailing tennis and relaxing. Our son Paul, Sue and their two boys, Michael and Bryan, took time out from their busy summer schedules, involving primarily hockey, for a visit and enjoyed our clean, calm waters for skiing and all that other fancy equipment they use to be pulled around Omena Bay. The boys are growing up fast, Michael is graduating next year and applying to colleges.

Joseph and our daughter Leslie and their four children are still in North Carolina where Leslie teaches chemistry and biology in a Christian high school attended by their children and Joseph now has his own company designing software for use in mass spectroscopic analyses. Hannah their oldest is also applying to colleges. How can that be? She was just a little girl not long ago.

Eric, our oldest is still working in the Cleveland area for an engineering consulting firm doing work with NASA. Even better yet, Dawn has found a position to her liking teaching at the University of Toledo in the field of physical education for handicapped children. They were able to sell their home in Albuquerque and are currently renting a house in Toledo. Abigail our youngest, who just turned two, has made the switch without a problem and is enjoying her day care school immensely. Her vocabulary is growing in leaps and bounds and she is beginning to put sentences together. The nicest thing is that we are only less than three hours away and get to see them more often.

The only other event that I guess we should mention is that being in a celebratory mood on our way to our 55th anniversary dinner we made the mistake of stopping at the animal shelter and as a result could not help but adopt a six month old lab-whippet mix, which we promptly named Annie. Annie has been experience for us and if we can remember all that has happened, we will be able to write a best seller on our adventures with that dog.

As we approach the Christmas season and its message of peace and goodwill, we again extend our wishes to all of you for a joyful Christmas that may last throughout the coming year

Your friends,

Bill and Nancy


© 2004 Bernd W. Sandt. All rights reserved.