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Christmas 2000

Dear Friends,

Another year and another holiday season coming up and again we write at Christmas. We have been writing a Christmas letter now for over thirty years and though our lives have gone through some drastic changes our sentiments have not. We still feel that the spirit of Christmas, of giving and sharing is as strong as ever, that we have been very fortunate in our lives, that we have been blessed with wonderful children and now grandchildren and that we have had the privilege and good fortune to meet and get to know you.

This last year was another year for wonderful memories. Again we traveled a bit on a cruise to Tahiti early in the year to escape a snowless winter and then later to England and Scotland. Never having experienced an ocean cruise we luxuriated in being spoiled by the ship and its crew. Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia were beautiful with their white beaches, volcanic peaks, blue waters and colorful fish. The warm sun and laid back life style made it easy to relax and enjoy the islands and their people.

Later on in the spring we attended the wedding of Bill’s nephew Ken Strange in Sheepwash, a little village near the Torrington River in Devon. We thoroughly enjoyed the wedding, seeing all of the Strange clan and the hospitality of Becky’s parents, Roger and Anita Filer-Cooper, despite the quaint British custom of having it rain in buckets. From there Erika joined us for a little exploring visit to Scotland, its castles, battlefields and lochs. Edinburgh is one of the most scenic cities in the world with its castle high on top of the city, the narrow streets of its old town, its green parks and gardens, and also a city steeped in Scottish and English history. Erika and Nancy will be able to attest to the fact there is also some tempting shopping. Everyone we met was so friendly and helpful – quite a contrast to London. Of course no visit to England is complete without at least a few days in London and a show or two which we dutifully took in. Never in our previous visits have we seen the city this sparkling. The view from the top of the “London Eye” was spectacular. Pomp and ceremony were dutifully attended to by watching a full-blown rehearsal of the Queen’s birthday parade.

Because of professional commitments we were unable to attend Bill’s triannual high school reunion but were kept informed thanks to Guy and Lalla Griffith. Hopefully there will be another one and by that time Bill has promised to have shed all of his professional obligations. As usual our summers were spent more or less “Up North” at Omena enjoying the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan. Both sets of grandchildren and assorted parents made it up there at least for a short time. Our big family affair, still fresh in our minds, was spending Thanksgiving with all the children and grandchildren on the Outerbanks in North Carolina. It was particularly wonderful to have Eric and his fiancée Dawn Rosser join us from Texas A&M where Eric is teaching. We are looking forward to the wedding next year.

Both of us are in good health although assorted aches and pains keep reminding us that we better make the most of our remaining time. Considering the many plans and projects contemplated and the rate at which they seem to get accomplished, that is going to be quite a challenge.

As we write this letter we think of you and how sad it is that another year has gone by and we have done so little in keeping our friendship going but hopefully you are forgiving and will continue to consider us your friends.

We sincerely wish you and your family a joyful holiday, that you are in good health and that the coming year will bring happiness and success in your endeavors.

Bill and Nancy


© 2004 Bernd W. Sandt. All rights reserved.