January 8, 2019

Happy New Year!

This is a New Year’s letter (like a Christmas letter, but later). We are no longer even pretending to write a Christmas letter each year, but we really appreciate those who do, especially value those who take the time to do it by snail mail. Your cards and letters decorate our home. We do hope you had a joyous holiday, and that exciting things (all positive) await you in the coming year. 

There were three highlights for us in 2018, all including family: two weddings and a birthday. 

Early in the year, Michele's nephew Devon Morgan was wed to Alison at a fairy tale castle. Opportunities for all four siblings to be together are rare, so it was special for me.

From left: brother James, Michele, Sister Stephanie Kilpatrick,
Lauren and Devon Morgan, sister Deirdre and Tony Morgan

In the summer we traveled to Hawaii for granddaughter Joanna’s “wedding.” She and Michael had married earlier at the courthouse, thinking a traditional wedding was unnecessary. After having a change of heart, they decided on a love “celebration” that evolved into a real wedding, although it was still a non-traditional event, with the wedding guests standing in the ocean for the ceremony and dancing in the park until dark.  

We traveled to Southern California later in the year where the granddaughters had planned an 80thbirthday party for Gary. Granddaughter Elizabeth, who has her own restaurant, provided all the food for the weekend. Yum! Yum! Granddaughter Joanna arranged for a photographer to accompany us on a casual walk around the Cal Tech campus, Gary’s alma mater. Gary shared memories and the photographer shot both candid and posed photographs so everything is documented, in the old-fashioned way. And granddaughter Phoebe flew in from Texas, matching Gary pun for pun. We went to the zoo with our great-grandson (almost cancelled because of the nearby fires), played games, and ate and ate and ate. It was a joyous time and we have many warm memories to get us through the winter and beyond. 

From back left: nephew Eric, granddaughter Elizabeth, granddaughter
(and mother of Kamali) Joanna, son-in-law Joshua;
From front left: grandson-in-law Michael, great-grandson Kamali, Gary, Michele,
granddaughter Phoebe (with the buds of her new hair after chemo).

In other big news, Gary retired again. After twenty years as President of the Fiske Genealogical Foundation, he stepped down when he turned 80. He is still doing cataloging for them and helping with the transition to new leadership. Recognitions from Fiske, the Pioneer Association of Washington, and the national DAR accompanied his decision and acknowledged his achievements. 

Our Christmas cactus, that usually puts out maybe a half-a-dozen half-hearted blossoms at Thanksgiving, bloomed abundantly this Christmas and the “peace” plant sent out new blooms.  We are taking those as glorious signs that all will be well. As long as we have such wonderful friends, I am sure that will be the case. Peace to all!