Saturday, December 14, 2013

Another Year in Review

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We hope your year was kind to you, that you enjoyed good health, that your economy improved, and that you found abundant joy. 
This has been a pretty good year as we look back.  We are still ambulatory, we get up every morning and take nourishment and Bill and Fourteen go to Rover's Run most mornings despite the heat, rain, or lately, bitter cold.
Ann had a very productive year.  She almost sold out of the cookbooks she wrote, Ann’s Cooking From Scratch, and has perhaps five left rather than the cases of them that cluttered the basement for a while.  She also was on the committee that put on the Fiftieth Reunion for her Lincoln-Way High School graduating class. It was a two day affair, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres one evening in Frankfort and dinner and dancing the next evening in New Lenox.  Of her class of  about 170, around 80 people attended. 
Bill’s year was also productive.  As owner, editor, publisher, typesetter, occasional vacuum-er, and accountant at Ramsfield Press, he published two books.  In August we traveled to the Princess Theater in Danbury, CT, to launch You Are Here, a collection of gritty, noir short stories by Joe Boland, a terrific writer from New Milford, CT.  And in September  we went to Oshkosh, WI, to launch The Main Ingredient, a charming novel by Margo Wilson.  She is English Department chair at California University of Pennsylvania, and we made it to California, PA, to assist at readings at the university and near her home in Monessen, PA.  Both books are available at as well as on internet publishers and in Kindle versions. 
Sadly, we had to put down our dog Brando, affectionately known as Mr. Mellow, because he had cancer.  We soon adopted Fourteen, a fiercely protective Mastiff mix. He has lovely manners and is very gentle - until he perceives a threat, like the doorbell or an approaching human, especially if he’s leashed. He doesn’t slobber, and he is getting friendlier.
Both Ann and Bill continue to take art classes at Prairie State College.  Ann is working in watercolor and we are both pleased with her still lifes. Bill painted portraits in the spring and stretched himself into “abstract geometric seascapes” this fall.  
We continue to do light exercise, both mental (without looking back, what’s the name of our new dog? Hah!) and physical so we don’t end up as burdens to anyone. Bill continues to volunteer at the local Adult Literacy Center every week. 
Our extended family continues to prosper.  Grandson David is pursuing a Masters at Johns Hopkins, and Jonathan had an internship at Viacom in New York this fall. We get to see their dad Tim, his wife Karen and terrific kids Alexa and Greyson regularly.  So soon they grow up! We see daughter Shannon and her husband Ray and more wonderful kids Zach, Ben, and Addi frequently. Son Derek was in for Thanksgiving with his wife Jo and gorgeous four-year-old towheaded Ella and charming three-year-old Gavin.
We’re already planning adventures for next year, and we’d love to see you if you make it to the Chicago area.
Have a wonderful holiday season. Our best wishes for joy, health, wealth throughout the coming year!

Our best!