Christmas 2001 Letter

Dear friends and family,  

This year we are sobered by the events in New York and Washington and by our young men risking their lives to battle terrorism.  We ache for the families who miss loved ones this Christmas.

But even as we acknowledge global battles, we are not immune to the struggles in our own home.  This year has tested our character, commitment, and optimism.

This year we did NOT:

  • Take a long vacation.
  • Succeed in selling Judys second novel.
  • Sell our stocks before their value dropped precipitously.
  • Buy a new water truck for Gene.
  • Hear 16-year-old Erik say, I have the best parents ever.
  • Hear 16-year-old Erik say, I have good parents.
  • Hear 16-year-old Erik say, My parents are tolerable.
  • Hear 16-year-old Erik say, I have parents.
  • Give up.

 What we DID do:

  • Survived Genes sporadic employment for the first six months of the year (hes been working overtime since then).
  • Took a few weekend get-aways to San Diego on the coast and Big Bear in the mountains.
  • Patched Genes water-truck tank so he could drive to job sites without trailing a river behind him (were looking into building a newer truck).
  • Helped Justin earn blue stars for his uniform by shuttling him to extra Tae Kwon Do classes so that he could help teach junior students.
  • Watched Erik get his drivers license and a 19-year-old girlfriend, almost in the same breath.  (Under her guidance hes begun dressing much better.)
  • Began calling ourselves middle-aged.  Weve discovered that a baby makes you a parent, but a teenager makes you an adult.

We give THANKS because:

  • Judys mother was declared cancer-free after a year of chemotherapy and radiation for lymphoma.
  • We all have good health.  Judy had exploratory surgery, but found out afterwards that everything (except her bank account!) was fine.
  • Gene and Judy are still weathering the hard times and enjoying the good times after 11.51 years of marriage.
  • God loved us enough to send his Son.  And loves us still.

Gods peace this Christmas and into the next year,
Gene, Judy, Erik & Justin

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