december 2007

A general account of the year of Judy and Ed, with pictures.

To Web Site Visitors, Hello!

It has been a largely pleasant and low-key year for us as far as our personal lives are concerned. And this is a good thing. About the world at large: well, perhaps the less said the better.

We have been nowhere, we have received no fabulous awards, we have not been nominated for prizes of any sort, nor have we been to a movie in a regular theater, although we have seen many DVD’s (we recommend ‘The Wire’) and read many books (Judy recommends ‘The Punishment of Virtue’ and if you want more recommendations, contact her directly for this year’s 4-star list.)

What we HAVE also done is endured a year of very inadequately excellent weather: too much winter, too little spring, no summer, and a cold and rainy fall: and now here we are back at winter again, with an early snowfall of a four inches or so that came and went, but it remains cold. Nevertheless, there are yet some very tasty apples on our late apple tree. Today, we began eating them and they are small but enormously flavorful. What a treat!

What we HAVE further done is continue to go back and forth between our British Columbia house and our Washington house every two weeks or so: long enough in each place to keep a garden and a social life more or less going.

What we do when we are in British Columbia is this: Ed maintains the house through endless maintenance, follows a rigorous exercise schedule, and, when the weather is appealing, goes kayaking (including a several day trip around one of the islands this summer), while Judy makes quilts and desultorily tends to the garden. We eat well. When we are in Washington, Ed continues to remodel/rebuild the other house we bought two years ago, as well as maintain the house we live in there. Although the remodel is yet a year or two from completion, Ed has enough of it functioning adequately to house his 4-computer helicopter simulator so that he can fly around the world any time of day or night without having to fool with the mechanics of actually procuring the services of a real helicopter. And, two or three times a month, he drives down to Skagit where he does in fact make use of a real helicopter to poke about the northwest. Judy meanwhile, makes quilts and more aggressively, more effusively, perhaps, tends to the garden, which is something more like a park than a garden. The days go by quickly and we eat well. We are without complaints, at least in the personal sphere.

Judy had a fair amount of quilting career this year, with two quilts accepted to the International Quilt Show in Houston in November, and a solo gallery show in Sechelt, B.C., at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre in November-December. You can see the quilts, you can see the gallery at our website, She also has a couple of quilting students (one 10, one now 16, but she started with Judy when she was 13).

Ed, at granddaughter Lydia’s request, set up a chess game on our website where we play chess day in and out with the grandchildren and with a few friends who have chosen to join us in this sport of kings or perhaps just of jesters. Neither Ed nor Judy has ever played much chess, but we are becoming good enough to hold our own against 10-year-olds. This is, however, a temporary phenomenon: they will be getting better, we will be getting worse.

The Children and Grandchildren: (first Judy’s three, then Ed’s two)

Julie, who is more legally known as Miep, is still in Carlsbad, New Mexico, where she cultivates pecan trees in her yard. The fruits of these trees are shipped in large quantities to us, which partly accounts for our eating so well. Who would ever expect to have all the fresh pecans one could want? We got them. She sells books via the internet and seems to be doing well enough. We don’t see her often as she is not a happy traveller (nor are we, of course), but the internet keeps us in regular communication. Her father (who lives in New Zealand and whose wife keeps in touch with me (we are both quilters)) turned 80 this year. So she gets to have some longevity genes.

Shelly and his wife Chiara moved this summer to Sebastopol, CA, where she accepted a tenure track position at Cal State Sonoma. Shelly, because he belongs to a generation that can do that sort of thing, accepted a position as V.P./Publishing at Oxford University Press and works in New York City three days a week, while living in Sebastopol the other three, and commuting for the remaining 24 hours. His job would appear to be something about making OUP an internet publisher with respect to its legal division. We have now come to the part of life where, as my mother and father never quite grasped what I was doing with respect to employment, I also do not exactly grasp what he is doing. But he gets a lot of frequent flyer points for doing it. His office is across the street from the Empire State Building. You would think we might go to visit him, but we haven’t because we don’t go anywhere.

Shelly and Chiara’s children (Gianna, 17, and Toni, 14) accompanied their parents to Sebastopol and are adjusting yet again to a move. Gianna will be off to college this coming fall. Usually, they come to visit us in the summer, but not in 2007 because they were moving to California instead.

Caitlin and her husband David are sitting pretty in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where David is teaching in the History Department at Southeastern Missouri University, and Caitlin is organizing social and athletic activities for many of the children in town (Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Swim Team, Sunday School Classes, 4-H classes, etc.). She is home schooling their kids (Lydia, 11, and Ian, almost 9). Caitlin and kids spent a week with us this summer at our place in Washington, where Lydia got to split her time between attending to the neighbors’ Icelandic ponies and having sewing lessons with Judy, while Ian got to hire out as a garden worker to his grandparents, at least when he was not conducting various sorts of Star Wars Battles with the neighbors’ grandson. Caitlin got to have a little time off.

Annika and her husband Pat (and twins Spencer and Calvin, now 16) are still in Danville, California, where Pat’s work has been affected by the downturn in the construction business. But everyone seems still to be doing okay. They planned a trip to see us this summer but Spencer fell off something with wheels and injured some part of his body and so the trip was called off because he needed a lot of physical therapy right away. Annika has just taken a part-time job as a host in a swank restaurant in Danville now that the kids are hardly at home anymore, as is the nature of 16-year-olds.

Mia and her husband Dave are still in Harrison Township, Michigan (well north of Detroit), with their two kids: Elisabeth (11) and Jack (9). Mia works for the State Department of Transportation and, like Shelly, spends half of each week working a long ways from home—in Kalamazoo. Dave now works refrigeration services. Their house was on the market for awhile and a move to Kalamazoo was planned, but now they plan to stay put. There are current plans for them to come see us this spring.

Our children now range in age from 43 to 50. Truly shocking. We can remember distinctly being all those ages ourselves, and it wasn’t very long ago. Is there a sense of being pushed from behind????

For next year, we are hoping for more of the same, though next year we will no longer be 70 and 71, but 71 and 72. Best wishes, good days of December, and Happy New Year to you all.

Judy and Ed

2007 december card

Judy turns 70 last January.

Ed takes a rock from one place and puts it someplace else.

The house which Ed is currently remodeling and where the rock lives (in the back yard).

The three monitors of Ed's helicopter simulator.

Ed takes Shelly for a helicopter ride in Pt. Roberts.

Judy's quilt workshop in Washington.

Toni and Miep/Julie in Utah in the summer of 2006.

Shelly and Chiara in Paris last Christmas.

Toni, Gianna, Shelly, and Chiara at a party somewhere in California.

Caitlin and Ian play softball.

Caitlin and David

Lydia at a 4-H competition involving knowledge of horses.

Ian receives his brown belt in karate or tae kwan do...i don't remember which.

jSpencer, Annika, Calvin, and Pat.

Calvin and Spencer and Molly the dog.

Elisabeth and Mia.

Elisabeth on a Pt. Roberts visit

Jack on Pt. Roberts visit.

Dave Silver