2007 Christmas Letter

To hear the Minneapolis Star Tribune tell it, local news rules the day. Wall Street burped and this once venerable institution rolled over and filled its front pages with local interest. We cancelled the paper in disgust and they called back offering the whole seven-days for $1.74. We were running out of paper to line the bird cage so we took them up on it.

The story is not dissimilar here at 1636. Lots of local news. I will illustrate and then elucidate:

  • KERPLUNK! August saw the I-35W Bridge Collapse and an endless string of observations by yours truly within the walls of this blog. You can click here or on the category at right to read more.
  • SPLASH! August also brought one of the most soaking rains in state history turning brooks and streams in Southeastern Minnesota into raging torrents. The four of us had a bit more firsthand experience than we wished. We were camping in the middle of it all. My gripping account of all of this is here: <click>
  • HILL AND DALE. I have done an enormous amount of travel these past seven months in search of gainful employment. Possibly we are zeroing in on something.
  • BIG SURPRISE. Mariah’s relationship status on Facebook is about to undergo a dramatic change.
  • BIG THREE OH. Can you believe that W&P have enjoyed wedded bliss for all of 30 years? If my dear mother were alive today I know she would be impressed.

Seeing as the first two are thoroughly covered elsewhere in these prestigious pages, I will zoom in on the slightly buried big news. It’s official as of 12:52 pm today when Mariah’s relationship status in respect to one Daniel Bronson was changed to “engaged.” Nowadays this is how all important news is reported in regard to young people (especially those who have spent time in college). There is no date, as such. A “long engagement” is planned — a detail that is a source of some relief to parents who are still working at absorbing the news.

Halloween Revelers

Halloween revelers

We have no doubt whatsoever but that this is the real deal. These two have known each other for five years; were roommates at Augsburg (suite of four private rooms) and were good buddies when both were dating other people. What more can be said?

So speaking of romances, W&P are observing 30 years of marital bliss this year (June). Over the summer during the height of my travels we have managed some time together at Ocean City, New Jersey, and a visit with Patrick’s cousin Ellen and her spouse Bruce at their beautiful home in Westchester County, New York.

My energies have been focused these past seven months on finding gainful employment. I’ve been doing the consulting bit, Sheehy & Associates, for about two years. But I’ve always known I would be returning to a position with a nonprofit organization. My travels have taken me all over the country: SF Bay Area, Sacramento area, Portland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York City, Boston, St. Louis, Chicago, southeastern Wisconsin, upstate New York, northeastern Iowa, central Kansas and some I expect I’m not remembering. Maybe … MAYBE … the question will be answered soon … possibly by the end of the first week in January.

Seeing as we will eventually have light rail running right through our neighborhood, on my travels this summer every effort is made to make use of public transportation. Did you know you can take a train from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station to Atlantic City at a cost of a mere eight dollars? Here is a photo slide show. You can click on something or other to see a bigger version.

Speaking of travels, this fall has permitted an opportunity of seeing another of Kathleen’s performances in Some Assembly Required. For more on Kathleen’s year, click here.

And what of Wendy and Dylan? Wendy is the source of the family health insurance as she continues her work with autistic kids in a St. Paul Public Schools classroom. Dylan continues studying at St. Paul College with a major in Computer Programming. He’s doing so well at it that now he’s spending his leisure time poking around computer programming sites.

We’ve been documenting our lives in photos on a Picasa site. Just click here to see the public album. And what else … I don’t know, have a great New Year and be sure and vote for somebody sane in the coming Presidential contest.