December 24, 2010
Dear family and friends,

You have probably heard that in some parts of the world a favorite "curse" is the saying, "may you live in interesting times." It takes some thinking. But although for the world at large the times may be "interesting," I'm grateful that for me 2010 was the least "interesting," for the most part, in some time. And being the year I turned 68, that seems to be saying something. Our family did not lose any members (even the aunts who are over 100 on one side of the family and over 95 on the other have had a good year). Though son Kevin and his fiancee had thought this might be the year they tied the knot, their wedding is still on the future calendar.

Family photo taken at Mike and Tracy's Christmas brunch, December 18. Back row: Bernadette, Kevin, Antony. Front: Tracy, Mike and Evelyn, Jon, and Chris. Not able to make the photo shoot: grand-daughter Brandi who had to work that day at her job, new this year, as a security officer at Macy's.

Evy with her hands full of Christmas ornaments.

So the "events" of this year were things like one-year-old grand-daughter Evy taking her first steps and saying her first words, and Uncle Bob (my 81-year-old brother) coming from Willows for Evy's first birthday party in July. And for me personally, highlights were a two-week tour of sites in England and Ireland related to my favorite writing subject, C.S. Lewis, in October and acquiring a new camera-phone (with the emphasis on the camera) in November.

The first international tour I'd ever undertaken unaccompanied and thus somewhat daunting for an old man getting around with the help of a shillelagh, it went without a hitch and almost every hope for it was realized. I got a great cruise on London's Regent Canal; a tour of Magdalen College-Oxford where Lewis taught for most of his life, and its Addison's Walk; a tour of Lewis's longtime home near Oxford, the Kilns and the park that was part of the property when the Lewises lived there; and a day and two nights in Cambridge, where Lewis was a professor for his final decade. The week in Ireland was centered in Belfast, where Lewis was born and returned to as "home" throughout his lifetime, where I was royally feted by my missionary friends Ward and Marda Stothers and the local Antiochian Orthodox parish, and taken on tours of Lewis sites by two experts, the Rev. Jack Lamb one day and Professor John Gillespie the next. (The whole video-text record of the trip is on my website here.)

I was already working on my third book since my retirement when I sent last year's Christmas letter, and I am still working on it, now polishing it and finishing the final chapter. Though I must admit slowing down on the writing this year, I attribute part of that to the fact that this book has required reading more "new" books and getting feedback from expert-friends in the process. I hope to get it finished early in the new year and get a good start on the fourth post-retirement title. Now if I could just find a good literary agent to "peddle" them to prospective publishers....

May the babe born in the manger be born in your heart this Christmas, and best wishes for many good things in 2011.

If you could have done it on your own,
what would have been the need for
the coming of the Lord? - St. Macarius

411 Lewis Rd. #342, San Jose, CA 95111 | 408-472-3082 |

Winter theme picture by Judy Rose from Nanty Glo Home Page | Family and Evy pictures by Tracy Kennedy