December 24, 2011
Dear family and friends,

It has been my tradition since my campus ministry years (1969-83) to send a recap of my year in a letter to my friends and family at Christmas, though at my age it seems there is not much news to report. The big event this year was my third and youngest child, son Kevin's, wedding in August to Bernadette Perry, after several years of engagement. And on the same day I learned of my daughter Chris's engagement to Trampas TJ Dauzat. We also learned around that time of my other daughter-in-law (Son Michael's wife) Tracy's new pregnancy.

My favorite photo from the official wedding photos. Kevin, Bernadette, and I together on the bluff overlooking the Pacific. Other informal photos and videos from the wedding were published on my blog and my YouTube page earlier.

My eldest grandchild, Brandi (turning 21 next month), moved from Macy's to a Saks Fifth Avenue store, still in security, this year, and is so happy in the field that she is considering a career in law enforcement. Grandson Antony, now 15, is in high school at Pioneer High in San Jose (it seems just yesterday that I was 15 and in my first year of doing the teen column for the Nanty Glo Journal—it must be a trick of the short-term memory, LOL). Finally, grand-daughter Evelyn celebrated her second birthday in July and I got to spend a day with her and her parents in search of a Christmas tree early this month.

The draft of my third post-retirement book was finished this year and I am now looking for a publisher for it. I met another writer—a strong Calvinist—at Starbucks this year and we have been getting together a couple of times a week to read and critique each other's work, a new source of needed stimulation to me.

I did little travel this year; only four trips to Willows to spend time with brother Bob (82), with a side trip to visit an Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa on one of those trips. Bob made a trip to Western Pennsylvania and was able to visit our only surviving aunt, Irma Kennedy, in Altoona. As he found there was no reunion of our home town Vintondale last year and his high school classes are down to only a handful of survivors able to make it to reunions, he fears this may have been his last trip "home." We lost our dear Aunt Tommy in March at age 103.

Well, I'd better get to my Christmas shopping! Most stores will be closing shortly and I don't want to have to do it at Walgreen's or 7-Eleven! Do gas cards make good gifts?

May the babe born in the manger be born in your heart this Christmas, and best wishes for many good things in 2012.

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 from Nanty Glo Home Page; origin unknown