Christmas Letter 2015
Christmas Letter 2015
Right at the start let's go to the photograph for which these annual updates are really conceived: to brag about our Pride, the growing edge of our clan and our chief contribution to the world. Right! our grandchildren.
Here's the rundown on their whereabouts and whatdoings: Jessica is in Dar es Salaam for two years with an agency contracted to assess the Tanzanian educational system and suggest reforms; Jack works for an ad agency in Washington DC, and lives in Alexandria; Ben is a sophomore at Wake Forest; Craig lives in Baltimore and is studying for his doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Maryland; Robert shares an apartment in a brand new high rise in downtown Brooklyn and is employed by a large Manhattan law firm as a paralegal while preparing to take the LSAT; Henry continues to live with us, working as a medical scribe for an ENT specialist while he applies to medical schools; Alanna is a ninth grader in the Shrewsbury (MA) public high school, an aspiring writer with her IPad constantly in hand; and Sohani, excelling academically in sixth grade, is mother's helping hand and herder of three lively dogs.
Speaking of which, lively dogs, here's a photo of one not so lively, my (Bob's) shadow, Tappy, equal in dog age to her owners, always at foot when her super sensitive nose catches a whiff of an open refrigerator. She underwent anesthesia and surgery this summer for the removal of a sebaceous cyst. Her cousins in Massachusetts, Willie and Dava, recently underwent surgery for ailing teeth. I felt left behind by canine improvements, so I went to the dermatologist for a couple of slicings on my torso. Bow-wow.
Two events, a book publication and a two day visit to the site of ancestral roots, set this year apart for us, as we, with most of you who have also reached a crowning age, look back to beginnings as if to gauge how far you have come. Our daughter, Gwen Mahoney, wrote, edited, and reedited a fictionalized account of her grandmother Evelyn Weir Howard's immigration from Northern Ireland to Stamford CT in 1909 with her sister, Bob's second mother, Emily Weir Klein. The book is entitled "Two Blossoms on a Single Stem." It ends with the birth (on the darkest day of the year!) of little Bobby, a resemblance of whom, drawn by daughter Betsy, along with scores of other illustrations, is included in the book.
In July genealogical attention shifted to Long Island and the seafaring Davis family, Barbara's heritage. She, still recovering from double cataract surgery, and Gwen and granddaughter Jessica visited the home of the living matriarch's great-grandparents and two homes of her great-great-grandparents in Port Jefferson and Mt. Sinai. These ancestors were engaged in shipbuilding and clipper ship commerce out of Pt. Jefferson in the 19th Century. The Howards sleep each night in a bed at the foot of which rests a hope chest, decorated by Barbara's mother, Helen Ledgerwood Davis, including the central image of clipper ship John McDermott, captained on voyages to South America by grandfather Elmer Davis.
Barbara and Bob are fine... thank you, for asking. We celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary in June.
Which, to this point, leaves a generation somewhat unaccounted for. So let's account. Betsy began the work for which she was born, art teaching, in a Hartford magnet school, work about which, as she describes herself, she is passionate. Our house in West Hartford is packed (some might say "cluttered") with artifacts of the esthetic creativity of several generations. Gwen continues to teach at Towson University as an adjunct instructor in child development; and has added to her resume a part-time position as activities assistant for a local retirement home. When not teaching or playing the harp, Gwen hikes, especially in Ireland and Utah this past year. Kathy underwent double hip replacement surgery this past April, is now back to her yoga and her career as a massage therapist. When not tending the two girls, she can be found dancing the Argentine tango in the greater Boston area.
So time flies, and we are having fun, still, would you believe?
A very Merry Christmas to you, and hoping you are having fun, still, we want to believe.