Greetings, and Happy Holidays!
We have adjusted to living in North Carolina, are making friends, and finding LOTS to do in the area. It has been a good year, although I have to admit I'm ready to settle down for a good long while--two moves in one year are too many.
(Since we probably surprised at least half of you by our return address and opening paragraph, I'll backtrack...)
Vince is working for the Office of Information Technology at Duke University (doing computer systems support with a major focus on web design (start at http://www.duke.edu/~vince/ )). He has now officially become a vested employee, which means he's completed one year, and is eligible for retirement benefits, in addition to the fabulous setting and other perks associated with Duke. He has a friend in the Department who encouraged him to apply for one of the openings, so we put our heads together and decided it would be a good idea. So here we are in fabulous Durham North Carolina (eating pork, smoking cigarettes, and watching NASCAR ;-) )
We were able to make the move through the generosity of my boss and the US Forest Service--I'm still on the Grey Towers payroll, just stationed here. I am working with the Forest History Society, a non-profit organization with a remarkable library and archives, and a small friendly staff. My title has changed to historian, which still feels a bit foreign. I'm organizing and cataloguing a collection of Forest Service papers; implementing an oral history program of women in the Forest Service; reviewing and preparing manuscripts for publication; and assisting with the restoration planning/implementation at Grey Towers. I work part time, which is TERRIFIC!
The boys are thriving. They have several favorite activities in the area: going to Duke Gardens to feed the fish and ducks; visiting the Museum of Life and Science, a hands-on museum with train rides, animals native to North Carolina, and all kinds of other cool-o attractions; and SWIMMING! I think they inherited their love of water from Vince's mom, since they sure didn't get it from me. Both of them took swimming lessons this fall, and Vince (bless his heart) continues to take them to the pool at least twice a week.
Max is in kindergarten, now - and loving it. He's very excited about art, Suzuki violin, and reading. He's attending one of the public schools that is part of the magnet system. (A program to encourage white families to stay within the Durham school system, by offering a variety of school choices.) His school focuses on an integrated core curriculum and the arts. He has dance, drama, art, music, "strings" and science regularly. It's an ideal setting for him, since he still loves to dress-up and create things. He's passionate about pirates, knights, and now, Native Americans...
Asa takes the character roles in stride and they chase around the house waving swords and shouting "Arrrr." Of course there are quieter moments, when they're making tents in the living room or playing outside!! Asa will be 3 in February. He spends his days with Larissa Oryshkevich, a transplanted New Yorker, who runs an in-home daycare and cares for three boys. He also goes to a little preschool class two mornings a week.
I joined a quilt guild in June, but haven't been particularly active or busy with quilting projects. I occasionally knit, and made hats for the boys and a thick vest for me. (Why I didn't knit before I moved to 70 degree winter weather I'll never know!) I've also been buying beads and making occasional pieces of jewelry and "spirit dolls." The dolls look kind of weird, but are fun to make.
Vince still works with sculpey. He's enthusiastically collecting old telephones. (Though I have to admit it was easier to find them in PA & NY, than in NC.) Now he peruses Ebay, an on-line auction. He's also been working diligently to perfect a paper cut-out of a BMW Isetta, a funky little car his grandfather had in Germany. (And his parents had when he was small.) The paper model is a collaboration with an Isetta owner in Michigan--all via the web--incredible.
We hope you are well and enjoying some of your life dreams...
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