Monday, September 23, 2013


There are plenty of things that could be discussed this week. You've got terrorists in Nairobi, three weeks of the NFL and everything that goes with that, the Republican effort to commit murder/suicide on the federal government rather than allow a system that's already the law to actually go into effect, and the season start of the British Premier League, one of soccer's main global draws.

With all that in mind, let's turn inward - all the way inward  - to tick off the family milestones that I notice have been piling up. Warning: this may read like a Christmas Family Letter, and if it does, we'll just have to try something else next week. Anyway, it could be worse - if we were strapped into a chair in front of a TV loudly playing Fox News all the time.

Our oldest child, Zak, turns forty today. He's the patriarch of a family with a son and two daughters, all of whom are now finally in school. He has become one of the world's highest-rated mechanics for Ferrari and Maserati autos, working at a dealership in Salt Lake City. The dealer has recently changed owners, so let's hope the new bosses actually like having an expert on hand. You never know. Zak gets to ride the train to work every day.

A change in her custody arrangement has allowed our oldest daughter, Laura, to move about forty minutes closer to her dental office in Marion,. Iowa. Of course this not only means a new home, but a new school for her three daughters, the oldest two of whom have hit the adolescence wall. Surprisingly, I find them wonderful to be with.

Anna was married to David a year and a half ago, and they have taken on some big tasks in Columbus, OH, where they are the only folks who don't root for Ohio State. David teaches physics in high school and does a boatload of other things, including Scoutmaster. Yikes! Anna proved that someone with a Humanities degree (Spanish) can find employment, and works from home doing HR.

Jake is the family member who travels the most. It's for his job in internet marketing. I'm not sure how big a deal it is, but he's now a vice president though he's only thirty four. He dumped other sports for the triathlon, and he is also the dad of three, all of whom have different school schedules. The family lives on the side of a small mountain near Berkley, CA.  

Allison, our third daughter, is the mom of two sons near Seattle. She's also a distance runner, and is certified to teach in elementary schools. Her youngest (Henry) is six, so it came as a bit of a surprise to learn that she and husband Scott are again on the premortal assembly line. Boy or girl, expected arrival is mid December. No running until after the big day.

Marla is now an R.N., and lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, the family's old home. She's marrying Nic next month, and they'll be living in a home they just bought not far from the hospital she works at. Nic's working, too. Marla lost the equivalent of a cheerleader or two and now looks a little like my mother.

Leah, our baby, got married when she was just nineteen to Dane, who has had several mentions in this space. Now, at almost twenty five, Leah is also expecting. The two of them lost the equivalent of a guy cheerleader. Like her sisters, Leah can sing (soprano), and she's more active in it than her siblings. They live in Portland, which seems like a fun place whenever we visit.

I can't say that any of these things can't be found in other families. I'm sure they are, and tracing their good fortune to us would be more than vain. They deserve the credit for good decisions and hard work. Hooray for them!  



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