It is hard to imagine that another year has gone by. 1996 has been a wild year for us. This being Atlanta, the most public part of our year was the Olympics. It was a blast to be in any Olympic city for a second time. Lee particularly liked viewing someone else staging the Games.
We took broad advantage of the opportunity to attend many events. Recognizing the "liquid heat" of the Atlanta summer, we specialized in indoor sports. There were several highlights. Because Helen was a volunteer (in the motor pool), we were able to get tickets to the dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony. Karen saw the US women in the Basketball finals from a "VIP suite" at the Georgia Dome. We all went to the US women's basketball semi-finals. We saw many other women's basketball games, volleyball, team handball (kind of fun), field hockey, and table tennis (different than we play). Tickets were widely available, usually at cost or less; for example, Karen and Lee showed up 1 hour before the first badminton session and got seats.
As a volunteer, Helen was issued a swell (Karen says "highly attractive"; Paul asks "is that a sarcastic remark?") uniform. Her one and only mission was to drive the Kenyan ambassador and his wife from Dunwoody to downtown. Other than that, her shifts were canceled or she kept the bench warm in the drivers' waiting room. Earlier in the year, she helped ferry ACOG's cars from dealers to an army base staging area.
We enjoyed the games, though the street vendors were quite tacky. Helen adds that the well publicized problems with the transportation system were not caused by her group...
Helen's main activities continue to be volunteering and driving carpools. She is active in various capacities at our local church, the Methodist Conference, and at the kids' school.
Lee spent the year on an airplane. He calculates he spent over 240 hours in the air on Delta; equivalent to one working month. He has enjoyed his new job -- he calls himself a marriage broker. But the travel is hard. He spent considerable time in Washington, DC; Seattle; Albany, NY; and Oakland.
Karen and Paul have decided that Lee can no longer cook -- they base this upon his recent experience with a toaster where he managed to create combustion with several inches of flames bursting from the top of the toaster (he tried to re-warm a slice of bread, and forgot about it...) and his overcooking popovers. But his desserts are still excellent as folks in KP's CHP and Program Offices can attest.
Paul continues to be an intensive Star Trek Voyager fan. He never misses an episode. He also avidly follows Star Wars and consumes each paper back (there must be at least 30) as it is issued. Currently consumed with privacy, Paul has taught himself Visual Basic and is using it to create a program to password protect his files on the computer. He loves playing Hover on the computer (a futuristic 3-D capture the flag game). He continues his music studies of piano and viola. Paul is looking forward to a trip to Washington, DC this spring. He is campaigning in all forums (even here) for a pet.
Karen, with the arrival of December 21st, will be a driver. Lee and Helen can't believe their "baby" (Karen exclaims "baby! me? never!") is growing up. Karen spent her summer elsewhere -- everywhere but home. She was in Detroit and Toronto for a choir tour, Colorado camping with a school group, Aurich family reunion in Yosemite, and day camp counselor. For her 10th grade year, she is taking 2 honors and 2 advanced placement classes -- with A's in all. She continues to be active in athletics as the team manager for the volleyball team and as a "post" for the JV basketball team, much to the continued amazement of her father who was a failure in high school PE.
Our family had a wonderful reunion with Lee's parents and siblings in Yosemite in June. We hiked falls and had a spectacular view from Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome.
Earlier in the year, Paul and Lee spent a week in London. They sneaked away for a 36 hour overnight trip to Paris via the Chunnel, trying to answer the questions: how many museums can one see in a day and a half? Helen and Karen joined them for another week in London. We particularly enjoyed the "London Walks" -- guide walks through specific sections of the city. We were able to get tickets for a session of Parliament to watch the ministers respond to "Questions". We then had a wonderful visit to with the Moraga-Clarke's in Oxford.
We wish you a wonderful 1997!
Yours in peace,
Lee, Helen, Karen & Paul
1995 Year-end LetterReturn to Home Page
Helen's Chocolate Cake recipe
Last Updated 01-Jan-97 firstname.lastname@example.org