As we write this, the sky is blue with beautiful, wispy clouds; San Francisco is emerging from what seems like 40 days and 40 nights of rain.
Thinking back over the last year, our family news seems somewhat mundane. September 11th is a tragic reminder that we do not live in isolation, and that we cannot ignore the problems of the world as a whole.
Karen turned 21 on the winter solstice. She is now in her junior year at Wellesley with a declared joint major of Physics and Philosophy. When asked why, she responds Physics describes how and Philosophy why.
The pride of her fall semester was making the Wellesley volleyball team. The team made it to the NCAA "Final Four" in Division III; Helen made several cross-country trips to watch, including the final four games at Whitewater Wisconsin.
Karen spent her summer at Wesleyan (in Connecticut) doing physics research. Afterwards, she visited with us in Oakland and then, with her new car, drove across the country to Boston. Her roommate of two years accompanied her as far as St. Louis. We were quite relieved when she arrived, safe and sound.
Paul has turned 15 and is driving with a learners' permit. Paul describes his life as "boring." The rest of us see a different side. He built, from components, a fast AMD Athlon computer last spring, and spends considerable time reading news groups, surfing the web, doing crossword puzzles, and playing video games. He has started a small neighborhood computer consulting service helping folks remove viruses, install software and hardware, and generally make their computers work.
For his second year of cross country, Paul set himself the goal moving from Junior Varsity to the Varsity team, composed of the top 7 (out of roughly 30) boy runners. He did this, alternating much of the season as the third or fourth finisher on the team. Paul and his team had a great season; for the first time, both the girls and boys cross country teams went to the California state championship.
In June, Geoworks (Helen's dot-com) closed several major product lines and laid off half of its staff including her. Since then, she has poured her energies into the League of Women Voters, being a Wellesley volleyball mom, and kittens. Helen attended many of Karen's matches and tournaments, including trips to Texas, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, and the final four in Wisconsin.
Helen, with help from Paul and Lee, has become an SPCA foster mom. We (primarily Helen) care for abandoned kittens until they are big enough for neutering and adoption. Helen's babies (Karen says "I've been replaced;" Paul says "that's right") are all very cute (we're not at all biased). Photos are available on our website. Helen cared for 14 kittens over the last year. She describes the process as fattening them up for graduation, though she also provides vast quantities of love, affection, and socialization. While it is sometimes a bit difficult to return them to the SPCA, we try to remind ourselves that we can't keep them all, and we get them when they are the cutest, and also most manageable.
Lee laid himself off, and then turned out the lights, at his eHealth dot-com, mywayhealth. In this crazy, depressed economic climate, the company was unable to get financing and thus the difficult decision to dissolve. Since then, Lee has been consulting with the California HealthCare Foundation on the use of information systems by physicians.
Lee bought a digital camera last summer and has taken over 2,400 pictures since then. In his early days, Lee was the photographer for the high school yearbook and school newspaper. The digital camera lets allows him to again enjoy the creative control of taking, developing and printing his own pictures.
We had several wonderful trips this year. In May, we celebrated Lila & Wally's (Lee's parents) 75th birthday at their party in Los Angeles. We spent a week on Cape Cod with 20 members of the Helen's family in June. Lee and Helen escaped to Sea Ranch, along the desolate coast of Northern California for a few days; Lee spent three weeks in London & Paris; and we observed New Year's Day 2002 at Yosemite with Helen's mother, sister, and sister's family.
As we were editing this letter in early January, Lee's father fell from his first story roof onto a concrete patio. Wally underwent 3+ hours of surgery for broken knees, left femur, and other damage. It will be months before he is able to walk unassisted. Though the injuries are serious, we are all thankful that it was not worse.
Finally, as we bring this to the web, Paul broke his elbow at his school's ski trip. He is recovering from surgery, and an overnight hospital stay, with a favorable prognosis.
Yours in peace,
Lee, Helen, Karen, & Paul
Return to home page
Last updated 2 February 2002