Hello!                                                                                                                                         December 2004

We are pleased to be sending our combined 2003 & 2004 letter.  We started a letter a year ago, but lost it sometime during the spring. 

2004_Julia.jpg (27054 bytes)Helen & Lee celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year by first attending our church’s Family Camp and then touring Yellowstone & the Grand Teton National Parks .

Sadly, Julia, Helen’s mom, died in early 2003 following a brief illness compounded by knee replacement surgery about four weeks earlier.  We spent New Years with Julia in Yosemite , and then Helen was able to be with her for her first week of recovery from the knee surgery.


Paul graduated from high school in June, and entered Pomona College this fall.  At the new student2004_Yoda.jpg (22050 bytes) orientation, the College Dean donned a pair of Mickey Mouse ears saying “Welcome to the happiest college on earth” (US News & World Report’s recent ranking).  Based on visits in October, and then his returning to Oakland for Thanksgiving, Paul is adapting wonderfully to his new life.

However Yoda, Paul’s cat, is not the happiest cat on earth.  She reports that snuggling with Helen or being brushed by Lee is just not a fair replacement for her “boy.”  And Lee’s Hartford based coworkers and bosses are starting to ask about the strange, purring and love-forlorn yowling during Lee’s long hours of phone meetings.

At Pomona , Paul splits his time between seeking the perfect dining hall, working at the computer center on Linux projects, watching Netflix movies, serving as the dorm’s informal calculus and computers expert, and occasionally studying. 

2004_Karen_Paul.jpg (34049 bytes)  Karen

Karen graduated from Wellesley in June 2003, and moved to Brooklyn , NY where she shares the third floor of a row house on a quiet residential street with trees.  She is now in her second year as a physics teacher at Saint Ann ’s School.  She teaches two sections of sixth graders and two of high school juniors and seniors.  Her classes include Physical Science (for the 6th graders), Physics for Poets, and traditional physics.  

Karen, now car-less, is taking full advantage of New York .  She is a wiz at the subways and buses; loves to explore ethnic food and chocolate boutiques; and generally feels at home.  In addition to playing volleyball on two teams, she has taken up softball.

 Helen 2004_Lee_Helen.jpg (36113 bytes)

Helen remains incredibly busy.  She is one of two Vice President (there continues to be no President) of the League of Woman Voters of Oakland.  She is on the governing body of our church, and recently was appointed as chair of the church’s building design committee, working on plans for seismic retrofitting and significant accompanying renovation.

Helen continues as a foster parent for the SPCA.  She cares for orphan kittens from around 4 weeks old until they weigh two pounds and are old enough to be neutered and placed for permanent adoption.  Currently we have two lovely kittens, Andy & Annie.   They will enjoy Christmas with the four of us plus Lee’s parents.

2004_Hot_Spring_Pool.jpg (49859 bytes)Lee

Lee continues to split his time between Hartford and a home office.  When in Oakland , his day routinely starts with chairing a meeting of 30+ people at2004_Daisy_Geyser.jpg (21644 bytes) 9am eastern time (6am his time).  He describes his life as working on east coast time in the morning, and then living on west coast time with his family in the evening.  He regularly complains of sleep deprivation.

In his spare time, Lee continues to enjoy photography and is busy planning new expeditions.  Other times, he is considering joining the Slow Life Movement.  To stay out of trouble, he is reading a 700+ page tome on Molecular Biology.

 Déjà vu

Karen described her recent election experience as “the candidates I vote for don’t seem to win” – seems like the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Hopefully, this too will pass.

 Yours in peace,

     Lee & Helen

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