The Farmer’s Christmas 1995 Newsletter

Carol's news: I love to hear from all of you each Holiday season. Here is the news of this year. Bob and I enjoyed this year together. On Fridays we go dancing at the Elks or the Legion with friends (Joe and Judy Kennedy and Dean and Joanne Kettner). We take walks together with JD. Bob and I started to play tennis again until I got tendonitis in my right arm. This week, for the first time in two months, I tried to play again using my left arm. We took our yearly camping vacation at Lake Chelan. It was a fun and busy vacation as we had Larry and Jeremy along. It was great to spend quality time with the grandchildren. In August, we took Jeremy to the Long Beach Kite Festival and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bob's father was with us for a few days. On other weekends, we camped close by at Ft. Flagler and once at Dog Mountain to watch the hang gliders and be with family. Bob isn't flying yet, but he drove for Ralph when we were at Chelan. Bob and Ralph miss the good ole days when they flew together from the Chelan Butte. Bob's father, who is going on eighty, often chased after them.

In my spare time I enjoy reading, baking, playing piano, and getting together with friends and family. I've been taking piano lessons for six years now and I love it. I'm still a lector at our church and it's very meaningful to me. For five months 15 of us went through training at Holy Trinity to become Stephen Ministers. We are care givers and we are there for each other. It is a group of very caring and special people. My friend Joanne Kettner and I enjoy the musicals at the 5th Ave. Theater in Seattle and other special times together. My Mom, Aline and I flew to Reno in October. We didn't get rich but it was nice to just get away and have others wait on us. Phyllis Diller was a blast. I had a wonderful massage-felt like a million. Our housekeeper, Donna Rule has been a tremendous help with house and yard work. We do many big projects together and recently cleaned all of the carpets.

Cathy and Bud are expecting in December and it will be our third grandson. This summer was difficult for them because Bud's mother, Rose, passed away in July. His father moved to Colorado and has been trying to sell the house. Cathy and Bud are going to move into the house in January. They may buy it when the market and interest rates are favorable. It is located only one block away, so we will soon be seeing more of our grandchildren. Cathy still has a day care. Bud works at the Navy Yard, but he was laid off for a few weeks until recently. Jeremy and Destini are doing very well in school. They also go to religious education classes together. Jeremy made his First Communion this year and Destini will make her First Communion next year.

Dan is still living in Greeley, Colorado. He is the music director at St. Peter's Church, and he plays in several bands from the area in places like Aspen and even Las Vegas. This year he became an instructor at Aims Community College teaching English as a Second Language so he is very busy. His girl friend, Susan, is going to college in Durango Colorado, which is more than 400 miles away so they don't see each other often. We met Susan a few years ago and she is a very special and wonderful lady. Dan visited us in December and June. In September, he enjoyed a three-week vacation in Venezuela. He stayed with his friend Eduardo in Caracas for one week and toured the next two weeks by himself. He visited a Venezuela National Park called Canaima where Angel Falls, the tallest water falls in the world, is located. He has been to many beautiful places in the world and he thinks Canaima is the most beautiful. In January, Dan traveled to Manila in the Philippines for the World Youth Day to see Pope John Paul. He traveled with a group from his parish and the Archbishop of Denver and the Bishop of Pueblo. Dan was very inspired by it all, especially the speeches of John Paul. There was a crowd of more than four million to see the Pope.

Belinda and Larry lived with us for 18 months before moving twelve miles away to Poulsbo where she is buying a condominium. She also bought a 93 white very sporty Honda Civic. She still works as a cosmetologist at John Patrick's Hair Styling in the Kitsap Mall. Being a single Mom is a challenge for her, and she is doing a great job on her own. Larry is in kindergarten and enjoys riding the big school bus every day. He likes school and is doing very well. Robert Bounds is still the special man in her life. He lives in Poulsbo too. Robert is self employed as a computer program developer and instructor. He teaches at Olympic College and develops programs for local businesses and government.

Dave moved back home in August from Cathy's. He helped Cathy get back on her feet by sharing expenses. It also made room here for Belinda and Larry to live with us. His car has needed a lot of repairs this year. Bob just finished putting in a new starter, battery, fuel pump, and steering column. Before that it was an automatic transmission and steering box. You can tell it's a Ford. Every Sunday, he sings in the 11:30 Mass Choir at our church. We enjoy watching him perform. In October, he visited with Dan in Colorado. He studies nutrition and keeps himself in great shape. It is a challenge to his physical fitness working at Saint Vincent de Paul. Tennis continues to be his favorite sport. Bob has even been playing with him again. Since Bob's bone marrow transplant in 1993, Dave has been filling in as a tennis partner of Keith Spencer's, one of Bob's old tennis buddies. He also has being working out with Jamil Al-Agebra who is an eleven-year-old junior tennis player. Jamil made it to the Men's "A" finals in the Thanksgiving tennis tournament. Jamil's father is a well-known physician. They all think very highly of Dave.

Bob and the kids love pets. Bob plays with cockatiel Fantasia with the grandchildren. Destini is fond of Fantasia. Larry's "Tommy the Rat" from last year now belongs to Destini. Jeremy and Destini both have new baby kittens and Jeremy has two hamsters.

Love, Carol

Bob's news: Carol wrote the news about the family. Here is what's going on with me. I am still struggling along recovering from the effects of my bone marrow transplant in September 1993 for leukemia. Recently I was tapered off Prednisone, one of the immune suppressant drugs that I have been taking for chronic graft verses host disease - the name of the rejection disease caused by my BMT. In a couple of months, if all goes well, I'll be tapered off all of the drugs. It will be great to be "normally" normal again and I hope to be able to do anything I wish.

I haven't been strong enough to do my favorite sports yet, but I am still keeping busy. Occasionally I play tennis and fly kites. Much of my time is spent on the computer using E-mail and the Internet. The house and yard are getting more of my attention. I have done some of the repairs on our vehicles. I just got through replacing Dave's Cougar steering column, a more difficult job than I anticipated. Carol's old car and the motor home needed a lot of repairs this year, too.

My struggle with leukemia has been made much easier because of my family and friends, especially Carol. I belong to a wonderful cancer support group. Last spring, I was proud to have my story in the county American Cancer Society news letter. On the Internet, I belong to a List Server called BMT-TALK. It is a magnificent support group with a world wide circle of friends.

I was hoping to return to work this year. Since I retired on a disability retirement from the Navy Yard, I don't have any rights to my old job unless there is an opening. The Navy is down sizing and there are no job openings. I am lucky I have a good retirement, though I wasn't ready for it or the lower pay. I am hoping to get work as soon as I get off all my drugs so we won't have to change our life style.

Love, Bob

May you have a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with love, happiness, peace, and good health.

Bob, Carol, and David