The Farmer’s Christmas 1996 Newsletter

News: Much of the activity this year was centered around seeing Dan off to Africa in the Peace Corps. It was also special helping with the grandkids. When Larry was in kindergarten during the last school year, Bob would meet him after school in Poulsbo and spend the afternoon with him. We enjoyed taking care of Larry many days after school and on the weekends when Belinda worked. Often we would go for walks and pickup Cathy and her tribe on the way. They live just a block away. You should see us all…Cathy pushing baby Jake in his stroller, Jeremy, Destini, Larry and some daycare kids along with our little dog going for a walk.

New arrivals: Jacob Yaden, new grandson born December 11, 1996 to Cathy and Bud. Ian Drum-Senter, a new nephew, born in August to Bert and Bonnie (my sister Helen’s daughter). Still to come, a new niece, to be born very soon to Kari and Dean (my sister Marion’s son).

My family: Margaret, my mother, moved next door to the Senter’s Daycare in Lynnwood to be closer to the family and be more centrally located since she is not driving anymore. Sister Helen and bro-in law Ralph are doing well. Ralph takes all of their grandkids skiing often during the better part of ski season. They still go to Dog Mt. nearly every weekend of hang gliding season and Chelan in June and July. We spent two weeks with them in Chelan and a few weekends at Dog Mt. Brother Frank and sister-in-law Dorothy are busy with one kid living at home and three college.

Bob’s family: They are doing well. His father, Bob, was 80 this year and his mother, Agnes, will be 80 on January 13th. His brother John is busy working in his wood shop. John was Bob’s bone marrow donor. Perry is still working at the big electric power plant in near Chehalis. Sister Marilyn’s daughter Lana was in married in LA. Sister Carol’s daughter Sara will be married on December 16th in Virginia. Carol’s son Mark is living in Nome Alaska.

Carol: I’ve been a lector for sixteen years now. It’s very rewarding being a Stephen Minister. For seven years, I have taken piano lessons and it’s great to have such a wonderful teacher , so patient and understanding. I enjoy spending time with my friend Joanne and I still attend the musicals at the 5th Ave. in Seattle which are wonderful. I still have D, my housekeeper. She is really a big help with cleaning and trying to help me be more organized.

Bob: His health continues to improve and it’s been more than three years since his bone marrow transplant for leukemia. In August, he climbed a 14,265’ mountain with Dan on a church outing while on a visit there in Colorado. In September, he flew his hang glider for the first time in 4 years. Progressively he is gaining his strength and endurance back. He is a very active member in a cancer support group for which he publishes the monthly meeting flyer. Bob enjoys the challenges of his computer and is there for others with health and computer problems. He surfs the Internet and corresponds with many friends via e-mail.

We dance every week-end with our friends Joe and Judy Kennedy and Dean and Joanne Ketner. For exercise we try and get in our daily walk with our dog, J. D. and also play tennis.

Cathy, Bud, Jeremy, Destini, and Jake: They live very close so we see them often and the special grandchildren Jeremy and Jacob. Jeremy is a 9 year old fourth grader. He does very well in school, especially in sports Jacob is a sweetie and he had his 1st birthday this week. Bud’s daughter, Destini, has been living with her mother in Texas since the beginning of summer. We will see her when she comes for a visit during Christmas vacation. We enjoy having her for a granddaughter.

Belinda, Robert and Larry: Belinda and Robert live in Poulsbo. Belinda is working four days a week at the beauty shop and therefore has more time for herself, and family. Robert is a computer program developer and instructor. He recently went to work full time at ECRC. Larry loves school and is a fast learner, especially with reading and math. We celebrated Thanksgiving with Robert’s family in Port Angeles. His mother and her husband were gracious hosts. We met two of his sisters and many members of his family. It was also Belinda’s 29th birthday.

They took a vacation in June to see Robert’s father in Colorado. His father is retired on a ranch south of Pueblo. Larry brought his cousin Jeremy along for company. They really liked the ranch and were a big hit with Robert’s father. Going and coming they traveled through Yellowstone and Grand Canyon and also stopped for a day to visit Dan in Greeley.

Dan: In September, Dan joined the Peace Corps and will be teaching for two years in Malawi, Africa. We often receive very interesting letters from him. He loves his work and enjoys the Malawian people. His work site is in Northern Malawi in a small village called Mlowe on the edge of the great Lake Malawi. It has none of the modern conveniences such as electricity. Dan left his work in Greeley Colorado as the director of music at St. Peter’s Church and an English teacher at Aims Community College. We were overwhelmed by his accomplishments during our visits just before he departed for Malawi. His music at St. Peter’s brought us both joy and tears. No words can explain the wonder of his music…very spiritual and grand. We met many people who attended St. Peter’s because of Dan’s music. His priest and the whole parish loved him dearly.

Dave: He has been working at St. Vincent’s for five years now. He enjoys being an uncle to Jeremy and Larry by taking them out for treats and to the mall. Recently he and Bob have been introducing Jeremy to tennis. His work is very physical so he is in good shape. Last month he played in his first open class tennis tournament. He has been working out with a young man that is #1 for his age group. Dave also plays tennis weekly with one of Bob’s best friends. On Sunday, he sings with the same folk group as Danny used to at Holy Trinity Church. Recently, he has even done a couple of solos.

Vacations and Travel: Besides our yearly vacation in Chelan and weekend camping trips we traveled to Colorado to see Dan before he joined the Peace Corps.

In August, Bob spent twelve days with Dan. He went on many outings, met many of Dan’s friends, saw Dan perform with three of his music groups, and saw Pumpkin and Dunkin for the first time in years. Pumpkin and Dunkin are sweet female cockatiels that Bob raised and gave to Dan. On August 20th, Bob returned to Bremerton with Dan and his friend Greg Cioch, a seminarian from Poland that worked the summer at St. Peter’s Church. Greg stayed with us for three days before going back to his schooling in Michigan. We gave them a grand tour of the best scenery in Washington. We took day trips with four kids and three grandchildren. One day we traveled around the Olympic Peninsula stopping on the way at the Hoh River Rain Forest and at Klalock and Ruby Beach on the Pacific Ocean. The second day was to breath-taking Mt. Rainier. Greg will remember our family all too well because we traveled over 600 miles in small rented van that we overloaded by at least three people.

On September 5th, I flew to Colorado. for a four day visit with Dan. It was very inspiring to see what Dan has accomplished with the Church choir at St. Peter’s, where he was choir director. I went to a Quincenara , which is a fifteenth year Birthday celebration for a Spanish girl at St. Peter’s and Dan and a friend played the music. I heard Kazumba band play for the first time when they performed for a wedding reception at Phipps mansion in Denver. That band has played in many different countries in the past few years.

Pets: Our pets this year are J.D. the wiener dog and Fantasia the cockatiel, J.D. still thinks he is the boss and is very noisy but remains a special part of our family.

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

Bob, Carol, and David