October 1, 1999
10970 Lucky Oak Court, Cupertino, CA 95014
We have had a year of ups and downs.
One of our biggest joys was the birth of our granddaughter, Miranda Anne Johnson Livengood, on June 23. She weighed in at 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long, and she’s been growing at a rapid rate ever since. She’s now about four months old, is starting to grab for everything, is very cheerful and friendly, sleeps and eats well, and loves to converse. Her big brother Matthew (who turned three on July 17) has adjusted well to his baby sister. He continues to do well in preschool – popular with both the teachers and his peers. He has a great imagination – loves dinosaurs, lizards, fish, and other animals, He also likes sports – both in-person and on TV.
The low point of the year for us was the death of my brother Bill in July, not so long after Miranda was born. He had not been that well for several years, and when he got home from the hospital in March or April both he and Helen had an awful time of it. I felt terribly tom right before Miranda was born – wanting to see her safely into the world and also feeling like I just had to get down to Rancho Mirage to see Bill and Helen. I’m so glad I was able to pay them a short visit in early July just a couple of weeks before he died. Helen has been her usual very strong self during ail the final crises. We’re happy she’s already been up to visit, and hope she gets back this way again soon.
Mother is still in good spirits and health, and is as busy as every with projects (alphabetizing the counties in entire U.S. – all 3000 of them!), reading, short trips out and about, and family gatherings. Her favorite destinations are the library, the plant nursery, and Starbucks for coffee and a bagel. She says she sleeps more, but she still puts in a good day’s work, and never turns me down when I suggest a visit or drive.
Dick has stayed at the same job at IBM, but the level of activity this year has been way up – he’s gotten attached to some high-profile projects, and is extremely busy right now. I’ve done a lot of moving around -I left Acta (a Palo Alto software startup) in March, but continued to do consulting for them for a couple extra months. I did two weeks of intensive German (6 hours a day) in April and August, and several web and graphics classes in July and August. After that I consulted for a former client for another couple of months, and i just started as a staff employee at Siebel Systems in San Mateo. They were recently featured in Fortune as the number one fastest-growing company. Things are humming there! I think I’ll enjoy it.
We’ve focused on shorter trips this year – a weekend in the snow with our kids and Matthew in February, and a week at Fallen Leaf Lake (near Lake Tahoe) in August. Earlier this month Dick and I flew to Minneapolis for a few days with Jill and Mike and his family, followed by a few more days in Wisconsin (had to do the pilgrimage to Green Bay to collect souvenirs for Rick!), across Lake Michigan by car ferry, and then through Michigan to see familiar places. In addition to our pleasure trips I did a lot of business travel -I taught Acta classes in Frankfurt and Montreal in the middle of winter, dragging 15 computers through the snow.
Ellon and Rick spend most of their time working and being parents, but they have also have their house up for sale in the hopes that they can get into a larger one before the end of the year. As we speak, Ellen is in Minneapolis visiting Jill, Rick is doing the parenting routine with both kids (having just returned from a business trip to Boston all last week), and the house selling activities are heating up.
Tim and Colette’s major trip this year was to Oaxaca, Mexico (fortunately, they were there ahead of the earthquake). Colette is stilt at the Presidio native plant nursery – their program to replace introduced plants with natives seems to be thriving. I’ve enjoyed volunteering there a few times – Dick and I pulled Ice plant and I also helped with the replanting of seedlings. Tim is still consulting – application programming on web- and database-related projects. He specializes in Cold Fusion programming, which is key to e-commerce activities. He recently bought a new computer and turned it into a Cold Fusion server so he can do a lot of his work at home – this is his favorite mode of working.
Jill finished her paralegal training in the late spring and is now working for a St Paul law firm that specializes in family law. This fall she’s begun taking one class at a time to finish up her master’s degree, which will take her another year or more. Mike also has some wrap-up work to do to finish his degree. Dick and i really enjoyed our recent visit – seeing their apartment and meeting Mike’s family. Jill and Mike will both be here for Thanksgiving.
Our best wishes to all of you for the upcoming holiday season and into the new Millennium!
Anna, Dick, and Nan