News From Nan 1997

The following was one of the many “News from Nan” newsletters that Nan wrote in the years following her stroke. The first of several “News from Nan” websites was debuted shortly after this was written, in early 1998.

Cupertino, California, November 1997

Dear Friends,

We have had a happy Halloween, with friendly spooks, and on this beautiful, bright, autumn day I want to send love and best wishes to everybody.

On Halloween the kindergarteners from the school across the street came to visit. They were in costumes and sang the alphabet song. Then they mingled and gave us candies – and sometimes even a hug or a kiss! Some of the mothers also came to watch with baby brothers and sisters in arms or strollers. We also had a Halloween Happy Hour of our own, but l love the children’s coming best of all.

Next month – on Christmas Eve – it will be 46 years since our arrival in the Golden State: We had left Port Huron after a snowfall and had had cold, wintry weather ail the way across the country. So it was wonderful to find this sort of day when we arrived in Santa Monica that late afternoon, and John walking the street anxiously awaiting our arrival. I have now lived one year longer here than in my native Michigan. Both are great states with many attractions, but I think we must give California the win as to weather. We have already had some rain, and the hills are turning a beautiful moss-green, and right after Christmas the flowering pear will usher in spring. There will be some snow on the mountains, pretty to see and giving our air a zing, but it won’t interfere with our activities. On the contrary, the skiers will be flocking “up to the snow” for fun.

By February the fruit trees will be in glorious bloom, reminding us that this used to be called “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Then there were canneries here to preserve the apricots, cherries, and plums for shipping, and this was the prune capital of the world.

There is still some fruit and there are even a few wild animals left – like wild cats, for whom Los Gatos was named.

But what is in flower here now is the new technology, and the area is called Silicon Valley. It is home for most of the big computer companies, and our family members are ail engaged daily in computer business.

Our little Matthew, now 16 months, operates his own mechanical toys, knowing which button is “on” and which is “off.”

That is just about the sum of my knowledge of computers – sometimes more than I know! But Matthew was bom in Silicon Valley and all his immediate ancestors are experts. It must make a difference!

When I was born, automobiles were just being brought into the world. When my parents were born, telegraphs and railroads were new, and steam engines.

What will be new in the next one hundred years? I would love to know!

Enjoy your holidays in your family circles, and keep watch! Something wonderful may be just around the next bend in the road!

With much love, Nan