I am not sending this newsletter out online because I am too cheap to buys stamps or get to the dollar store to buy a box of cards. I did send cards to folks I don’t regularly connect with via the Internet but when I went to write a newsletter it was so boring I just could not send it. Here is some news with photos of our 2012.
For Tony, this was a sad year as his father took ill and then passed away in June. We had just gotten passports for Jenna and Sara to visit England, but their trip was not to be, so Tony went twice alone to visit and be with his mother and family. We were all sad not to have been able to go but the airfare is beyond prohibitive. John Leo Dempsey will be greatly missed but we do have our wonderful memories of him and his warm, loving, and funny personality.
This year I was fortunate due to a very generous gift to be able to travel for almost three weeks to San Francisco. I spent time with my cousin Adriana who made my trip possible. With her daughter Celestine, we had an amazing time, including a trip to the much touted Chez Pannisse, founded by Alice Waters who started the locally grown movement. The food was fantastic, in fact I truly felt like the Queen of England the entire time I was with Adriana who wined and dined me all over town. I took a great photo but sadly, shortly after I came home from my trip my computer crashed. Here is one of me and Celestine at Lafayette Reservoir.
I also spent time with one of my oldest friends, Annie and her family. The two of us got to camp in Yosemite (on my bucket list) just in view of Half Dome. We also hiked to Vernal Falls (in the photo) and Emerald Pool, I think I have been to heaven and back and I will NEVER forget this experience.
Anna is amazing in every way and I could brag on and on but I’ll keep it short. She will graduate from University of Virginia in May at age 20 with a double major in Anthropology and Archaeology. Unlike most young people her age, she is self supporting and paying her own way through school. This summer she worked in the blazing sun with no shelter doing a dig at Ferry Farm, the boyhood home of George Washington.
Mia is a full fledged adult at 18 now and continues to make us all laugh with her quirky sense of humor. She has very nearly completed her associates degree and with her grades has her choice of almost any school in Virginia. She is thinking of George Mason or Mary Washington, but we’ll see. She works hard saving people’s lives at the YMCA as a life guard and has turned our boring old family mini van into the “swagwag”. She saved up her money and went to Colorado to visit her good friend just in time for the wildfires and very nearly got evacuated but was to come home just in the nick of time.
Jenna turned 16 this December, where did the time fly? She is learning to drive and working hard educating herself, often at home with her younger sister. In the spring of last year she took and passed her lifeguard test. She was hired by the local Y but then told they had changed their policy and would only hire 16 year olds. Hopefully she’ll have a job there soon. She has also done a variety of volunteer jobs this year, as a camp counselor and with an ecumenical church group helping needy people fix up their homes.
Sara keeps us all on our toes with our gadgets. She has given her dad who is an IT Director numerous tutorials on how to use his iphone, however, she tends to get impatient with our learning speed, oh youth. She is now a full fledged teenager and is as tall as I am. This seemed to happen over night. One day Tony and I looked at each other and wondered who had stolen our baby. She is also schooling at home and told me her favorite reason to homeschool is that she gets to sleep in. With hair and clothes to worry about, she would literally have to get up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus and who has time for that? She is constantly on the go, mostly with her best friend who lives a few doors down. She was active on the swim team, goes to church weekly and has done a fair amount of volunteer work, also as a camp counselor and helping me regularly with my nature classes.
I’m sure I will be roundly chastised for putting in “that horrible photo” but I just decided to put out this letter anyway. I hope you all have a blessed New Year and will come to visit us or at least give us a call.