Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Today we are off to the frigid homeland. Current temp in St. Louis: 13. Current wind chill: -2. That's two degrees below zero. Why do people live there again?

Anyway, we get a week and a half off work, and after just four days in the Midwest, we go to LA and Catalina Island! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's the annual Christmas letter I sent out to family and friends this year:

Nathan and I had a lovely year. The highlight was definitely our trip to the Grand Canyon in August. We traveled with Nathan’s mother, father and youngest brother, Matthew, on a 6-day, 5-night trip down the Colorado River! We floated down the river on a big, motorized boat guided by three experts, and joined by a psychologist from the Chicago area and his three adult children. We camped every night on beaches by the side of the river, often within sight and sound of waterfalls and rapids. Our three fabulous guides cooked all our meals for us in a “kitchen” at our campsite. They steered us safely through dozens of rapids and led us on amazing hikes through side canyons and up to clear, cool pools. Around every bend in the river was another amazing vista.

Since February, Kathy has been working at a non-profit here in Redwood City called the Marine Science Institute. (Check it out at MSI has a boat that takes kids out on San Francisco Bay for educational field trips. It’s a really cool program, and all the people at the Institute are fabulous to work with. Kathy misses the hum of the newsroom, though. So she is hoping to get hired by a local paper in the New Year. She has also applied to UC Berkeley’s graduate program in journalism. She should find out this spring if she is accepted for the fall 2005 semester.

Nathan started working at Google this summer. Their headquarters are in Mountain View, about 20 minutes south of here. He likes the work alright, and there are lots of perks to the job: the company frequently brings in guest speakers; so far these have included Al Gore and Jimmy Carter! (But Nathan is more interested in the technical talks. J) And the food in the cafeteria is amazingly good and free!

We had some sadness in our household recently: our cat, Alex, died two days before Thanksgiving. He was diagnosed with cancer a month before that; his weight had dropped dramatically and he was getting weaker, so we decided and the vet agreed that it was time. We are so grateful for all the wonderful years of joy he brought us and for the terrific memories we have of him. He was 16! Nathan got him when he was a kitten. Now we are looking forward to getting another pet or two when we are done with our holiday traveling in January. We plan to get a kitten and a Scottish Terrier!

Happy Holidays,

Kathy and Nathan

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