Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 in review

The following is an edited version of the Holiday Letter MLW and I sent out this past year, put into blog-code as necessary (which reminds me... I need to update the scorecard in a big way...)

2006 seemed to have a theme of Change. While many things stayed the same, we enjoyed many new things as well. The year began with JAM still unemployed (since Nov. 2005 – those of you who read the blog know this painfully). Curiously, this wasn’t quite as stressful to either of us as we’d thought it would have been.

In January, we headed south to North Carolina (the hurricane state!), where we witnessed the union of ToasterGirl (MLW’s former roommate) and GPSBoy(another Drewid of our acquaintance) in a moving Quaker ceremony in Durham, followed by a delightful reception at the oddly named Tobacco Warehouse. While in Durham we were able to take in some of the city’s sights and also visit with Ultimate Brian & Penultimate (?) Katie (still more Drewids… who knew the area was full of ’em?) And best of all, JAM didn’t use any days off…

February was very full (as it tends to be) for such a short month. We made our annual trip to DC’s Chinese New Year parade to celebrate the year of the Dog (woof!). Following that we had a small-scale birthday gathering for JAM, which was preceded by Birthday SNOW! (It is such a rarity in Virginia!!). Certainly not the worst way to greet 35. This, in turn, was followed by a visit from the GSM. Sadly, they were both pretty ill, thus we have declared a moratorium on birthday visits (or at least visits during Winter Olympic years, since the prior one in 2002, resulted in a broken hot water heater and a serious cold for JAM). Around the same time, Eva was in town for a church music conference, and we were able to visit with her and catch up.

March found MLW summoned for Jury service. Like a teeny-tiny minority of Americans (which JAM is happy to consider himself among), MLW is one of those rare few who was actually looking forward to jury service. Sadly, each day as she checked to see if she was called up the next day, the court was closed. She was very disappointed.

April found us in NJ (for our first visit of 2006) to help JAM’s Gram celebrate her 91st birthday and catch up with the folks. Before we left town, JAM’s high school friend thefirstNoel came to town for a conference, and we were able to have dinner together before she fled back to lands northwards. On the way home, we got to meet Son-of-a-JADO for the first time -- What a cute and drooly child.

In May we made our next visit northward to mark the first communion of MLW’s Godmother’s grandson Joey – who does a great (the late) John Denver (?! - he sang "Rocky Mountain High," but then you know how the lids today love their John Denver...) impression. We also got to see the in-law’s first apartment (which was effectively the first place that MLW ever lived). Oh, yeah, also in May, JAM got a job at a small IT consulting firm in DC. Before he started he spent the last weekend at Six Flags America with ODFA.

The (fortunately unseasonably cool) month of June found us celebrating the wedding of the Huge’s in beautiful outdoor setting in Centreville, VA (wow! A wedding we didn’t really didn’t have to travel for – we love those weddings most of all!) While the promised fireworks between certain participants never materialized, the weekend gave us an opportunity to catch up with various and sundry New Jerseyians of our past association. Later in the month, MLW celebrated her birthday with friends and the in-law’s came to visit. We visited the WWII Memorial, and enjoyed DC despite the summer heat.

In July, Drewids OragamiSlayer and Tina (who live out in Fairfax) invited us to join them at a performance of the RSC (the Reduced Shakespeare Company) in their still funny, no matter how many times we’ve seen it, The Complete History of America: Abridged. Dinner out with friends and an evening of laughs are a wonderful way to pass the time. JAM’s cousin A and (her husband)R announced they were pregnant, and JAM has been steeling himself to be a first cousin once removed.

In August, we had our first ever overnight visit by a family. Mr. Township Manager, HLWJ, and cute as a button Sabina came to visit on their way back to NJ from Williamsburg. While our house is certainly not childproof, we are happy report that everyone left intact. While it was a short visit, it was a fun one.

September went by without much event, while JAM decided he needed to get a(nother) new job, as the one at [company deleted for legal reasons] was just not working out. We tried to have many dinners with all our local friends, so had lots of good food and great conversations.

October was a month where a whole lotta stuff happened. First – on our 8th wedding anniversary – JAM decided to give notice to the company he’d been working for (for about five months). While he gave 2.5 weeks notice, they decided he could leave that day. By the time MLW arrived to drive JAM home he was waiting in the lobby chatting with the security guards. That night he addressed the membership of the Art Deco Society of Washington, giving the first “state of the society” address in several years. The next day he received a job offer from Plateau Systems, LTD. – one of two offers he would receive that same week – and after some thought decided to accept it. Also, in October we were able to finally catch up with the O’Ciommo Ninja clan and then met up with the JADO’s at the Philadelphia Zoo, where much fun was had by all and many photos were taken. The following weekend, we went off to Staunton, VA where we saw not one but three Shakespeare plays at the Blackfriar’s Playhouse. On the way back, we drove along the scenic Skyline Drive and enjoyed the fall foliage (also, many photos were taken). While this was the first year in a while that we did not have our annual Halloween Gala, we did have the annual neighborhood Trick Or Treat block candy give-away (yeah, the name really sings). It was also JAM’s first day at his (new) new job.

As November came around, we found ourselves starting the month with yet another trip to the zoo, this time the National Zoo and this time with friends OriginalWeb and CH. Later in the same month, we went up to NJ yet again, this time for MLW’s father’s “retirement party” (MLW’s dad has been retiring for the entire 15 years JAM has known her…) Since we were up anyway, we decided to join in-laws and the GSM for day before and Thanksgiving for much, much eating. We were able to catch up with Mr. Township Manager & family, and with college friend GWEK, and with high school friend Jeannine.

And so December found us in the midst of our usual holiday madness. We had MLW’s work holiday party (first time I’ve had my picture taken with Santa in about… um, I’m going to guess 25 years...), my work party where I ran into Chuck Schmoyer from West Milford Twp High School (Freebird!) and of course, our own annual holiday gala, that this year featured snow. Yes, snow. Even if we had to make it ourselves. The holidays themselves involved a short trip northwards to NJ, and while they involved the third annual Xmas Eve Morning Brunch (a chance for us West Milford ex-pat’s to catch up) it was somewhat muted due to a family sitch that I won’t get into here.

So the year was filled with new beginnings, and new opportunities, but also filled with old friends and the best traditions.

Happy Holidays!

Let there be peace on earth, but most especially let there be peace for each of you
(and perhaps a little left over for each of us).

-- J & J

So that's the letter. Back in a day or two with what's in store for 2007!


3 comments:

Jado said...

"...Son-of-a-Jado..."

I'm totally using that from now on as a more PC version of the standard curse phrase when I hit my thumb with the hammer.

JAM said...

Hey, man, glad I could help...

Boppie said...

How is it that Jason S-------- (since everyone has an alias in your blog) has more hair now than he did in high school?