Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
To those we love and see each day
And other loved ones far away,
To friends whose friendship means so much
And those with whom were somehow out of touch,
We wish you a happy holiday and pray for peace on earth for all mankind.

We celebrated our 30th anniversary with a trip to Europe in September. Dan and I traveled with friends in Switzerland and Lake Como, and met up with more friends to share a villa in Tuscany. We spent the last three nights at Lake Molveno in northern Italy The Italian people, countryside, wine, and food are the best -- beautiful, simple preparations with fresh ingredients, nearly all organic. The Italians do it right!

Dan's 75th birthday with all the kids and grandkids was a special evening at a beautiful Mexican restaurant in Carlsbad. Mariachis played music and we celebrated Dan for all that he does to support our family, especially grandkids' sports at ballparks and beaches around the County, for soccer, baseball and surfing. Dane (22) gave the last toast, recalling special times with Popa Dan, for a heartfelt tribute.

The Bob Dylan Concert at the Berkeley Greek Theater was an extra-added treat for the birthday boy. Dylan turned 75 one month before Dan. What better way to take a stroll down memory lane than with the voice of our generation? The raspy voice still delivers. The twinkling lights of the venue created the perfect setting. We also visited my high school friends in the Bay area and Dan's brother/sister-in-law in Portland.

A devoted bridge player, Dan passed 1,000 points, which means he's been playing for a few years now and is doing rather well. We just returned from our December trek to Palm Desert where he played in the regional tournament and shot a couple of rounds of golf.

Tapping away on the keyboard, I'm close to completing a second novel, this one for middle grade boys. When Riley and Westin were 12 (now 19), I picked them up from school once a week at noon and we spent the afternoon together. They did homework and I wrote. Every week I read the latest chapter to them about three boys in Yellowstone. They offered comments. It was a great collaboration. Only recently, I went back to finish the book.  I can't wait for them to read the final story, and for me to land an agent and publisher. A poem I wrote last year was published in the 2015-16 San Diego Poetry Annual this year.

Grandkids are wonderful. Dane is a junior at San Marcos State, Westin is a freshman at Portland City College, and Riley is working for a couple of local restaurants. All four of the Beck and Brown kids are active in sports. Noah (15), Beau (12), McKinley (12) and Taylor (9) played on local soccer and baseball teams. Taylor wowed all of us with his batting. Dad, Craig, coached McKinley's soccer team to a regional championship!! Noah and Beau also played club ball, and Noah's soccer team went undefeated.

We stay busy with family and friends, movies, plays, concerts and lots of good books. I enjoy my work on the board of a community clinic and volunteer for Feeding America. The gym, walking, running, golfing and swimming keep us healthy. I'll have knee replacement surgery in January, but plan for a much calmer recovery than Dan's last year. We send our love and hope we'll hear from you soon.

Dan:                                          Lots of Love, Vicki and Dan    


Dan's 75th Birthday June 16


30th Anniversary Trip

Lake Molveno, Italy