Belated Holiday Greetings,
The always hectic holidays became instantly less hectic the day I decided to do this communiqu in January. In fact, I remember right new exactly where I was that moment, just like everyone always know where they were when Kennedy was shot. So please forgive my tardiness, but it made the entire season more relaxed and enjoyable for me. However, I do see that if my "annual" holiday letter once again comes after a 13-month interval, you may be hearing from us next in February of '86.
Our family holiday gathering in '84 was in Florida at my mother's place. She did a marvelous job of providing beautiful weather, so the cousins did plenty of swimming and shelling, and we even spent a full day sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting place for Christmas '85 hasn't been determined yet, but I know where my vote will be!
This school year seems to be going particularly well for the kids. They are happy and busy. Sara's activities make a person tired to hear about them: paper route, piano, intramurals, tumbling, choir, and break-dancing lessons. Can we wonder why she's reluctant to start a musical instrument at the end of fourth grade when it's offered? Shannon's list, like Shannon, is more laid back. Dancing and break-dancing are her only organized activities. Brownies fell by the wayside, as did piano. That battle ended -- she won. Could anyone guess which of our daughters is the first-born and which is the second-born? Then there's Jefferson. In his senior year of nursery school his greatest interest is video games. He is the walk away house champion. He is also the house champ in his infallible disposition. But then why wouldn't he be cheerful when his main functions in life are painting and topping the last video game score that he can't read anyway?
While 1983 seemed like a year of so much travel, 1984 did not find us terribly homebound. The family trip of the summer was at a resort in northern Minnesota, and just the girls spent another week in Yosemite with their two cousins and my sister Jean (wasn't she brave!). Rather than pining away with loneliness as we'd feared, Jefferson loved being an only child that week. John made his annual 10-day fishing trip to northern Canada in June. The fishing wasn't very successful, but the trip always is. Another trip for him that may become an annual was a long weekend in Las Vegas last winter for golf ...or so they said. My gallivanting didn't cover quite the same distance. In the spring and fall I drove to Wisconsin and met a good friend from Chicago for 24 hours of talking without kids, husbands, or meals to worry about. We've done that same trip several times in the past few years. It's a great getaway! It sounds like John and I always take separate vacations -- not so! Last March on less than two weeks notice we went to Puerto Rico for a week with another couple from Annandale. The trip was such fun that we are going to Mexico in February with the same couple plus one other. I sure hope we are setting a pattern! One more trip was my 20-year H.S. reunion in July. John decided that 5 days of babysitting was preferable to hours of small-talk with other bored spouses (it was a 3-day affair), and we both had a lovelier time.
(Late excuse. Check. Kids. Check. Trips. Check. Jobs:)
The telephone industry has settled in t a quieter rumble of chaos, and one outcome of it all for private telephone companies has been to enable (force?) them to expand to other areas. So, Bishop Communications no includes a telephone directory company, telephone supplies, and least lucrative but most fun, two Radio Shack stores, one with videotape rentals. If we had just a few customers that were as good as we are, we'd be doing great. We love all the electronic doodads too much! My job as Computer Coordinator at the elementary school is much the same as last year. There are more computers to coordinate (21), but the same wonderful schedule of 3 days a week in which to do it. I wish that all that exposure satisfied my yen for computers, but I'm sheepishly anticipating the arrival of the Tandy 1000 (IBM PC jr clone) at home, while the little radio Shack Color Computer has gotten lots of use a home for some time (e.g. this letter).
So I come to an end of this second annual mass-produced greeting from Annandale. It seems far too lengthy, but then you have more time to read it now in January than you would have in December, right? 1984 was a busy year for the Bishops, though probably no more than other years. Do you ever hear anyone (who is healthy) say what a slow year they've had? The trick seems to be to sort through the endless ways we all want to spend our time and make the right choices. Whether you hear from us again in eleven or twelve or maybe even thirteen months from now, until then, we whish you all the very best in 1985!
Love, John, Jill,