Holiday Newsletters

Holiday Greetings for 1985!

Despite repeated reprimands from outside sources (authority Ann Landers, for one), here we are again with another holiday greeting newsletter-style.  This year you are hearing from us before the calendar rolls over into another year, and that summarizes how 1985 has gone for me -- well enough to get my Christmas cards out before Christmas!  True to this traditional mass communication form, I will leave out the bad stuff, the disappointments, fights, failures, and just relate the parts that make our lives sound totally wonderful (which is MOSTLY is).

In May our family was privileged to have an  exchange teacher from Scotland stay with us.  Maureen Inglis was an elementary teacher by day and a delightful addition to our household by night.  We fully intend to keep in touch and someday visit her tiny of Killin.

Overall, most aspects of our lives, jobs, activities, trips, etc., are moving along in much the same pattern as last year.   This shows promise of either a short or boring letter, right?  Read on to find out which it is!

While each new activity in our children's lives seems like a milestone to us, it is probably old hat to those of you with older children.  Both girls went to camp this year for the first time.  Sara spent two weeks in Virginia with her Nashville cousin Hannah, and though two weeks proved to be too long for a 10-year-old, she had a wonderful time and wants to go back.  Shannon stayed in Minnesota and spent a week at a Girl Scout camp with a school friend.  She too had a good time, and her week near home proved to be a more appropriate approach to a beginning camp experience.  Those of us left at home enjoyed three weeks of the summer in relative quiet with only four people in the house.  

Sara is in 5th grade and began band lessons this year.  Why does it seem strange for a child of mine to be a percussionist?  She still also has her paper route, and both girls are doing intramurals and piano lessons.  Shannon chose to resume lessons this year, Sara is in her 4th year, and I am in semi-retirement from lessons.  My goal of playing Rhapsody in Blue by the time I was 50 seemed unattainable with the amount of practice I was willing to do.  My disastrous recital last spring had nothing to do with my quitting -- goals just change, you know.  My new goal is to be able to do a back handspring.  Wouldn't that be fun?  And so useful!

Jefferson is in kindergarten and loving it.  His extra-curriculars are pretty limited, yet his life seems as full as anyone's.  Is there a point here that we're missing?

Last March we spent a week in Mexico  with two other couples from Annandale.  Putting 2,500 miles between ourselves and responsibilities at home enabled us to really let our hair down, and we had a wonderful time.  The nine children we left behind fared just fine despite the blizzard of the decade.  The same families took a fall vacation together to northern Minnesota, that time with children.  Perhaps four days in a two-bedroom condo with 15 people doesn't sound like a good time to you, but it was.  The same three couples are planning a trip again to Cancun in March.  I hope we are establishing a tradition of an annual getaway.  It really helps a person get through these long Minnesota winters!

Christmas '85 will once again find our family in Florida with Grandma Williams.  We've had such wonderful weather the last two times we've gone there for Christmas that it seems unlikely that we'll luck out again.  My family is spread out to most corners of the map; sister Jean in San Francisco, brother Jack in Nashville, my mother in Florida, and the Bishops in Minnesota.  So all the cousins and family members that rarely get to see one another will undoubtedly have a good time whatever the weather.

All the changes in our lives really don't change the important things, and one of the important things especially in our minds around the Christmas season is how much it means to keep in touch with good friends, old and new.  Whether we haven't greeted each other face to face in many days or many years, we would like to send you a very sincere wish for all the best in the coming Holiday Season and New Year!

With Love from the Bishops

John, Jill,
Sara, Shannon, and Jefferson
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