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Holiday Newsletters

December, 1997

Holiday Greeting, Family and Friends!

The holiday season in Minnesota is merrier this year thanks to the unseasonably warm weather brought by El Nio. As we look out the front window at a frozen Pleasant Lake, we don't see the usual village of fish houses. The ice is thick enough for four-wheelers, but not pick-up trucks. With temperatures that haven't yet reached down to the teens, and grass showing through the sparse snowcover on the ground, it just doesn't seem quite right. But soon we'll find out if the other part of the prediction, the heavier-than-usual snowfall, gives us our usual challenges battling the weather. After all, it's only December, and it is Minnesota.

Two of our family members don=t have to deal with our winters. Sara is a Government Relations Analyst in the Corporate Communications Department of Aliant Communiations in Lincoln, Nebraska. Aren't titles just grand? She is able to put a roof above her head, though, her (our?) reward for her graduation from Grinnell College.

Shannon is in her senior year at Occidental College and enjoying her responsibilities as a dormitory RA (resident advisor). She has a long list of what she might do when she graduates, and I'll be as interested as you are to see what I write about her in next year's holiday greeting.

Jefferson is a senior at Annandale High School, keeping busy with the usual sports, music, and teaching Sunday School (6th graders this year), and then there's that one very special girl... His favorite memory of the three weeks he spent in Germany with our last summer's house guest was the side trip to Prague, Czech Republic. (That, and the ease of buying wine in Europe...not for himself, of course.) Meanwhile, back in Annandale, with a trip to Maine for college shopping behind us, we just have to trust that he'll get those college applications in the mail in time.

John stays busy keeping on top of the endless changes in the telecommunications industry. As wireless takes over wire-line communication, he is spending more attention on existing cellular and future PCS technologies. The Internet service has grown like wildfire, of course, and now every one of our family members has their own E-mail address, not just the college students. (See below.) His employee roster has grown to 65, a new Lakedale logo is in place, and soon Lakedale Telephone will be known as Lakedale Communications. The increasing business demands have left somewhat less time for golf (though still quite a lot, it seems), and he always finds time for his favorite diversion, those quick trips to Las Vegas.

I remain the same bike-riding, clarinet-playing college student that has sent you a holiday greeting the past several years. My college classes still happily dominate much of my time (well, usually happily). Two additional highlights of my year were an Elderhostel in Utah with my mother in September, and participating in Annandale's triathlon as the biker in a relay team with fellow over-50 high school classmates. (That's the 1964 class of Maine Township High School West -- yea! rah!) My friends came in from Illinois, Indiana, and New York to compete along side the serious athletes, and they were delighted to be part of this big event in our small town.

The enclosed picture shows us in the British Virgin Islands on our second family sailing trip. Being cooped up on a 45' boat without a television demands serious bonding, but it was great -- again. The weather was grand (even better than last year), and we had good winds and lots of laughs. We even got in some scuba diving. We were competent sailors last year, and now I would call us confident sailors too. John says that any two of the three kids (I've got to find a better word for our young adults...progeny?) will suffice for crew, and who knows what everyone will be doing next summer.

Lincoln, Nebraska, and Los Angeles, California, (and soon Maine?) are awfully far away, but if we continue to have such good times when we are together I won't complain a bit. We have been truly blessed.

This Christmas will find us in Minnesota without any extended family under our roof for the first time ever. One more indication of changing times! But we hope that all of our family and friends, wherever they are, may enjoy a wonderful holiday season.



The Bishops wish you
Peace, Love and Joy
in 1998 and always,


John, Jill,
Sara, Shannon, and Jefferson


 E-mail John at <jbishop@lkdllink.net>; Jill at <jwbishop@lkdllink.net>;
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