Holiday Newsletters 

December, 1998

Holiday Greetings, Family and Friends!

The big change at the Bishops this year is the empty nest. Jefferson went off to college, and now we are two. It would be nice if all the kids lived closer, but we adjusted to it much faster than we thought we would and it=s really just fine that they aren=t actually under our roof full time. Life is so much simpler!

Now the five Bishops live in four different states, but we were able to gather several times in 1998. There were two graduations, Shannon=s from Occidental College and Jefferson=s from Annandale High School, and of course everyone always tries hard not to miss Annandale=s 4th of July. We had our Thanksgiving turkey in a Des Moines, Iowa, restaurant, but at least we were all together, and we also managed to fit in another family sailing trip in August. It=s amazing how well family members can arrange their schedules around sailing!

Sara is completing her second full year at Aliant Communications in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she has been since college. She now lives in a house with two good friends from Lincoln who are sisters. She enjoys her job and her roommates but would like to live in a state other than Nebraska. Of course I=m hoping that when you hear from us next Christmas I=ll be reporting that she is back in Minnesota. This empty nest is okay, but I would definitely prefer having everyone within reasonable driving distance.

Shannon graduated from Occidental College in May and stayed in Los Angeles to work. Although she has enjoyed her movie production work (mostly props), she=s done other things to help keep a roof over her head; some nannying, clerical work, and work as an extra in a movie with Drew Barrymore. She=s having a good time, and this is what she wants to be doing right now.

Jefferson is at Grinnell College in Iowa, Sara=s alma mater, where he has been in football and basketball. He really enjoyed playing on their winning football team with its 10-0 record. Oh, yes ...academics. He liked two of his four courses a lot, political science and economics, both potential majors, but he had nothing good to say about biology. [How can that be? That=s Shannon=s and my major!] One aspect of Grinnell that is somewhat different than when Sara started there five years ago is his regular use of Email to keep in touch with his friends back in high school. Back then only college students had Email.

I=m getting close to the end of my own college classes. My final thesis/project is a community website, so I=ve been glued to the computer even more than usual, but it feels like a good fit: community plus computers. I=ve also been playing more clarinet this year. I played an obligato part for an 8th grade choir concert, and I started teaching clarinet to young family friend, but the mainstay of my playing continues to be Community Band.

John is constantly challenged trying to keep on top of all the changes in the telecommunications industry. Competition is fierce, and survival is the goal. (I=m personally appreciative that Lakedale is an Internet Service Provider; it will come in handy with my community website project.) His golf and yardwork seasons are now over, and although he put our boats in storage long ago, as we look out the window in late December we see fishermen in boats rather than the usual fish houses on a frozen lake. It seems questionable right now that John will get to use his snowmobile this year.

As Christmas day draws near and John and I await the arrival of the kids back home, we are appreciating this unseasonably mild weather (thank you La Nia) and listening to impeachment proceedings. We used to just talk about the kids and their activities, but this year our topics of conversation have branched out into politics, world affairs, and, as always, technology. Government leaders have helped out by keeping the political scene interesting. Thanks, Bill and Jesse!

As we appreciate our many blessings (including the usually empty nest!) we are thinking of you and wishing you all the best in 1999 and beyond.


Have a Happy Holiday Season!

John, Jill, Sara, Shannon, and Jefferson

Email John at ( Jill at (