1999 Pictures Holiday Newsletters
Happy Holidays- 1999
The Bishop family has always been on the go, but Shannon took the prize this year when she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Africa. We're really missing her this Christmas season, but families do grow and change. All three kids moved twice in 1999, and John and I did our share of traveling too.
Sara moved to Washington, D.C. in January to work at the United States Telephone Association (USTA) as their Planning and Policy Coordinator. Then in August she moved back to Minnesota (yea -- finally!) to start her MBA at the Carlson School of Management (at the U of M). While Sara was in Washington all of us visited her at various times, and she was a great tour guide to our countrys capital. It is an impressive place and made me very proud of my country.
Shannon moved back from Los Angeles to Annandale in June for the three months prior to entering the Peace Corps. Her 27-month commitment as a rural health care volunteer in Senegal, West Africa, will last until December, 2001. She has mastered French and is working on Pular, the language spoken in her village, and recently she had her first experience of drawing water from a well and carrying it home on her head. If you are online and would like to read about her experiences you can go to our "Shannon in Senegal" website at the address below.
Jefferson moved home for the summer between his first and second years at Grinnell College. His summer job this year was selling cellular telephones at Cellular 2000 in St. Cloud. At Grinnell he is majoring in economics and playing both football and basketball.
John and I flew across the Pacific in February to go sailing in Australia. Even though spending ten days on a 50 boat with eight people in rainy weather doesnt sound like a good time, it was. The couple that we barely knew when we started we now know very well.! We saw a reef shark while snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, we saw wild wallabies, and people there really do say "gday."
The five Bishops sailed in the Grenadines in August this year, our 4th family sailing trip. All sailing trips are good, but our appreciation of this one was almost palpable with the knowledge of Shannons upcoming departure for Africa.
Holidays are different now that the family has grown. Christmas will feel a little empty without Shannon around, and since Sara now lives nearby in Minneapolis she probably wont sleep under our roof too many nights. Thanksgiving was spent in Colorado Springs where Jefferson had a basketball tournament. That was different. The aging process must have caused me to forget how Easter was spent, but I do remember July 4th when all of Jeffersons friends from both Grinnell and Annandale descended upon us.
Another special event in July was a visit from the Williams family, my family. In earlier years we met at Christmas time, but this year we gathered here, agreeing that July is a much more inviting time than December to be in Minnesota. Although we grew up in the mid-west (IL) they all now live in warmer climates (CA, TN, FL) and were happy to play on a wave-runner rather than a snowmobile.
Without kids around as much, John and I have had to find out what life is all about without them to dominate our existence. Actually, we find the peace and quiet is very nice.
This year I finally finished my degree, a Masters of Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota. My thesis project was a community website called "Annandale Online," and maintaining it keeps me busy now that Im done with school. That task isnt as demanding as school, however, so I have time to do other things, many of them still computer related, ever the technogeek. I teach a class for Community Education in Annandale called Computer First Timers, and with Annandales website as my main vocation, it seems Ive filled the empty nest with community related activities. I still play clarinet in Annandales Community Band, and in April I traveled to China as a substitute clarinetist with the St. Cloud Municipal Band. My personal highlight of the trip was walking on the Great Wall.
John golfed less in 1999 but went to more meetings. Just as he finished his stint as chair of the Community Health Foundation of Wright County he began as chair of the Economic Development Partnership of Wright County. He is also a director of a new group of mutual funds managed by Bremer Banks and a director of the Sprint PCS affiliate that will start serving Minnesota by June.
We appear to be heading into our third mild winter. The ground has only been white for one brief morning, and on a recent day the temperature was 65o above the record low. As we start the new millennium are we headed for a new weather pattern too? Millennial beginnings abound. Annandale got its first stoplight the same year it got a website.
Just so you know that there were a few wrinkles in our year, in 1999 our dog died, I had knee surgery, John upgraded his hearing aids about 5 times, and Johns 97-year-old mother broke her hip. Of course I wont be sharing the really juicy stories with you right now. Still, 1999 has been a very good year, and we appreciate our abundant blessings as we wish you
A Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful Beginning to the New Millennium
John and Jill Bishop