Carlyn is home for the holidays – she drove by herself from Cleveland, where she’s in her junior year at Cleveland Institute of Music. It was the first time she made the trip alone. Well, she wasn’t quite alone –she drove with her cello, her constant companion! We’ve been enjoying some nice family time – she lets us know what she wants to do with her semester break. “Let’s get the tree,” she said on Saturday. With the tree tied to the roof of Lory’s station wagon Carlyn said, “When I was growing up I always felt lucky to celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah. Some of my Jewish friends told me they felt kind of deprived – they didn’t have a tree, and all the other things that go with Christmas.”
Lory responded, “We have Frank to thank for that!”
Carlyn is preparing for her junior recital, scheduled for late January, so she initiated the idea of doing a benefit concert here at the church, which we’ve scheduled for Saturday, January 7 at 4 p.m. She chose the Connecticut Food Bank to be the recipient of food or money donations. Carlyn has done a few recitals here over the years, as well as playing for Sunday services, but it’s been awhile. Lory and I are looking forward to her upcoming concert. It would be nice to see you there.
Last night Lory, Carlyn, Jonathan, Rosie and I drove to Southbury, Massachusetts, to the Vienna Inn where we had a pre-Christmas dinner with my daughter Sue and her husband Chip, and my grandchildren, Alex and Hannah, and their significant others, Vasi and Chris. What a treat!
Hannah is a senior at Hampshire College where she’s a dance major, and her companion Chris is a junior at Berkley School of Music.
Alex graduated from Hampshire last year where he majored in organic chemistry, and he’s working in his field, learning a lot. The on-the-job training is priceless. He’s glad to be employed, of course. He’s planning to start graduate work within the next few years, supported in part by the company he’s working for.
My daughter Sue, who has a graduate degree in expressive therapies, is now in a low-residency graduate writing program at Vermont College. She’ll be spending a couple of weeks there stringing sentences together at the end of this month.
Chip is Vice President of Hittite Microwave Corporation – he’s been with that company for about twenty years, helping it grow from a few engineers to over 400 employees. He opened offices in Germany, Japan, China and Norway.
Lory and I feel very fortunate, indeed. She’s in her third year as a social worker with Vitas, a hospice care provider, working with patients and families to provide comfort and preserve dignity in the face of terminal illness. It is challenging and rewarding work.
As you can see, this is an end-of-the-year letter, which isn’t what I intended when I opened by telling you about Carlyn being home for her semester break. One thought leads to another and before you know it the letter ends, not with a bang but a period. Happy New Year!