The Year of Demonic Possessions

It has been a year of transitions Ė not for us specifically, but for everyone around us.  We spent months with no seats in our mini-van as we tried to optimize every trip across town, picking things up, dropping things off, visits to the recycling centers, Goodwill, hauling items to garage sales, and generally trying to distribute goods where they would be used to their best advantage.

 During the spring, Pat convinced her brother Tim that it was time start fresh, so he sold his house and moved to Whitebird, Idaho, near their brother Paul.  We helped Tim clean up his house and sort through 30 years of obsolete electronics gear, and with the help of Patís brother David, packed him up and saw him off in mid-May.  He is still settling into the West, and seems to feel at home there.

Later in May, Mike and his bride Elizabeth moved into the walkout level of Daveís motherís house (Janeís house at Cedarcliff).  This was preceded by a heroic effort by Dave and his brother Bob of sorting through archives at Cedarcliff, simultaneously with a dissemination of Mike and Elizabethís original Goodwill furniture as they prepared to store many of their wedding gifts so that they could fit into half of Janeís basement.  Elizabeth continues to work at the University of Minnesota in the Psychology Department, and Mike is pursuing his dream of creating a video game company.

Then in June, we traveled to Boulder, Colorado to visit son Tom and his friend Katharina.  What did we do there (besides hike and camp in Rocky Mountain National Park with daughter Karen and her friend Nate)?  Well, of course, we moved them across town.  On a fine Monday, we took the seats out of our van (again) and moved all of Tom and Katharinaís possessions across town to a house they are sharing with other U of Colorado graduate students.  Tom is currently employed as a computer programmer at a firm that provides sophisticated development visualization (www.communityviz.com), while Katharina continues her pursuit of a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. 

Shortly after those moves settled down, we had the opportunity to manage the distribution of Patís dadís possessions, as a hyperthyroid problem accelerated his move out of his house into an apartment (with temporary housing in a hospital and nursing home along the way).  With her sister-in-law Lindaís help, Pat furnished not only Carlís new apartment, but also the basement of one nephew, the outdoor tools for a niece, the shop of another nephew, and the apartment of a friend.  Carl is now comfortably settled into Chapel View Apartments, where he enjoys both the privacy of his own place and the company of others.

 Dave and Pat have no intention of moving their possessions in 2004, but they will be moving Karen and some subset of her possessions in the fall.  This spring Karen will complete her Hopkins High School career with fond memories of time spent in the theater, singing, Destination Imagination and National Honor Society activities.  Next fall,  Karen will attend Carleton College, probably majoring in biology or chemistry.  She is going to miss the kitty-cats, but is greatly looking forward to this new adventure.

This year has, as usual, been busy and also rewarding.  Ask us sometime about various stories:  trips to San Diego to visit Jane in her winter abode; friend Mollyís wedding week; sister Dianneís 60th birthday party in Door County; Patís trip to California university technology transfer offices; Pat and Daveís hiking near Mt. Baker in Washington; Patís rejuvenating retreats with women friends.  The most striking theme, however, has been how unnecessary most possessions are, and how much of a burden they can become.  Hold onto each other, create experiences and memories together Ė these are much lighter and longer lasting as you carry them with you throughout your life.

Joyous Holidays and a very Happy New (Leap) Year to all!!