A year of variety, a year of contrasts.
For the family, it was the summer of our long-awaited European tour - early enough to catch Mike while he is still living with us, late enough to make sense for Karen. We hiked the tops of the Alps, and along the coast of the Mediterranean. We wandered through castles and other symbols of power, from the German Rhine, to Venice’s Doge’s Palace, to Rome’s ruins and churches. We visited the birthplace of modern science (Florence) and a place at the forefront - the European center for high energy physics research (CERN).
And then also, there was our 100-degree change in temperature on Christmas day, from -20 in Minneapolis, to 80 degrees at Key Largo in Florida. We wandered the streets of Key West with all its colorful people, to snorkeling along the coral reefs among its colorful creatures. We drove the populous highway, and canoed the quiet mangrove swamp.
Pat started the year working at a local small network computer company (netStar) that was slowly inching its way into profitability, and ended the year absorbed into the roller-coaster, high growth, gold-rush mentality, California-based company, Ascend Communications. Still in charge of the same software engineering effort, so supposedly her job hasn’t changed much, but we know better.
On most days, Dave hangs out in his home office fielding calls and writing software for his eclectic mix of clients (‘cradle to table’… what is the pedigree of that hamburger your holding?). Other days the answering machine fills in while he is helping out at the grade school media center, or shepherding the two OM teams (yes, we’re coaching Karen’s team now as well) towards their rendezvous with the judges on March 15.
Mike is busy applying at colleges, with many opportunities opened up to him due to his National Merit status, yet still enjoys getting Star Wars toys from his sister for Christmas. We can’t convince him to methodically practice the viola, yet he has volunteered to play in three different orchestras.
We find Tom in front of the computer, either playing or working, but he is equally comfortable in the middle of the horde of teenagers in our house every Friday night. His Calculus friends come over and they bake French delicacies in our kitchen.
Karen enjoys curling up with her bunny and a book, but also thrives on stage, performing in a play. She is hard to motivate to go on a bike ride, but yet is a fearless defender on the soccer field. Karen manages her growing zoo of reptiles, hamsters, fish, and rabbits, yet also tends our ever-expanding pet cemetery (Our dear 18-year old cat, Nash, passed away last July ).
So we have not achieved peace and solitude - our lives are as hectic as ever. Challenge and adventure are common threads, but not lots of spare time. You probably noticed this letter is a bit late, yet somehow we managed to find time to set up a homepage for the family - find us at www.borchert.com, and you can always send mail to any of us at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. We always answer our email, but sometimes forget to empty our mailbox.
Lots of love from all of us, and drop us a line, or find us when you are nearby - we love to spend time with family and friends, and really do prefer seeing people to sitting in front of computers!!!