Roe Family 2011 Christmas Letter
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Halloween storm
Halloween in New England

The major story this year was the weather: record January snowfall, tornados in June, tropical storms in August and September, a Halloween snowstorm and a record rainfall for the year at 50% above normal. Our power was out for three days in August, but the worst for us was the Halloween storm with loss of power for a week and major tree damage as the leaves had not yet fallen. We were fortune to only have minor roof damage and are still waiting for the brush piles and the 'widowmakers' hanging from the oaks to be removed. But we survived and can't wait to see what 2012 brings.

Ilsa Depew Roe
Ilsa Depew Roe
(1912-2011)

Mom passed on September 12, a month shy of her 99th birthday and almost the same date that Dad passed seven years ago. It was time and on some level she seemed ready. How the world changed during her lifetime. At her birth women couldn't vote, automobiles, airplanes and talking movies were curiosities and outdoor plumbing was still common. She was the first in the family to graduate from college and the only one to play a varsity sport - women's basketball. Her bio is online.

The funeral was a rare opportunity to bring her five grandchildren and their spouses together and she would have enjoyed that. They loved borrowing their grandchildren for a weekend giving us welcome breaks.

Ziplining
The Ciesinski clan and friends ziplining

Daughter Donna continues to work as a teacher in the prison system, chauffeuring her kids after work. She'll be retiring soon with twenty years in the system. In her mid forties she's still resisting Father Time with exercise, softball and tennis. She'll learn that at some point we have to yield gracefully.

Our oldest granddaughter Annie is 15 and a sophomore in high school, while Katie is 14 and a freshman. Both girls are on the robotics team with Annie as co-captain this year. They'll travel to Richmond, VA in March for a competition. Adam at 11 started middle school and plays some variation of Dungeons & Dragons collecting Magic cards. They are all addicted to electronic gadgets as are most of their generation.

Son Mark is putting in long hours at Lego again this year as they are one of the few companies doing well in this economy. After years as an independent contractor they required him to become a regular employee this year. It means less money but more benefits. In June he visited the main plant in Denmark and is required to travel for some events. Like his sister he plays softball and basketball with the same intensity as ten years ago. He and Debbie vacationed in Washington and British Columbia this year. Each Christmas his card humorously chronicles their year. You can read them all here.

Rockport
Rockport's famous Motif #1

Jan and I continue to stay healthy and that's a big plus. Our only real getaways this year were to Bennington, VT in June and to Rockport, MA in October. Rather than being on the road continuously we now tend to rent a nice spot and take day trips from there. We didn't get back to New Jersey at all.

Labyrinth Build
The 'boss' supervises a summer cookout

Jan continues to do scrap booking with one group of friends and Wednesday excursions for lunch with another group. In between she plays family matriarch. The girls love a day out with Grandma when she takes them shopping at the outlet malls.

I started a new website and e newsletter this year covering the Tankerhoosen River valley we live in. It's only five miles long but much of the area has been protected, its full of history and criss crossed with hiking trails. It's been fun and drew me into town politics and networking with local groups. Also a good excuse for hiking and photographing the area.

Labyrinth Build
Alliance Farmers' Market Wellness Fair
Free raffle ticket?

I had to cut back on my holistic website ConsciousCT as a result of the Tankerhoosen effort, but still update it quarterly and send an e newsletter. Co-produced our fifth bi-annual two day Vernon Holistic Healthfest in March. The weather cooperated and we had a good turnout. It's a unique event in that the holistic community partners with the town. Also continued to work with a holistic health organization providing opportunities for education. We do monthly free workshops, community service projects and put on a holistic wellness fair in October for the Coventry Farmers' Market, the largest market in the state.

My email address is [email protected]. Jan rarely checks hers, but you can reach her through me. I'm also on Facebook, although I don't use it for anything other than keeping up with the younger members of the family.

Jon & Jan   

Adam Annie Katie Donna & Mark Mark & Debbie Jon & Jan
Adam
Annie
Katie
Donna & Mark
Mark & Debbie
Jon & Jan

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