Our happiest moment of the year came in the evening of May 29, when our third
granddaughter, Iona, was born. David and Patty, who have been married for 11 years, are just
delighted with their baby, who is now a cheerful enchanting six-month old.
Forty years ago, in July 1967, we moved to Anchorage for an adventure. We assumed then that
we would move back to the lower 48 after Dick’s two-year commitment with the U.S.
Geological Survey was filled. Well, the adventure continues. So many people our age tell us the
same thing. They moved here many years ago fully expecting to stay temporarily. At that time the
government was transferring many people here for two-year stints. All of us have the same story.
We just fell in love with Alaska and can-not imagine living anywhere else. We never tire of the
spectacular mountain and ocean scenery, the lush summers with endless daylight, the cold dark
snowy winters, our cozy beloved cabin, our group of close friends, the continual adventures in
hiking, canoeing, biking, and cross-country skiing.
Although we truly love Alaska, we do leave to travel. In April we met a group of old friends in
the color-ful canyon country of southeastern Utah for our annual fun hiking trip. In July we spent
a week in Madi-son, Wisconsin. We attended Dick’s 50th (!) high school reunion and visited his
relatives. In November we went to Big Island of Hawaii. We spent part of the time in a quaint,
secluded cottage across from the ocean, southeast of Hilo. We could walk to a secret lagoon
that had fantastic snorkeling. We also went to the west side of the island and stayed in an old
fishing boat that had been converted to a snug cottage. It had been hauled up high above the
ocean and now sits in a jungle of trees and flowers. We saw glorious sunsets every night from
our back “deck.” On Liska’s 65th birthday, we hiked down the mile-long super steep road (25
percent grade) to the spectacular Waipio Valley. After wandering around the valley, we ate a
picnic lunch by the ocean and then slowly climbed straight back up the steep 1,000 feet. Our
good friends from Palo Alto, Candace and Ramu, were also on the Big Island and that night
treated us to a delicious birthday dinner. It was a great first day of “senior citizenship” for Liska.
This year Christmas will be very different for us. Dick will be here with the family, but Liska is
going to Israel. Our niece Rachel is getting married in Jerusalem on December 27, and Liska will
be at the wed-ding with some other family members. She also plans to visit a close friend who
lives in Ramallah on the West Bank with her Palestinian husband and young daughter.
Our family continues to thrive. David and Patty have settled into parenthood. David continues as
a pro-grammer for Geographic Information System maps and Patty is now a supervisor with the
disabilities section of the Social Security Administration. Gary teaches high school science and
math. Heather is not only a full-time mom, but also president of their local neighborhood
Community Council and is on the Mayor’s Budget Advisory committee. Their two daughters,
Tazlina 5½ and Marley 2½, are so happy with their new cousin Iona, and can’t wait for her to
get older, so they can dress her up in costumes.
The recent untimely deaths of three of Liska’s closest friends her age have reminded us again
about the fragility of life and how grateful we are for every day. We so much appreciate our
loving family, our good health, and our fulfilling lives.