1998

Bowers and Lott 1998 Family Newsletter (crushingly dull)

January:

Celebrated Chinese New Year with D&BW and their children Alison and Caroline, both adopted from China; they had picked up Caroline only weeks before. Also saw HK and CG and their children Emily and Alexander. Took all these children to see Tom Chapin. Mine were too old, the others were too young, but the adults thought it was fun.

Went to my cousin AM’s wedding to BG in Long Island. It was quite the party.

February:

Spent a weekend at the Prague Inn in Lake Placid, NY. Skiied our butts off for the two best skiing days possible at ` Whiteface <http://orda.org/whiteface.shtml>`_, The Olympic Mountain. Sunny and pushing 70 on Saturday, cloudy and pushing 50 on Sunday; two feet of new snow had arrived the previous Tuesday. It was big mountain fun.

March:

Took #1 son to play splatball for his birthday. JC was in town for some Oracle DBA training, and stopped by to visit. Went skiing at Gore with E&EJ and their kids. Fog was intense. Since I’d only skiied Gore a few times before, I was utterly lost all day, but it was still fun.

Aprille:

AS and CC stopped by for a weekend. CC helped me check out a boat for sale.

Took the plunge, bought an 18 ft. ‘72 Chrysler Buccaneer (KaDiMa). Then, I bought the standard blue tarp, bungees, PFD’s, a paddle, a new painter, a clevis pin, an owner’s manual for the Sears Gamefisher 1.75 HP motor. Now I’m ready for some big damn fun.

May:

Went sailing Saturday and Monday of Memorial day weekend. Saturday was breezy and difficult. Monday was dead flat calm.

Bought line, anchor, chain, teak, plywood, silicone adhesive/sealant, cheek blocks, furling hooks, eyes, more line, jam cleats, more eyes, stainless steel bolts, nuts, washers, brass screws, telltales, a wind direction indicator, grommets, 2-stroke oil, marine bearing grease, SAE-90 gearbox oil. Am I having fun yet?

June:

Went sailing (June 6 and 21). The 6th was gusty, the 21st was very calm, but we still went miles down the lake. It rained the weekend of the 13th and 14th.

Went diving weekend of June 26. “What the lake gods giveth, the lake gods taketh away.” KC and I found my third anchor. It was severly wedged in some rocks (the lake gods taketh), but I worked it loose and KC lugged it back to shore (the lake gods giveth away). Note above in May where I bought an anchor (the lake gods taketh).

Bought more line, wiring for the trailer, Dacron patches for the sails, more cleats, more stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers. If this isn’t fun, what is?

July:

Sailing on Saratoga Lake (4th), saw the official 4th of July parade.

Kids went to Skye Farm for a week.

Family went camping and sailing on ` Paradox Lake <http://www.park-net.com/usa/ny/para/index.html>`_ (11th). Very, very windy. Camping was great. Sailing, I suffered a couple of knockdowns (hull vertical, water coming in over the lee rail and filling the cockpit, everything not lashed down afloat). That was fun in only the most abstract “life itself is fun because you’re not dead or injured” kind of way.

August:

In-laws came to visit for most of the month, they took the kids out for some ` hiking <#Kids>`_ . Took family out for a little sailing on Saratoga lake in the 15th. Did well after enduring my knockdowns in July.

Had a parent-child golf tournament. My father-in-law, his daughter against me and my son. To me, the implications were staggering. I’m so old my son is not just a little kid tagging along while the grown-ups play golf. That was fun in a strange Disney-esque “circle of life” kind of way.

Nephew Winsor O. Jewell born.

September:

Went to Rehoboth Beach Delaware for a most-of-the-clan vacation (14 of us in a beach house). Took the Cape May-Lewes Ferry . That was pretty cool. Also, drank heavily at the Dogfish Head Brewpub.

Went sailing in the Indian River Inlet . I could tell from the nautical charts that I was in over my head – tidal current, river current, shoals, etc. Went to the Glimmerglass regatta on Otsego lake. After seeing everyone else’s skills, I could tell I was in over my head.

Wife and I went with my mother to the annual Old Fart’s Canoe camp at Paradox Lake . After seeing the old folks canoeing on the lakes and steams, we realized we were in over our heads. The fall camping was so much fun, we went back to weeks later with the kids.

October:

Visit R&BR (and Max and A.J.) in Syracuse, picked apples, ate cider donuts. Played Mah Jongg, hoping to win back our travel money, but failed.

Client sent me to the Siebel 99 (an Enterprise Relationship Management package) conference near San Francisco, CA. So I dropped in on CF (whom I had seen only once in the last 15 years). He was kind enough to put me up for a night. Coincidentally, DT from Syracuse was in San Francisco for an unrelated event that very same week. The finger of the almighty was on us saying “kelp forests.” So the three of us drove down to Monterey to go diving in the Pacific. Big surf fun doing the “California Crawl” up the beach.

Hannah decided to try basketball as a sport. She’s got the height, and the speed. Since her brother towers over her, she has an opportunity to improve. Her team was undefeated as of Dec 21; how’s that for fun?

November:

Job offers from all over. Really. Me. What a stress-inducer. For 20 years I’ve done what I was told to do. Now everyone is asking me “what do you want to do with your life?” How’s remaining employed as a goal? Not good enough. I settled for the old, familiar CTG. And they offered me obscene piles of money. Money is fun.

Xander’s found a new Viola teacher. I tricked him into playing some fiddle music so I could play along on the bass. He can sight read in the treble clef (not the usual clef for viola). With Hannah on drums, I’ve got a jug band. Blue-grass can be as much fun as rock-n-roll.

December:

Played Joseph in the church holiday play – my wife said it was “almost a one-hankie performance.” I guess it could have been fun if there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I’m not a real actor, I only play one in church.

Kids at John Boyd Thatcher State Park

Kids at John Boyd Thatcher State Park