I’m getting an early start on the Christmas Letter this year, relatively speaking. Another year gone by in the blink of an eye. The old folks say that time goes faster and faster, which does seem to be true. I guess that means I’m one of them now!. Anyway, I have a theory that this is because the more we have lived and done, the fewer new things there are to experience. It’s the new things that make time slow down and become memorable in ways that a re-run never can. But enough philosophy.
Monica and I recently became empty-nesters again: David has moved back out into his own place. He lives all the way in the middle of College Station now, miles from where we Bryan dwellers normally turn around and flee from the infestation of college students in the burg to the south. Dave has been working full-time at a local HVAC company for a good while now and seems to have good career prospects in front of him. This despite what this snow-pocalyptic pic implies about global warming:
In other employment news, Monica left her position at TEEX – the engineering extension service – to work in the Chemistry department at TAMU. This has been a good move for her as her new position is less stressful and her co-workers more collegial. The university has its share of drama, of course, but she is somewhat buffered from most of the machinations that go on in the upper echelons.
On the home front, the Mrs. was subjected to an MRI this very day. She now has a bum knee as the result of a slip-and-fall at a local Texas-based grocery store. A more litigious couple could have cashed in on that unfortunate incident. Perhaps we would have done so if her symptoms had been more apparent at the time. Results forthcoming.
For my part, I put a lot of effort into fighting off Father Time this year, upping my workout count, taking 20-30 mile bike rides most Saturdays this summer, and dieting quite strictly.
After 6 unpleasant months, I lost 50 pounds and feel more like myself again. I don’t see myself running any more marathons, but I did do a 10K this fall with a friend from the office.
Work-wise, I soldier on at the A&M System where we just went live with a 3 year project to re-platform the enterprise financial software from the old IBM mainframe to Windows servers. Although my role on this effort was secondary (thank God), it was a long, stressful last year to get to this point where the team is finally able to re-trench, see that things are working and that we are mostly fine, and start to chill out.
Related to employment burnout, after 3 years of mostly stay-cations and shorter getaways, we recently applied for our passports in hopes of taking a longer vacation overseas this summer. No firm plans yet, but Spain has emerged as a promising destination. To that end I’ve worked up an 83-day streak on Duolingo, a language teaching app. At this point I am able to ask how many computers are in the university library, a question which will no doubt come in handy.
For fun, Monica and I continued to search out good live music as a first choice for weekend entertainment. One might think that a college town would supply a steady stream of quality gigs and that is occasionally – but not continually – true. The venue at Lake Bryan is pretty nice and has a good band from time to time. We are more likely to visit Brenham or Plantersville to get our music fix. Our top find is a band from Austin called as Madam Radar. If playing actual music were still a quick path to fame, y’all might hear about them, but rock-and-roll isn’t the draw it used to be.
One highlight for the year was our Spring Break trip when we spent 2 outstanding evenings at Katie’s blues bar in Bacliff, a Houston-adjacent town. Good tunes that night from a Houston band called Funksion!
From there we headed south and visited Rockport for the first time:
Foodie alert: We ate back-to-back dinners at the 495 Chesapeake restaurant in Rockport – outstanding!
We spent time there again in September and took in Port Aransas, which has a nicer beach scene than Rockport or Galveston, with which we are somewhat familiar.
Our boys write their own Christmas letters now, so I’ll say here only that we are the proud grandparents of 5 boys 5 and under and holding steady at that count for now. All are doing well and growing up quickly. It won’t be long until Oren is off to school and the others will follow soon enough.
Dad and Sharon are here on their annual winter visit and we plan to spend Christmas with the Moore Dynasty here in town. Prior to that we hope to do a quick in-and-out to Austin to visit the rest of the Texas Moores – Kristin and Erin live there with their families – and Andy and Vera.
Until next year, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!