To see the photographs that accompany this letter, just click on the blue text.
Greetings and best wishes to all our friends and family! We are blessed to report that our lucky streak continues: it’s been another good year for us and our family. Here’s our main news…
Of all this year's happenings, most exciting by far was the wedding over Labor Day weekend when Drew and Andrea tied the knot in Nevada. It was a lovely ceremony that brought people from our side of the family, many who had not convened for a while, together with our new family from Andrea's side, including a large contingent from Taiwan. We hope to have a link soon to the photographs taken by the official wedding photographer to supplement those in the link above.
The other life event within our family involved none other than Mary's brother Ken McEnery, who turned 65 and took retirement over the summer, following many years of work at Sarvis, Inc. in Jacksonville. Not one to rest on his laurels, Ken decided to become involved right away in part-time work nearby his home, as Linda continues her part-time nursing work as well. Their lightened load allows them extra time for one of their main loves – travel – and even as we write, they are in Munich on a trip that will see them into the New Year.
Also on the family front, Jim's father Mihiel and his friend Len Brondum came down to Houston in August on a side-trip before we all headed to the wedding in Nevada. We had a fine time visiting museums and such, and then we all got to enjoy the 60th birthday party that Mary threw for Jim. It featured a terrific, live rock and roll band plus food and drink galore for Jim's best birthday party ever.
Will continues his work as Director of Space Programs at the X-Prize Foundation in Washington, DC. Following the huge X-Prize competition two years ago that resulted in the $10M Ansari Prize, the foundation has launched a set of new prizes since then, and Will's job has been to write the rules for these competitions, saying exactly what has to be accomplished for the prize to be claimed. This program makes headlines several times a year – all very exciting, and Will gets to hang around a lot with famous folks like Buzz Aldrin!
Avid readers might recall that one year ago, our plans called for ringing in the New Year in New York and picture-postcardesque Ridgefield, Connecticut, where Drew was then working at Schlumberger. We are pleased to report that all of that came off as planned, starting with a romp in New York with our friend Linda DeJure and then culminating in a wonderful New Year's Eve dinner in Ridgefield at the Elms Inn and a great time in the snow. Happily, Will also made it.
After a mad dash home to Houston, we flew off after just a few hours to gorgeous Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to stay for a week at a fabulous villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There we spent a five fun-filled days with friends from Houston, with beautiful vistas, endless food, memorable sunsets, perhaps the best Rose Bowl ever, and nonstop guacamole and margaritas. We loved it so much we are going back again in February of this year, the same group of revelers.
Our second major trip was a long-planned jaunt to the Canadian Maritime, mostly Nova Scotia but with forays into New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. This was a grand trip that showed us the natural wonders of the Canadian Atlantic along with marvels ranging from the many sights of Halifax, the lush beauty of Fundy National Park, the sweeping vistas of Cape Breton (where on foot we tracked a family of moose), and what may be the best historic restoration in all of North America, the Fortress of Louisbourg.
We also had some shorter trips that were great fun, including one to Washington, DC where we took Will and his friend Megan to a long-anticipated dinner. After a nearly two-hour drive out of the city into the rolling hills of Virginia, we dined at the Inn at Little Washington, which many call one of the country's best restaurants. We also had a fine get-a-way to Corpus Christi, Texas with Ken & Linda for Thanksgiving and saw some beautiful sights along the Gulf Coast.
We had some side trips too during the year, including one to Chicago (tied into Mary’s review of Northwestern University's continuing education programs); a nostalgic trip back to New Haven for Jim's Yale reunion in April, which included a reunion with his doctoral dissertation adviser from the 1970s; a trip to the Northeast for Mary for her to review Smith College's continuing education programs; an outing to Coral Gables, Florida in October, in conjunction with one of Mary’s meetings where we got to see Mary's childhood home; Jim's trip to Lubbock (including the Buddy Holly Museum, not to be missed!); a weekend getaway jaunt for Mary's birthday at the brand-new Lost Pines Resort outside Austin; and a nice trip for Jim including Canandaigua to see his father.
Mary remains super busy at work. As she anticipated last year, her school this year was renamed the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. The school is thriving. Over a dozen new programs have been developed in the last few years, including the school's first degree program, the Master of Liberal Studies, which has enrolled nearly 100 students already. Jim continues as president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences in Washington, DC, and this year he became the Vice President of Psychology Works, also a non-profit organization in Houston.
Who knows what the future holds, but for the moment we plan to spend Christmas at home in Houston. After Christmas we head to the Northeast to ring in the 2007 New Year in Cambridge, Mass, where Drew moved a few weeks ago after his Schlumberger lab moved there to a new building near the MIT campus. There we will be with Drew, Andrea, Will, Megan, we hope others too. Looking further ahead, we also hope for a first visit to Prague, and of course Jim's annual physical examination / marathon (if his body can hold out).
We hope that you have enjoyed a healthy, rewarding 2006 and we wish you the best for 2007.
Mary McIntire & Jim Pomerantz