I have so enjoyed "annual family status reports" received from friends and relatives at this time of year in the past that I'm trying it out myself this year. First, let me start off with a hearty, "BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON," to all.
Since November 19th of 1959, when Craig Cameron was born, we have been a family of five. Christopher Chase (3 1/2) and Claudia Catherine (6) are the other children, with Mary and myself completing the roster. A split level house in Forest Park (a suburban development about 5 miles north of Cincinnati) is the place we call home. At the present time we are all healthy and happy and sharing the childrens anticipation and excitement about Christmas.
A year ago, things were not as settled. Mary and Craig came home from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving. I took "vacation" to help Mary at home. With an "innocence is bliss attitude" prepared a huge turkey. About the time I got a dozen eggs, a quart of oysters, a dishpan full of breadcrumbs and all the sage I could find in the house mixed together for the stuffing, I began to have a few misgivings. For the first attempt, the results were nearly amazing...the bird was delectable.
With the hubbub connected with adjusting family routine to a new baby, last Christmas was kind of hectic. But for the young ones, it was the culmination of their weeks long dreams. For Mary and me, it was somewhat of an anti-climax since our big present (Craig) had already arrived.
Between weather, work, and the baby, we saw little outside activity during the winter. Occasional weekend evenings playing bridge with friends furnished diversion and pleasant entertainment during those months.
The arrival of Mom and Dad Reed en route from Florida to Beulah was an indication (even more welcome than the first robin) that spring was coming. They parked their trailer at a nearby court and stayed about three days. Bridge, visiting, and resting was the comfortable, unhurried, unharrassed agenda.
The first of July we took our vacation. Mom Stoelt volunteered to care for Craig. Since there seemed to be adequate and eager hands to help her, we left him with his Grandma in Detroit, thus enabling Mary to have something of a vacation too. The rest of us went on to Beulah for about ten days. What with Crystal Lake to swim in, cousins to play with, and ideal weather all the time, we all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Mary and I took a day by ourselves to drive up to the Straits of Mackinac to see the bridge. This added to our pleasure and Claudia and Chris enjoyed their day with Aunt Jane, Uncle Lewis, Dorcas, Cherith and Teresa.
On and off for many months, Claudia had been troubled with tonsillitis. She had a tonsillectomy in August that hospitalized her for a day. Several more days were spent recuperating, but by the time school started this fall she was raring to go.
Since she had attended the Forest Park Cooperative Nursery for two years, she was eager to start kindergarten. It seems to be everything hoped for since she enjoys it, and what's even more important, is actually learning a fascinating number of things. "Like a duck to water," would be the proverbial description of her adjustment to her first formal schooling.
Chris, in retrospect, seems to have had a mischievous, but rather uneventful year. The most significant event seems to be the day he arose early and busied himself in the kitchen. Goodness knows what he was making, but when one dumps popcorn, sugar, flour, cake mix (chocolate), cleanser, and Cheerios in a pile and mixes it up, it is best described by a four letter word (or a series of them). Although extremely upset about such activities, I am reminded of similar actions of my own some 25 years ago and am therefore inclined to be tolerant (after disciplinary action, though.)
Craig has been occupying himself by cutting teeth (ten of them already) and learning to walk. He's not yet walking without hanging on, but it's going to be a toss up between whether he walks first or cuts another tooth.
Until recently I had occupied my spare time serving as President of the Forest Park Cooperative Nursery Center for children in the area. The organization employs a teacher, rents quarters, and has daily classes (organized play) for preschool age children. The mother-members assist the teacher two or so at a time on a scheduled basis. My activities with the nursery school permitted me to become acquainted with many other families in the area. I found the job to be quite interesting even though we didn't have a child in the nursery school this fall. I resigned last month since I'd filled the post for a year and was beginning to find it difficult to devote the time necessary to do the job.
My regular job is in the Marketing section of General Electric Co. where I assist with selling improvements on one type of the large jet engines we make here. My primary responsibility is for the engines used on the B-58 Hustler bomber, but my duties are only limited to jet engines which the US Air Force orders (as opposed to US Navy, foreign, commercial airline and turboshaft engines). The work is interesting, challenging, and enjoyable.
Thanksgiving this year was spent with relatives on Mary's side of the family in Lake Orion, Michigan. With 15 adults and 6 children we sure had a big meal. Everything worked out beautifully and it far surpassed my attempts at "turkey with trimmings" the year before.
Well, that's the year in review. I hope you feel better acquainted now. To complete the picture, we're sending along a family portrait taken about a month ago. Wish we could drop in in person. It would be much more fun to say,
"MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR."