Greetings from the Jaffes! We hope you all continue to be happy, healthy, and productive. It’s been another year gone by fast!
Jill’s in her junior year of high school and very busy with a pretty intense schedule. Cody started junior high and has gotten into the “routine” of multiple classes, teachers, lockers, and “dressing out” for P. E.
Cody wrapped up his elementary school years this past spring and we all bid goodbye to Patwin Elementary which was particularly nostalgic for me. (Jill had started first grade there when the school first opened.) We’ve been at Patwin for all but Cody’s 5th grade year when he attended another elementary school across town. It was hard to say goodbye to a lot of the staff and teachers I have become good friends with over the years. Cody, however, was happy to “graduate” from sixth grade and move on to junior high. He was busy this summer with a drama class, a comic book drawing class, and summer Aquadarts (swimming). He had a very low-key birthday party in late July prior to our vacation back east but the kids all enjoyed themselves.
Jill finished up her sophomore year of high school-gladly-and took a job this past summer working as a swimming instructor’s aide at the new pool in town. She was pretty tan by summer’s end as well!! She also continued with her job at the bakery at the Saturday Davis Farmer’s Market. She sporadically took babysitting jobs when they fit in with everything else. So, she was very busy too.
We had a good vacation traveling back east to NYC for one week in early August. The second week we visited Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In NYC, we visited Rory’s cousin, Aron, and his family in White Plains which was really nice. Listening to their suggestions, we took the Circle Line tour of Manhattan which was wonderful. We also went to the top of the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (incredible!), Central Park-Imagine/Strawberry Fields/John Lennon Memorial for Beth, Greenwich Village, Times Square-MTV gift shop for Jill and Cody, and the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island museum, among other places. A very wild thing that happened there was running into friends from Davis while on Ellis Island!!! It’s definitely becoming a very small world! We also visited Malcolm Forbes’ mini-museum with all his toys and expensive “Faberge egg” collection. That’s a very small but impressive place to visit. On a more somber note, we visited Ground Zero after seeing Ellis Island. It was very moving to me to see the old St. Paul’s Church which is only a block away from the WTC complex area. (Mayor Rudy Giuliani talked about how this old church barely but miraculously survived total destruction-all the debris fell in the opposite direction.) There’s a black wrought iron fence that surrounds the church and is covered with all kinds of mementos, notes, and cards from people all over the country and world lending their support to the citizens of NYC. There were t-shirts and caps from firefighters all across the country, police officers, notes from school children, sympathy cards, and photos of the missing-civilians, firefighters, police officers as well. It was a very touching display. I got teary-eyed looking at it.
We enjoyed the beautiful beaches in Maine as well as the fabulous seafood!! We purchased a cute cupola and weather vane for our home and had it shipped back. (It looks very nice over our garage roof now and reminds us of our time on the East coast.) New Hampshire and Vermont were both gorgeous and green—charming and quaint little towns with very pretty state parks and lakes. We also visited my neighbor and friend’s parents vacation cabin in New Hampshire. It was all so different from our adventures in NYC but a welcome change from the pace of the city. Jill and Cody tried hard to get us to consider buying a vacation home on the Maine coast. It’s tempting to consider!!
This fall, we’ve been busy again with more home projects-just when I thought the big ones were over!!! We repainted the outside of our house and have been replacing windows and old drafty doors with more solid French doors and windows. My painter informed me that the house really needs new gutters and a new roof too-next year!! On a more fun note, with a teen driver in the house anxious to have her own vehicle, I decided it was time, after 12 years, to get myself a new car. I never thought I’d get excited again about a buying another car but I was wrong!!! I really have enjoyed my new Honda. I got a new, white Honda Civic Hybrid. It gets ~45 mpg. Jill loves to run errands with it and her friends-but she gets the old van as her run-around car even though she’d much rather have my new Honda!! I do let her take it out from time to time which she enjoys.
Rory has been traveling a lot this year—Washington D. C., San Francisco, San Diego, and New Orleans among other places. He’s had some rather disastrous business trip experiences but has taken them in stride. I told him he needs to make himself a business trip survival kit!! We also keep hoping to find that property in the mountains, hopefully in the Nevada City area, for our little get-away cabin. We’ve been looking a lot but still haven’t found exactly what we want and have more looking to do. The kids would love to have a place to hang out in between going up and snowboarding. In addition, I’ve been busy with endless parent meetings at the schools and volunteering in various ways. I work out very regularly and lift weights which has made me feel better and stronger. I also really enjoy both my book groups and have made great friends with the women in them. The list of books (for both my clubs) we’re reading will be included in this web page too.
As I end this note for another year, we all wish you a wonderful 2003! Enjoy each other and treasure all the moments!
Have a great Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year!