Hello family and friends,
Wow! It seems like the intervals between these yearly newsletters shrink every year. It’s time, once again, to fill you in on our lives for the last 12 months. It also gives Rory another excuse to fiddle with our web page! For those of you interested, you can access our newsletter via our website, thejaffes.org. Rory puts slideshows, favorite recipes, our current hobbies, and my book lists on the various links among other items.
Speaking of Rory, he’s had major changes in his job situation this last year. In July, he left his position as Executive Director of Medical Services for the UCs at the UC Office of the President in Oakland. It was very unexpected but it turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise. In mid-September, he was offered (and accepted) a position as Executive Director of the California Hospital Patient Safety Organization, CHPSO, in Sacramento. He has been extremely busy the last few months setting it up as well as traveling all over the state attending meetings, etc. getting CHPSO up and running. He’s been working with a group of people that he respects a lot and enjoying the shorter commute to work. That has been a huge plus as well.
As for me, I’m doing very well. Since Rory opted to retire from UC we have had no interruption in our health care which was very important to both of us since I am ¾ done with my Rituxan treatments, as of this month. I’m in remission even though I am still in the midst of treatment and my doctors are very optimistic about my long-term prognosis. I have a great medical and nursing team and have gotten great care. I still exercise regularly, walking as well as working out at our Stonegate club enjoying the company of several of the “regulars” there. I’m also still involved in my Little Book Club although decided to drop out of my Stonegate Book Club. It was a difficult decision but I will stay in touch with the women in that group regardless. They also keep me current with their book choices so I can keep up as I choose.
I was able to join Rory on a recent business trip he took to Washington DC in early November. We had a lot of fun together. We focused on visiting some new places including the Museum of the American Indian, the National Portrait Gallery, Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall and the National Gallery of Art. We also went to the top of the Washington Monument to see the view, which was pretty amazing. There was a lot of optimism in the air and work in progress in anticipation of the upcoming inauguration in January. We really enjoyed ourselves. I visited the National Gallery of Art while Rory was in a meeting and found the docent tours so fascinating. We also really enjoyed visiting Mt. Vernon with the spectacular views of the Potomac River. Anyway, I hope to travel with Rory as much as possible now that the kids are grown.
Speaking of the kids, we are so proud of both of them. We attended back-to-back graduations this past June—Cody graduating from Davis High followed immediately by Jill’s graduation from UCSB. It was hectic but fun. I got very involved working with other parents at Davis High organizing an amazing Grad Night event for our seniors. The 2008 Summer Olympic games was our theme and we used the rings in our decorations throughout. I was on the Kindergarten Wall committee and really enjoyed putting it together with the other parents. Being involved with Grad Night and working with other parents, has been one of the most rewarding and fun experiences of all the volunteering I’ve done while my kids have been in school here in Davis. (I was also involved in Jill’s high school grad night as well.) Davis parents really put their heart and soul (and some sweat too!) into working on the most amazing night for their seniors. It’s been a really wonderful event to be a part of. Hopefully, both of the kids enjoyed it too.
After graduation (with highest honors too!), Jill opted to move back home and is currently working as a paralegal for a small law firm in Sacramento, doing all their estate planning, among many other duties. She’s applied to several law schools and will start fall of 2009. She doesn’t expect to hear from most of them until next spring so won’t know until then where she will be going. We’re very excited for her. It has been nice having her home again. She has been busily repainting and redecorating her old bedroom as well as reconnecting with several of her high school friends that are also back in town.
As for Cody, he bravely headed off to University of Colorado at Boulder in August—not knowing any kids there. He chose Environmental Design as his major. Rory and I drove him there and helped him move in. We attended his orientation and toured the College of Architecture and Planning. Boulder is a very nice small town, not unlike Davis. The CU campus is quite pretty (our holiday picture was taken on campus with the beautiful Flatirons in the background) and designed in a cohesive architectural style. He was excited but apprehensive and we knew he missed the friendship of his long time high school buddies. We were also able to attend a family weekend in October. Jill was able to join us too. Cody enjoyed showing her the campus as well as his dorm. Although he likes many things about CU, he has been very conflicted and has a lot of decisions to make about his long term plans there. Whether he decides to continue beyond this year at CU or not, I think he feels that it has been a worthwhile experience for him regardless.
Sadly in March, we had to put our very sweet but very old collie, Tess, down. It was really hard for Rory and me but after much thought and consideration as well as discussion with our vet, we reluctantly decided it was the best for her. We were very impressed with the compassion of the veterinary team at Midtown where we have taken Tess since she was a puppy. We know she is running strong again, chasing lots of poor kitties and creating general havoc in doggy heaven. We will always remember her.
Another year has passed but we are hopeful that 2009 will be an even better year for everyone. We’re also hopeful that our country will be headed in a better direction as well. We are so grateful for our comfortable home, continued good health and the company of our wonderful friends and family. Have a wonderful holiday and a great New Year!
Beth, Rory, Jill and Cody