Saturday, December 14, 2002

Christmas 2002

Some of you have noticed that we have been out of touch for a while. We
are going quarterly with our "Updates" -- it gives us more to write

Since this is our Christmas letter, we thought we should briefly recap
the year. Last year at this time, our house was not much more than a
few cinder blocks on a concrete footing. We moved in at the end of June
and had our first visitor in September. Duane came to see us over a
very wet Labour Day weekend, and Steve played his first round of golf.
Then we had Halloween. This year we had a record eight
trick-or-treaters, including the two shown on the web. That's eight
more than last year, if the escalation continues, there won't be any
chocolate left for Lisa.


Soon after Halloween, we were able to take our first vacation since
moving to North Carolina as Lisa finally found a dog-sitter. We went to
Bald Head Island for the night to test him out. We had a great time.
Bald Head Island is a small island about 40 miles from here. You have
to go by ferry and, once you get there, all transportation is by golf
cart. Naturally, there is a golf course (of course!) The island also
has a little harbor, a number of small hotels and B&Bs, plenty of
beach, a couple of restaurants and even a professional croquet court at
the country club. Coastal Living magazine was sponsoring a couple of
"Idea Houses" so we took a look around them, too. One had been bought
by a couple from San Francisco. The dog-sitter did fine so we are
planning a two night trip to Charleston just after Christmas.

Our neighbours, Art and Eloise, invited us to share Thanksgiving dinner
with them. Eloise is a great cook (she's going to start giving Lisa
lessons this week) and she baked four pies for 7 of us. Each person got
their favourite, so Steve had pumpkin and Lisa got lemon meringue. The
dogs got lots of turkey leftovers, since none of the crowd liked the
dark meat.

One of the things that you notice more here in rural North Carolina, is
the wildlife. You already saw photographs of alligators and very large
spiders. A couple of months ago we had another guest, our first snake.
Steve found him on our front doorstep and immediately called for the
camera. After taking all his video, Lisa suggested getting rid of the
snake. Steve approached it with a broom -- it hissed at him -- so he
brushed it aside and let it go. We have no idea where it is now.

Steve has travelled back to California nine times this year and has
enjoyed visiting with friends and family. He would like to thank
everyone for feeding him so well. Lisa would like to thank Lee Boyd in
particular, because he sent a delicious Cornish Pasty all the way to
North Carolina for her via Steve Air Express.

We would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and a happy and
prosperous 2003.

PS: Steve will be back the first week in January if anyone has food
they would like him to eat.