Christmas, 1985

Greetings from the Tennison Household,

Can you believe this is our seventh Christmas in our California home?  The children are becoming true Californians, as they have now lived a great deal of their young lives in this "Golden State." 

Early 1985 was a difficult time for all of us, as my father was hospitalized repeatedly.  We lost him on March 26th, and we all continue to miss him greatly.  He and Mom would have celebrated their Golden Anniversary on September 5th.  Mom lives in their home in Manteca and has many supportive friends.  With God's help and with the passing of time we will feel the pain of his loss less, but it will always be there.

As you  might suspect, square dancing still takes up a great deal of Ray's and my time.  We dance regularly at least once a week and sometimes more, plus we have now begun "round dancing" which is ballroom dancing to cues.  We still enjoy frequent week-ends of dancing in various parts of the state, most of them are fairly local (within 150 miles), but we do drive down past Fresno for one festival.  Two square dance week-ends were in Reno this year--in May Bev and I went to Reno and in September, Ray and I went.  While Bev and I were dancing in Reno in May, Ray was houseboating on Lake Powell in Arizona with friends and also visiting family in Phoenix.

 We took an October vacation to Europe where we first traveled with friends through France's Loire Valley, which is chateaux country; they then left for England while we headed for an Alpine trip which took us from Frankfurt, to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Innsbruck, St. Moritz, Zermatt, Lucerne and Heidelberg.  So many beautiful sights--thank heavens for the task of having to organize all those photographs into some semblance of order in an album, or all of those wonderful memories would be just a jumble in the past.  Normally I say I enjoy the castles and cathedrals more than the trees and mountains on a trip, as one Rocky Mountain tends to look the same as a Sierra or an Alp, but this time there were so many beautiful things to see, it is difficult to make that general of a statement.  The chateaux, the cathedrals, the museums, and the German castles were certainly beautiful, but the Alpine villages set into the sides of such postcard perfect scenery were awe inspiring.

Ray's work keeps him as busy as ever.  He drives into San Francisco now but sometimes manages to do some of his reports at home on the computer hook-up with his office.  His traveling is now limited to meetings only, what a nice change.  My job at the law library has increased from half time to three-quarter time and could expand to full time if I just agree to it.  But I try to keep a balance, that is I try not to let my work interfere with my social life!  Really, I do enjoy the job, but we enjoy so many other activities that it is difficult to fit them all in just working three-quarter time--imagine how much more of a problem it would be if I worked full time!! 

So, in addition to our dancing, now both square and round, we enjoy belonging to gourmet/dinner groups, a pinochle group, a bridge group, a theater group, not the performing kind but the kind that goes to the theater.  We saw the Tony Award winning production of "My One and Only" during Thanksgiving week and thoroughly enjoyed the production of "42nd Street" which was in San Francisco earlier in the year. Most of our other theater ventures are local productions, like the one when Peter Pan fell and the entire audience was dismissed when Peter Pan was taken to the hospital  Alas, there is no bowling league this year.  Somehow it dissolved due to a lack of new blood.

You are thinking I haven't mentioned the rest of the family, well they are still around and coming and going as always.  With the youngest Tennison now out of high school, it is more and more difficult to keep track of them--even to keep in touch with them.

Lloyd still lives in Walnut Creek and works in San Francisco.  With the demise of the bowling league, we no longer see him on a regular basis, so it is more difficult to catch up with him.  He was acting as Pam's chauffeur to and home from her San Francisco classes for quite a while.  He made several trips to the Los Angeles area for work recently and was in Chicago this past spring for the ordination of his fellow classmates from Niles.  If I want to get in touch with him, I can call him at work and get put on hold while I listen to awful music, or I can call his apartment and leave a message on his answering machine.

Mark also still lives in Walnut Creek and is busy as ever with his nightclub, working both day and nights to keep a business like that going.  He did manage to get away for his first vacation since the club's opening--went to Club Med on Eleuthera in the Caribbean and had a great time.  He even learned how to be a trapeze artist.  He also improved his water skiing techniques with the additional skill of one ski skiing or whatever it is called--seems to think he can catch up with his brother-in-law, Dave, and his expertise in this sport.  This summer will be the test of that. Catching Mark is not easy, but I know that calling his answering machine early in the morning will produce results, as he keeps rather late hours at the club and doesn't get up early.  His secretary is good about delivering messages from Mom, too. 

After Pam's working sabbatical of last year, at the bank and the nightclub for Mark, she is thoroughly entrenched in her first year of law school studies at Hastings.  Although she lives in the cottage in the rear, sometimes a week of more goes by without our seeing her at all.  She either takes the rapid transit system into San Francisco or Lloyd stops by here on his way to work and drops her off at school.  It has worked out nicely for her that she has both a brother and a father working in the city.  She is taking an active part in activities at law school and has made several friends there. 

Gail and Dave are enjoying their home in Orland where Dave is working hard at his store and Gail is working hard at her studies and her business. She will be graduated from the California State University at Chico this May or June or whenever they do it there.  Her studies keep her quite busy, but additionally she has a business of delivering helium-filled balloon bouquets which she makes up, plus she does children's parties at which she wears a clown outfit and makes animals out of balloons to the delight of the children.  Besides water skiing in the summertime, Gail and Dave enjoy snow skiing in the winter and have also gone camping to Mount Shasta which is fairly close to their new home.

Bev is in her third year of studies at University of California at Berkeley and is now sharing an apartment in that town with two other girls.  She survives the hectic campus and scholastic life very nicely.  She enjoyed a visit to Chicago this summer, a visit to San Diego over the Thanksgiving week-end and a couple of trips to Los Angeles to visit friends who attend school in that area.  Additionally, she plans another visit to Chicago after Christmas.  She worked with me at the Law Library this past summer and worked at the card shop of the Student Union at Berkeley until it burned down a couple of weeks ago--never a dull moment on the Berkeley campus.  The demonstrations there over the South Africa thing didn't phase her at all.  Ah, youth!

Paul was graduated from Acalanes High School this past June and is currently busy with his work, his girlfriend, and his car. He has a new found interest in camping (not motor home kind of camping, but the real thing on the ground under the stars) and has gone on several week-end excursions to the Sierra foothills.

May God be with you this Christmas season and all through the new year of 1986. 

                                                   Joy and Ray

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