Christmas, 1987

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. 
As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; 
so in a series of kindnesses, there is at last one which makes the heart run over.

Holiday greetings from the Tennison Household!  If you haven't already heard, the new addition to the family--Monica Marie Luthy was born April 1, 1987 and is the most beautiful, most intelligent, most athletic, etc. etc. baby of the century. While we might be just a little prejudiced, we would like to emphasize that we are not prone to exaggeration.  She somehow makes all those years of teenagers worthwhile--and 1987 was the first year in fifteen that we no longer had a teenager in the house, when Paul became 20 in July.  That ended a long stretch of harried parenthood.  I'm not sure it's over, but at least we aren't dealing with teenagers anymore.

The normal calm prevails in the Tennison household these days.  Everyone is back in the area again with Mark's return from the Caribbean and Pam's return after a summer sojourn in San Diego.  Monica and her parents, what's-their-name, come to visit often, we are still heavily trafficking in square dancing and miscellaneous other activities.

Ray's job with General Electric takes him out of town about once or twice a month, but he has pared that down from earlier this year when it was more like once a week.  He is his usual busy self--plays tennis whenever he can, puts the broken parts of the house back together when they disintegrate, and continues to enjoy square and round dancing and our circle of friends.  Grandfatherhood becomes him, but don't tell him I said so.

Lloyd continues to work for the San Francisco firm he has been with for several years.  He travels occasionally for them to fill in here and there--exciting places like Fresno and Bakersfield...  He condescended to give me his private telephone number that rings at his desk (guess he didn't like me calling him and leaving a message to call his mother), but he is never at his desk, so that was no help.  He went to Chicago for his 10th high school class reunion last spring and stopped in Phoenix to visit family and friends there.  So, you can see he is keeping busy.

Mark is back from the Caribbean.  He finished his first six months with Club Med on Turks and Caicos, then went to Eleuthera, but decided he wasn't learning anything and should get on with his life.  He returned home and had to start from scratch--looking for a job, a place to live, and collecting his belongings from brothers and sisters that they had been doled out to.  He now has a new place with his former roommate.  He's in Walnut Creek, less than a mile from Lloyd.  As an Assistant Restaurant Manager at the San Francisco Hilton, he's working crazy hours as usual.  Getting settled in his new place while still getting used to a new job keeps him busy these days, but he manages to see the girl he's currently interested in when he has some free time.

Pam is in the home stretch in law school.  She spent the summer working for a San Diego firm, and by the time this gets into the mail she will have made a decision as to which law firm she is going to accept a position with after graduation next May.  As a third year student at Hastings she made the top 10% of her class with a lot of determination and hard work.  She is also associate editor of the Hastings Law Journal, clerks for a San Francisco law firm and will be clerking for a Federal judge this coming semester.  Needless to say, we don't get to see a great deal of her; I have four telephone numbers to reach her at, but usually call the wrong one at the wrong time.

Monica's parents--Gail and Dave--have had a busy year too.  Dave's store is still growing in business in their little town, and with the chain's headquarters here in Lafayette, he has frequent trips here for meetings, parties, etc.  He puts in long hours, but fortunately with the size of Orland, he is less than ten minutes from home.  Gail is back in school full time this semester getting a certificate as an Exercise Physiologist--that's someone who tells you which exercises and which foods you need to make you a perfect person.  Gail's been doing that for years, and now she's going to be licensed to do it--yikes!  She and Monica traipse back and forth to campus, to babysitter, to Lafayette, to wherever, and they both take it in stride.  This summer they had Monica out waterskiing several times a week.  They docked Dave's father's boat just a short distance from their home and managed to get
out skiing whenever they had an hour or two.  They put Monica in her life jacket that Grandma and Grandpa bought for her while they did their skiing.  Did you ever see a three month old baby with tan hands?  That's what Monica had because everything else was covered to protect her from the hot sun out on the water.  They also took her out of the country when they vacationed in British Columbia in July.  So you can see it's been a busy year for all of them.

By the time this letter is received Bev will have received her Bachelor's Degree from University of California at Berkeley.  No ceremony until May, but the official date was December 15th.  Bev, however, considered it a done deal when she completed her last exam and turned in her thesis.  She is now getting ready for the real world out there.  She has been interviewing for jobs and has just accepted a position in the Executive Management Training Program with Capwell's.  She doesn't plan on any immediate departure from the area, especially since Ricky is working in San Rafael and living in Oakland.  Last summer she worked for a law firm in Oakland and hated it.  She took a trip to San Diego for a wedding but barely had time to visit with Pam there.  Bev and Ricky have been dating for three years now.  He is a UCB engineering grad of last December and is traveling quite a bit in his current position.  Ricky has Bev interested in racquetball, and she also snow skis and water skis.  This past summer she and everyone else in the family were trying to catch up to Dave and Mark in waterskiing.  Dave has been skiing for years with his father and family, and Mark spent a lot of time at Club Med learning tips and tricks.

Paul is working hard at school and at work.  He has learned to do his papers on the computer, which he assiduously avoided the past few years, and works long hours at his supposedly part time job.  A large pick-up truck is the new addition to his life (and my headaches).  Some previous problems with automobiles must have turned him to the truck lifestyle--one car burned up in the driveway and another was totaled on an awful road.  No injuries either time.  No steady girl recently but seems to get messages from a variety of sources. 

The big change in my life came in October when I went to work at Golden Gate University Law Library in San Francisco (Mark's Alma Mater).  The position of law librarian with duties that sounded like mine at JFK became available, so I applied and got the job.  It is full time and involves working until 7:00 some week-nights, but the challenges are stimulating.  I do about 40% of the reference, handle the government documents, both state and Federal (we're a partial depository library), am in charge of a membership program which involves fees to law firms and individuals using the library, and must work on the enigmatic "professional development."  The Library Director just began in August and is ready to take on the world.  My first book review will be published in the university magazine's January issue.  Anyway, a lot of things have had to be adjusted with my extended working and commuting hours, but I'm enjoying the challenge tremendously.

Naturally, Ray and I enjoy square dancing as much as always.  Week-ends away continue to be about one per month, and we dance at least once, sometimes twice or three times per week, depending on other commitments.  I had to drop my "ladies" bridge group and resigned as secretary of my investment club, both because I'm no longer available for daytime activities.  We continue to enjoy pinochle and bridge, and our dinner groups are always fun--at a recent one we acted out parts in solving a murder.  We enjoyed a square dance vacation in September up near Mount Shasta, and then went to New England for the fall foliage--gorgeous!  The Holiday activities are always hectic, but this year there are even more with the university and with GE.  We will have our annual New Year's Eve party but decided to skip our big Open House between Christmas and New Year's and hope no one notices.

Our love and best wishes to you and yours this Holiday Season and the best for 1988.  Love from all of us in and out of the Tennison Household.

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