Christmas, 1991 
Never a Christmas Morning,
Never the old year ends,
But someone thinks of someone--
Old days, old times, old Friends.
       Happy Holidays from the Tennison's of Contra Costa County, California. Can you believe that since our last yuletide greeting we have survived a war, seen the nation we believe to be our greatest nemesis crumble, and have our hostages home for the 1991 holidays? Meanwhile, we continue to live in this desert they call California. After five years of drought and the reservoirs down to seven percent capacity last summer, the "experts" were predicting a rainy winter. But, it is December, and we have had only one decent rain this season. Showering in the company of a bucket is beginning to seem normal. Well, we continue to live here, regardless of the desert conditions.

        It has been a busy year for all of us. Ray's work is about the same, but he is now doing it for a different company which has no West Coast office, and he has moved into our home office. Sharing working quarters with a spouse, even after thirty-three years of sharing bed and bath, takes a bit of adjusting. So, rather than carry a gun to work daily, we decided to remodel the office for greater efficiency. That very remodeling is still going on as of this writing, and if it isn't finished soon, Christmas is going to be celebrated sometime in May. The built-in desks, files and cabinets are going to be great, provided we survive the process.

        Yes, Ray still spends a lot of time airborne. He was finally clever enough to get a prospect (not a client yet) in Hawaii, so he was on Oahu early in December and from there met me in Las Vegas where we spent the week-end square dancing. We concluded the trip seeing Frank Sinatra in his 76th Birthday performance. Old Blue Eyes never missed a note, a beat or a lyric in the hour and twenty minutes he sang. Some of these young performers could certainly take lessons from this consummate professional.

        Ray's travels have taken him several times to Columbus, Ohio, the headquarters of his new company, and I traveled there twice this year. Not the most exciting place in the world, but, hey, I don't have much time to read at home, so why not go to Columbus? The second trip was to attend a party given for his sales team, which was enjoyable, but far. We also visited Chicago the end of September and stayed at the new Hyatt Regency at Illinois Center, so I got to dash to Michigan Avenue and to State Street as often as I liked during my stay. Some friends came to the loop for an enjoyable Saturday dinner at the still flourishing "Como Inn." We enjoyed an elegant Sunday brunch at the Pump Room after Mass at Holy Name Cathedral and a hamburger lunch at Harry Carey's saloon.

        Ray also has some prospects/clients now in Arizona, so he visited with his family this fall on a week-end following a business call. Other than that he goes to the same old places--Portland, Eugene, Seattle, Southern California, etc. My business, on the other hand, takes me to San Francisco, where I orchestrated the move of a law library for a growing law firm; to Oakland, where I continue to work for the Port of Oakland Legal Department in their law library; and to Walnut Creek where I manage small law firm libraries.

        In addition to our trips to Chicago, Las Vegas, and Columbus, we spent a delightful Anniversary week-end at the Hilton in San Francisco courtesy of son, Mark, and the hotel manager. We had one of those fabulous suites you see on TV shows and don't want to know how much they cost. We enjoyed California square dance week-ends in January at King City, in March at Hollister and at Bakersfield; in November up in Napa. Theater is still prominent in our social activities; we saw a musical in San Francisco called "Stardust" which had familiar old songs and marvelous costumes. Also saw the touring company of the Tony Award winner, "Jerome Robbin's Broadway." At the new Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, our season tickets brought us to fabulous productions of "Showboat" and of "Mame" recently. They are really doing a great job there. And the theater in Concord, we have attended for years has upgraded performances, so the shows there are improved also.

        The home front has the office remodeling going on, plus a new furnace and air conditioner on one side of the house last summer. A paint job/painter gone awry is still pending. Houses and people both need more care as they get older. And, after thirty-three years with my faithful Singer sewing machine, I finally broke down and got a new computerized Pfaff that does everything but cut out the material. I haven't had a lot of time to play with it yet, but have done some amazing things with it with hardly any effort...

        Our Gourmet group had its usual round of dinners to keep us full of food, friendship and fun. This year we added a trip to Napa in November to celebrate some birthdays. Enjoyed one of those elegant dinners at a winery--you know the kind, dimly-lit, over-priced, tiny portions, but served exquisitely. Believe me, no one can eat $100.00 of food in one sitting. But, I have to admit, the chocolate soufflé for dessert almost made it worth while.

        Lloyd was in an automobile accident early in the year and unable to work regularly for several months. Since he owns his business, this presented a hardship. After physical therapy, he joined the ranks of us who wear back braces and is back at work. He went to the computer convention in Las Vegas in October, but instead of a week-long stay he returned in a few days. The cement convention floor got to his back. He and his partner recently rented an office in Lafayette rather than working exclusively out of his home office. He has a contract with the city of Lafayette for consulting, which is keeping him busy. Just this past week, he suffered a loss. His cat, Hastings, a kitten adopted about 18 months ago grew into a strapping young male and a great companion. Suddenly, he became quite ill; required surgery; and, tragically, died on the operating table. Having lost our 22 year old Lottie last year, and our diabetic 11 year old Frodo this year, we feel very sad about this young animal.

        While Hilton Hotels are not about to go under, still the recession has hit San Francisco and, subsequently, Mark. So he is working like the rest of us with more restraints. He visited Los Angeles with some friends and also Palm Desert for some quick trips. He purchased one of those fancy new bikes and recently has taken up bike riding on the extensive bike trails in our area. Pam has a bike also, but doesn't yet have time to join him on his excursions. He, like everyone else, is hoping the drought will end and there will be snow in the Sierras for drinking water and, more immediately, for skiing.

        Pam is firmly settled into her condo and life away from the city now. In May she accepted a position with another law firm, Sonnenschein, Nath, and Rosenthal, actually a Chicago based firm with offices out here and in other major cities across the nation. She is still getting used to working in this new environment, and works on a variety of different cases. The change caused her to cancel a planned trip to Australia and to spend her vacation between jobs finishing decorating her condo. But '92 is another year.

        Gail and Monica live in Concord where Monica attends pre-school and Gail works her multiple jobs while attending classes for her doctorate at the University of San Francisco. She continues to teach at the local Community College; works for the County's wellness program as an exercise physiologist; and for a local hospital at a senior center where she runs a preventative cardiology and active cardiac rehab center. Her classes at USF are held on week-ends and some evenings, so she is quite busy. Add to this two operations for carpal tunnel syndrome this summer (had to have both wrists done), and you can understand she has been busy. And, somehow she managed to squeeze in visits to Chicago in May and October, a trip to Los Angeles in the fall, and a wedding in San Luis Obispo in September. 

        Bev completed her credential program at UC Berkeley and went through graduation ceremonies for a second time at this prestigious university. She landed a summer teaching position at possibly the worst ghetto school in the area (the kind where they lock the doors behind you), teaching fifth and sixth math. Nothing like breaking in the new teachers quickly. She is now under contract teaching fifth graders in San Lorenzo. She is working hard, complains of her "little rug rats," but really loves it. A trip to Chicago the end of the summer enabled her to visit with friends there. She has just applied for a loan to become co-owner of a home in Pleasant Hill and is looking forward to that culminating early in 1992.

        This past year, Paul returned home to the nest in order to concentrate on his studies. He is working a day and a half per week and spends the rest of his time in school or locked in his room studying. An occasional evening with friends or a movie has been the extent of his recent entertainment. He did enjoy a quick trip this past summer to Disneyland. He keeps our cars in working order when he can break away from schoolwork and is going to complete some of the wiring in our new office after his finals. Oh, yes, that wonderful drought landscaping he helped us with last year--the frost last winter zapped 95% of it. Back to the drawing board on that.

        Monica was four years old in April, which is difficult to believe. She is so grown up. She loves stories and is a total Disney fan--can't imagine where she gets that from. Our little "ski bunny" took her Mom skiing in January to Utah where she took ski lessons while Mom skied with friends. Then in July, she took Mom to Disneyland. Swim lessons again this summer and now she's learning the alphabet and printing her letters.

        Family dinners are still celebrated about every month--for a birthday or a holiday or some other good reason. Mom usually has Easter at her home in Manteca, and then another dinner in the Fall. Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually here in Lafayette, and others at assorted homes--a summer barbecue at Pam's, and a fall buffet at Lloyd's recently. Our gatherings may not be as large as others, but they are always lively. At a recent celebration, we were about to embark on a game of "Taboo" when a friend of Pam's indicated he had little desire to play a game with her "aggressive" family. Assertive, maybe, but aggressive, well...

        As we draw an end to this year and look forward to the coming one, we wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy 1992.

                                                        Love from,
                                                             Joy, Ray and family