Tennison 1994 Christmas News

Hearth Notes              by: Joy E. Tennison, Editor

From our home to yours, we wish you a very happy and holy Holiday Season. When we continue our family tradition of attending Midnight Mass together on Christmas Eve, we will remember you and yours in our prayers. May 1995 be a prosperous and happy year for you and for all your loved ones.

Nineteen ninety-four kept us all busy and, for the most part, healthy. No major events like last year's wedding to report. Life has been less frantic, but it seems many intended projects are still just that. In retrospect, I'm not sure what we did all year, but we were sure busy!

My work is now solely at a local law firm and keeps me occupied about one day a week, so the remainder of the time I'm free as a breeze, with just house, yard, paint stripping, redecorating, sewing, or some such activity to distract me.

Ray's job keeps him on the move much of the time. Business travels take him to corporate in Ohio, to Los Angeles and San Diego frequently, also to Portland, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and, get this, Dallas. Yes, he still has that temporary assignment of Texas.

Theater, activities, etc...

Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the Opera finally made it to San Francisco, so we got to see it again in January. Our long weekend in Los Angeles in February afforded us tickets to his new play, Sunset Blvd. with Glenn Close before it went to Broadway. This one will blow you away. The Rockettes visited San Francisco, so naturally, we visited them. We enjoyed local theater productions of the Merry Widow, Follies, Grand Hotel, and Evita. Monica, Pam and Joy had fun at Ringling Bros. Circus in August, and the Grand National Rodeo had the added excitement of a bull jumping into the stands at the Cow Palace in November!

The gourmet group, now fondly referred to as the "Meet & Eat Gang" enters it's fourteenth year in 1995. Good food and good wine have afforded us friendships rarely found in these or any times. We, indeed, have a grand gourmet group and consider ourselves very lucky to have such great companions!

Monthly bridge and pinochle continue as part of our social life along with "annual" activities that have become traditional--such as New Year's day Cioppino dinner, May Pancake Breakfast, 4th of July Barbecue,  November trip to Calistoga, Hanukkah party, some Christmas dinner parties, and one special "ornament" exchange. Well, really, it's more like an ornament "grabbit" party. Of course, we end each year with our own New Year's Eve Party, which with the advancing age of our guests has grown less boisterous over the years but not less convivial.

Family News 

Normal family gatherings to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and traditional family holidays are increasingly difficult to orchestrate as lives get busier, but we still manage. Our events work out to about one per month.


Lloyd continues to run his own computer sales and service business, is a director on the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board at his condominium complex. He attends meetings continually, and expands his network, which is evident from the number of people we know who have met him and/or worked with him.


Mark has just moved from Hilton to the Red Lion chain and is now in Bakersfield. His interest in 
skydiving has continued along with his skill or proficiency or whatever. He enjoys it and his friends in it. He looks forward to continuing in Bakersfield and having his skydiving friends visit him and the "jump site" down there. It is somewhat of a commute back here (about three hours), so we'll all have to adjust to that.


Square dancing is still our favorite activity. We enjoy our monthly dances with visiting callers and dance locally whenever Ray is in town, but that has been infrequently this year. A favorite weekend in January took us to King City. Dances in both Turlock and Hollister kept us going in March. A May weekend in Monterey brought us to a favorite spot anytime.

The National Square Dance Convention in Portland in June was four days of non-stop dancing and partying with 22,000 dancers from all over the world. We had such a great time that we already have reservations for 1995 in Birmingham, Alabama. While chatting with a Canadian caller who summers in Arizona whom we know from California dances, we met a couple from New Zealand. Subsequently, we invited them to stay with us while in the San Francisco area (there are so few Ax murders who are also square dancers). Well, they did, and the story continues later on.

More dancing over Labor Day in Chico and then a November weekend in Napa.

Honors for Paul
Paul's endeavors at UC Davis have him on the Dean's list and in two Honor Societies to date. He does the time and gets the grades. In the Tennison family tradition, Paul's luck with vehicles this year was horrendous. His Mustang sustained a rod thru the gas tank on the highway from school, then the hood was blown off, brackets and all. Problems with his Celica took up his spare moments. He managed a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons this fall. His vehicular expertise is still utilized by the family, when he's not working on one of his own.

Trips galore in '94 

Ray's company sent us on a luxury trip to Acapulco in January for a stay at the "Princess." We made a Valentine's Day trip to Los Angeles and then a March trip to Chicago for some "city" stuff in some wonderfully blustery weather. The Hyatt made Michigan Avenue and State Street accessible. Ray was at a convention, and I enjoyed my hometown.

Attended a family wedding in Phoenix in April, and returned for a May convention. Departed from there on a vacation through New Mexico and Arizona. But first we began planning a joint trip with Ray's brother and wife, Rich and Roswitha. We got our act together and formulated our trip "downunder."

We visited Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Alice Springs, & Ayers Rock. Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, tramped the rainforest, visited the Opera House, swatted flies, climbed Ayers Rock (well, Ray did). We saw Aborigines, koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, crocodiles, wallabies, dingoes, tropical fish of all sorts and sheep. A shark even swam past Ray at the Reef. We rode trains, boats, camels, ferries, & planes of all sizes.

From Melbourne we flew to Auckland, New Zealand for a fascinating trip through this country of lakes, pastures, sheep, mountains, glaciers, thermal geysers, waterfalls and fjords. Here we did something more daring than before. We rented a car and drove on the left side of the road. We visited our acquaintances from Auckland and square danced to the caller who introduced us to them. All in all it was a great trip.

Pam Remodels

Ah, the pains of redecorating and remodeling. A sink clogged, a pipe broke, two exhaust fans broke, etc. etc. Pam is painting, installing shelving and room organizers. Home ownership, it does us all in! Pam enjoyed skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho and was a guest in Seattle at Boeing's unveiling of it's new plane earlier this year. Still commuting to her San Francisco law firm, someone spun out on the Bay Bridge in a recent rainstorm and hit her. No estimate yet on the damage. She is sore, but okay.

Gail's Thesis time

Gail is working on her doctoral thesis at USF and is a full time Mom and Aquatic Director. A nasty fall gave her a concussion with lots of misery and curtailed her running considerably. Now she is battling pneumonia and preparing a holiday party.

Second grader Monica enjoys school, swimming, and crafting. She stays with us when Mom is at school, so we can keep up with her activities. They went to Disneyland after Thanksgiving and to Oregon this summer.

And the Newlyweds...
Bev and Rick celebrated their First Anniversary. Home works this year included drip irrigation, rocks for landscaping, family room lighting, and a dedicated refrigerator solely for Rick's home brew.

They skied Colorado in March, visited Chicago for Rick's parents moving party, went to a July wedding in Pittsburgh and Bev attended a Deerfield grammar school reunion.

Bev now teaches 6th grade in a year-round school and Rick continues to travel a great deal. It has been a rough year for Bev. Two accidents being "rear-ended" totalled two cars and has her spending time in physical therapy. No skiing this season.