A couple of things gathered from the Christmas cards the faithful few continue to send me and for which I am eternally grateful. Thanks.

Caroline “Kobo” Chobot Garner and Tom celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. They still live at Alexian Village in Chattanooga, but Tom has had to move into the health unit because of problems caused by his Parkinson’s disease. Their grandson Parker is a sophomore at Purdue and young Caroline is an honor student at Holy Innocents Episcopal School, where she is on the crew team. Kobo’s son, now Lt. Col. Gailor Garner, is back from his 4th tour in Iraq and lives in Lynchburg. He and Tara have 2 youngsters too, Thomas and Clara, who enjoy school athletics.

Sally Gammon Plummer took several trips with her birding group—South Fla., Palm Springs (including Joshua Tree National Park), N.M. and Bosque del Apache for the geese and cranes (and the Guadalupe Mountains). The UFO Museum didn’t convince her. Sally volunteers weekly with the natural history museum. She visited Dave who works for the forest service in Mont. and also the others in San Geronimo. Nancy and George bicycled over 5000 miles in 2011.

Hattie Hughes Stone and Dick took some major trips last year with a group from church; they went to Jerusalem, sailing on the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Tiberius, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. They had a reunion with their 4 cousins with a week in Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Virginia Beach. In Oct., they spent 3 weeks in Portugal. Their son Rick developed an automobile control system for the Los Angeles Airport. His 3 children are musical. Hattie’s daughter Kath is at the Church Center for the UN. Kath’s son Mike, the percussionist, travels the world working for various bands, and her son Jon was one of the puppeteers for “War Horse.” Hattie’s son Jim recently installed solar and geothermal systems in his home and his wife is a midwife. Jim’s children are Nate, an EMT while still in high school, and Ian, who plays soccer and lacrosse and also raises bees. Hattie’s son Chris fell while climbing, resulting in a cracked vertebra and a badly damaged ankle, but is recovering nicely. His wife has a perfume business and their daughter Davina loves riding, snowboarding, and the cello.

Jerry Dreisbach Ludeke went to her granddaughter’s wedding in Costa Rica among other weddings of friends that she attended. Her son Kevin and his wife are doing State Dept. training in Korea, but were home for Thanksgiving. Jerry enjoyed visiting her son Scott’s 3 boys in San Francisco. Then she flew to Va. to visit grandchildren Laura and Geoff, Kevin’s children. Then she went to Charlottesville to visit her sister Georgia and family. Jerry still is active in a number of things: Pioneer Day in Paso Robles, Camp Mather, the Dan Reid Memorial Bagpipe Competition, church work, and directing the Bakersfield College Archives. As if that weren’t enough, she also went to Ireland for 10 days and then a month in South Africa with a friend she hadn’t seen in 50 years. She was very impressed with the culture, the former Apartheid struggle, and the efforts and accomplishments of missionary schools.

I got a nice note from Cynthia Sinclair Rutherford’s husband Bill. He’s been caring for Cindy who has had Alzheimer’s disease since 2002, but she will be going to live in a nice nursing home early this year. Very sad.

Jean “Sissy” Morris Long has published a book called, “Finding Kate.” It’s the story of her grandmother leaving Va. and coming to Ark. to teach school in the late 18th century. Sissy had been doing research for this book for many years, ever since finding 15 letters from her grandmother. Amazon has only 15 copies left if you want to get one. They have a nice synopsis on the website. Anne “Peaches” Roane, who sent me the news of the book, said it was “as charming and tender” as the author herself. The Booksellers at Laurelwood had a signing party in Dec. for Sissy, followed by supper at the Long’s house! Sissy is becoming a renaissance woman—she and her husband Bill also played a piano duet for the local English Speaking Union Christmas party.

Ann Thomas Donohoe writes that she and Tom have been besieged with workmen repairing the damage caused by a huge old tree falling on the house at Thanksgiving. The hardest part was dealing with the insurance companies.

I don’t think I told you that I went to China on a Sweet Briar sponsored trip in Oct. It was fabulous! We saw all the things we were supposed to and some we weren’t. We were very impressed by China—the trip included Beijing, Xian, Chonqing, Shanghai, and 4 days on the Yangtze and the Three Gorge Dam. Christmas here was also wonderful—we were all together for the first time in years. This year has started out well with me visiting an old friend in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico for a week in Feb. We’re about to take a short trip with some old Yokohama High School friends of mine to Atlanta, Mobile, and Pensacola as I write this. Then we have a river boat trip from Hamburg to Prague in the summer. Won’t you tell me about your trips too please!

Please send me an email with what you’re doing. I see Shirley Poulson Broyles on Facebook sometimes. Are any of the rest of you active there? It’s a great way to keep up with kids and grandkids.

(Bruce Watts Krucke, [email protected])