2012 was a year of extremes - one that included many fond memories and one tragic loss.
Our annual holiday card has generally been filled with joyful things. However, this year, all of our joy was tempered with great sorrow. In March of 2012, Dave's younger brother Randy lost his heroic battle against lung cancer. He fought it over five years, and won many a battle and was always optimistic about his chances and therefore lived his life to the fullest. He was a wonderful father and husband, and a true giver in every sense of the word. The world was a better place because of Randy.
Samantha graduated from Occidental College last spring. She continued with the Oxy Dance Team and Dance Production in her final year at the school. Having enough AP credit, she effectively was done in December of 2011 and took on several internships. These eventually morphed into a full-time job this fall at Fresh and Easy (southwest supermarket chain) at the headquarters location near LAX. She moved nearby and was all set to enjoy life as a 20-something in the Southern California work force. Unfortunately, her roommate moved out, leaving her the task of finding a replacement or moving (the latter is happening), and soon after, the company announced it was going to discontinue operations sometime in 2013. She is handling the quickly changing circumstances well. (Anyone have a job?) In the end, she will end up with a new place, likely a new job, and if her dream comes true, a really cute dog!
2012 was a year of ascension for Becky as she literally climbed the ranks of cycling in Southern California. Rides of forty to one hundred miles seem to be commonplace for her now and therefore, she is in awesome physical condition. She was asked to, and has joined a sponsored team (translation – she gets lots of equipment and apparel given to her). She is truly inspirational. Becky continues to work at her alma mater, Occidental, as a web site manager. She continues to live in Pasadena with her boyfriend Nick and a whole lot of bikes.
Mona continues her work in the guidance department at Palo Alto High School where she plays a technical support role for the school. She continues to enjoy the camaraderie of the group in her department and the 1-1/2 mile commute makes things very convenient. She still is 100% committed to her 10,000 steps per day regimen, and even more committed to our 12 year old, deranged cat, Shadow. In 2012, Mona continued the tradition of visiting with her Mom, sister, and brother's family of 3, soon to be 4, in Kansas City.
Dave was very fortunate to be invited to three harness-racing related trips. He participated in a Pro-Am at Pompano Park last March (and got to see the local clan while there), and then he and Mona travelled to New York and New Jersey for a "goodwill" competition against a visiting New Zealand team. In late September, he and Mona travelled to Vienna for several days before joining a racing group competing against German amateurs in Hamburg and Dusseldorf. Dave is driving more than in past years at Cal-Expo and has achieved a lifetime high number of annual wins in 2012. He still rides his two retired horses almost daily, and continues to enjoy his job at TrackMaster.
2012 was a year of a little more travel than usual. Early in the year, Dave spent a weekend in Vegas with his high-school friend Tim Higgins which has become a near-annual outing. Luckily, each returned with the shirts still on their backs. The summer was busy with Dave's sister Debbie visiting Palo Alto for a week with her son Mattie. Mattie got to see his home town team, the Bosox, play the A's, and got to see a real baseball team in action when he saw the Giants play the same week. Of course, Mattie got the "standard" dose of horseback riding, baseball playing and some great Northern California sightseeing and weather.
Mona, Dave, Becky and Samantha