We would have to say that 2013 was a pretty good year and a year of some significant changes, largely for Becky and Samantha. So that we can end on a series of high notes, let us begin with an event of sorrow.
Mona's mom, Sheila, was diagnosed with colon cancer during the year and heroically held on until her entire family could spend Thanksgiving with her in Kansas City. That was a very special evening that will be remembered fondly by her three children and their families. We were all there to witness the joy that the day brought to her. We lost her a couple of weeks later.
While the year ended on that note of sadness, the balance of the year was good to the Siegel family. Samantha changed jobs and moved twice in 2013 - to Hermosa Beach in January and then from Hermosa Beach to Sherman Oaks in September - to be closer to her new job at Munchkin (toddler toys and accessories). She moved into a pet-friendly complex in order to accommodate an addition to her family, which would come soon enough. "Skipper" was adopted in November. It was love at first sight for both Skipper and Samantha. Mona and Becky were lucky to be present at the time of the adoption. Skipper is about 6 years old, weighs 10 pounds, and is some sort of a mix. He is a real cutie and luckily, very well-behaved. He (along with Samantha and Becky) came for a visit to Palo Alto in late December and met our neurotic cat, Shadow. While neither of the four-legged family members were 100% well-behaved, all was surprisingly peaceful. Sam has gotten involved with typical Southern California sports, playing volleyball, softball and kickball, though still maintaining a strong loyalty to the SF Giants.
Change was in the air for Becky as well. After spending a number of years working for her alma mater, Occidental College, managing a portion of their web site, Becky took a job with MobLab. This start-up is dedicated to delivering mobile technologies for interactive games in social science classrooms. While Becky's commute to Oxy was short, the new job is in Pasadena, where she resides. Her commute is shorter than Mona's 1-1/2 mile commute to Paly! Becky continues to bike at inspirational levels logging thousands (yes, thousands) of miles over the year in a variety of cycling disciplines. She has also continued her studies toward a second Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at Oregon State (on-line).
Effective this school year, Mona has moved from 80% time to full-time in the guidance department at Palo Alto High School where she plays a technical support role for the school. She continues to coddle our 13 year old neurotic cat, Shadow. She travelled four times to Kansas City in 2013, and while it was sad to see her mother suffering, she was able to spend a lot of time with other family members and has developed a strong relationship with her brother Jason's daughter, Scarlett.
In 2013 Dave took two trips to Vegas with his high-school friend Tim Higgins. The summer was busy with Dave’s sister Debbie visiting Palo Alto with her sons Jack and Mattie where they did all kinds of touristy things, some horseback riding and a lot of baseball. They also went to LA and visited Becky and Samantha, and took in Southern California attractions, including an Angels game and, of course, Disneyland.
Dave has been as active as ever with horses. He continues to ride the two he has in Palo Alto when he is home, and has driven in nearly every race day at Cal-Expo, amassing a personal annual best of 85 wins. From November to May, while he comes home exhausted on Sundays from two nights of racing, he would not have it any other way. Anyone who knows Dave knows that he does not sit still very long. Of course, while he enjoys racing as a hobby, he has kept his "day job" at TrackMaster where he has been employed for the last 20 years.
Mona, Dave, Becky and Samantha