Copyright © 1996 Anna Elizabeth Eddy. All rights reserved. December, 1996

Dear Friends,

The big news in 1996 is that Mike and Beth were split up. No, it's not our marriage; it's our careers. AT&T broke itself up voluntarily, this time. Beth stayed with AT&T Mike is now with Lucent Technologies. Actually, neither of our jobs changed, and it will take some time before the result of the "tri-vestiture" trickles down.

Last year we spent the holidays with Mike's mother in Seattle. This year we convinced her to visit us. So, in 1996, we get to stay home, put up a tree and decorate the house. There should be no excuse for this years card to be late. To help beat the deadline, we put our card on the net this year. Those of you with access to the Internet via a browser may read our web based holiday card --

Looking back over the year, we realize how much of it we spent traveling. Mike was gone once or twice a month to customer sites on the west coast and in Colorado. On one of his trips, this one to Seattle, he was able to spend a few extra days with his mother. On another, he stayed a night in Anne, Christine and Tom Schowe's new house in Palo Alto. Beth's business trips have spanned the country: Florida to Wyoming to Rhode Island to Colorado to Kansas to Arizona to Wyoming to Georgia to New Mexico. While in New Mexico, she visited Mike's Aunt Caroline and Uncle Dwight.

Would you believe that we actually crossed paths while on business? We spent a great weekend in San Diego. However, the vast majority of our trips together are for pleasure, such as our annual visit with Carol&David&Katherine&Judy&Dick&Carol&Baxtor in South Carolina for Spoleto. We got to see Judy and Dick again in Atlanta when we took in the 100th Olympic games. We thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics and are dreaming of Sydney in 2000.

Having mentioned Mike's mother a couple of times, we don't want to leave the impression that we neglected Beth's parents. Mother's Day weekend we rendezvoused in Lancaster, Beth's birthplace. What Mike hadn't appreciated is how established Beth's family was in Lancaster. Her mother showed us that 5 generations had been born and lived there. Can you say DAR? Next, they visited us over the 4th of July. Beth, Mike, Paula and Merrill took them into NYC to see one of our favorite dance companies. Ever heard of Pilobuls? We're sure Beth's dad will remember them. Over Labor Day weekend, we continued our annual attendance of the Antal family reunion in Strongstown, PA. There, the whole clan celebrated (a month early) Beth's father's 80th birthday. Though we weren't with him to celebrate the actual day, we made up for it later with a week of celebration over Thanksgiving.

The high point (pun intended) of our year was a hike in the White Mountains with Steve Campbell (Anne couldn't get away from work). We spent 2 nights along the Appalachian Trail in an AMC hut, which is where Beth painted this year's card. On the way home from New Hampshire we attended a performance by Joshua Bell at Tanglewood. We remember Joshua from his younger days at Spoleto. Perhaps we will see him at one of the Lincoln center chamber music concerts to which we subscribe.

On the off days that Beth and Mike spend a weekend at home we continue to be active locally. Mike tries to work at least 2 weekends a month with a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. His Habitat group completed its first house this year and is about to finalize the selection of its second project. Beth donates much of her time through our Friends Meeting. In addition, she is involved with the Monmouth Council of Girl Scouts. In her other spare time she continues to paint. You can see more evidence of her skill from this years holiday painting. If you have forgotten some of her previous work, we have tried to assemble a gallery, but you'll need to read our web page to see it.

You may be surprised that you haven't heard, up to this point, about Mike's marathons this year. That's because he didn't run any. Has he learned from Merrill's example and matured as a runner (that is -- he no longer NEEDS to race?) No. Even though he qualified for this years 100th Boston, he wasn't in shape to do it. Too much time at the office. His big race this year was the Cooper River Bridge 10K in Charleston. He has always wanted to run it, but it is too close to Boston, so this year he had his chance. Can you say "personal worst?" Told you he wasn't in shape.

It sounds like Mike has at least one New Year's resolution to make! And here's hoping that you resolve to make your new year healthy, prosperous and fun.

Happy Holidays,
Beth, Mike, Phantom and Shadow