Johnston family holiday newsletter
30 December 2010 | Lafayette, CA
December 30, 2010
It's been a great, a historic year. Barbara had retired before, when we sailed across the South Pacific in 2003-2004. But when we got back from that trip, she wasn't happy with staying retired, and went back to work at Brisbee & Stockton. This time, when Barbara retired in June, 2010, Brisbee & Stockton threw her a party (something that only happens when you really retire). We took a year's leave of absence from the orchestras we regularly play with, and then spent the next two months getting ready for a long-planned sabbatical in Mexico for the winter season.
We sailed from Portland (actually St. Helens) to San Francisco Bay in late August, and then left the boat there while we returned to Oregon for a concert. ("Wait, I thought you took a leave of absence from those orchestras?" "Well, yes, but... When the Newport Symphony's season was announced, and the first concert was Beethoven's Ninth, and Craig's been waiting many years to play it, and Barbara's only played it once before...") After the very successful and satisfying performance of Beethoven's Ninth, we caught a plane to Germany, where we attended former exchange student Cornelia's wedding to longtime boyfriend, Jens. We had a great time in Germany, and then in October, we were back to the boat, and have been sailing south ever since.
As of December, the boat is in in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (near Puerto Vallarta), where we left it moored while we attended a wedding in Queretaro, and then flew to the Bay Area to be with family for Christmas.
Earlier in the year, we put on a 95th birthday party for Craig's Dad, at his house in Lafayette. He's still going strong, providing leadership for the family, and for canine friend Brandy (he still walks a mile with her, every day.)
Probably the biggest family news is that our younger son, David, is engaged to the lovely Tara Hernandez, with a wedding planned for next summer. David and Tara have just bought a new house in Pasadena. David continues to work as an animator at a game company, part of the team that created the Kung Fu Panda World game for 8-12 year olds (www.kungfupandworld.com ). He expects to finish his MFA thesis with the screening of his animation, "Don't Fear the Sitter" at UCLA in June, 2011.
Ian serves as technical director of Annex Theatre in Seattle, and he is more and more involved in producing professional-quality publicity photos for the theater company. During the day, he can still be found at Adobe, working as an IT programmer for the company. In his "spare" time he races motorcycles, flies a light plane, tutors fourth graders, and is a hero to his friends.
We were all together for Christmas this year, in Lafayette with Craig's Dad. Deb came from Bend, Stephanie from New York and London, David from LA, Ian from Seattle, and Craig & Barbara from Mexico. Santa Claus was good to us, and we'll head back to Mexico on New Years Day. We expect to be in Mexico until April or May, and then we'll sail back to Portland by way of Hawaii.
Seasons greetings to all our friends and extended family, and best wishes for a Happy New Year. If the spirit moves you, come join us for a few days or a week in Mexico, and we'll do our best to show you a good time!
Craig & Barbara