Watson Montage

Merry Christmas! Look….it’s just Jim and Lea with Santa!

People ask us how we like “empty nesting”.  From previous Christmas letters, you know we spent a lot of time together as a family. Now we can appreciate seeing our young people “fly” and pursue their own dreams. 
Keara works for an architectural firm in Portland while finishing her graduate degree at the U of Oregon. She and her fiancé, Gus Kamp, volunteer on their favorite steam locomotive, the SP4449, as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry offers Holiday Express train rides in December. They join us after Christmas for Waterville Valley New Year’s Cheer. Plans for their summer 2007 wedding are being made.
Alexander works as a wilderness guide with a therapeutic adventure program for teenagers requiring an outward-bound type experience. He is also pursuing his biodiesel operation interests.  He graduated from the U of Utah in May. We enjoyed the magnificent wonders of Arches National Park especially arriving in Xan’s biodiesel Mercedes with rainbows decorating our drive from Salt Lake City. Xan flew home in November for some fast Laser sailing in the Mill River.
Fraser graduated from Gloucester HS in June. He received Eastern Mass All Star status in soccer and lacrosse. Last summer he played soccer tournaments in Spain. He loves Vermont and St. Michael’s College. Skiing at Jay Peak and Smug’s keeps him focused on studies (we hope). He started in half of the SMC soccer games. Jim and I enjoyed meeting the players and the many parents who follow this college soccer team around the Northeast. 

Teaching children who are deaf & hard of hearing is going well. We continue to speak at conferences and mentor professionals who want certification in Auditory-Verbal Therapy. We each feel encouraged because our watercolors sold at the annual library art auction. Jim continues “frostbite sailing” through the winter in Boston Harbor.
I started running. In June my brother suggested I run the Fiesta 5K. Now I am hooked. Running at Beinn Bhreagh, Baddeck, NS this summer was great. Luckily, we were there for Jim’s Great-Aunt Mabel’s 100th birthday celebration.

Fraser was home for Thanksgiving and triggered some discussion. 
“Mom, I have a question for you.” OK, I was a little nervous. 
I glanced over at Jim for support. Fraser continued,
 “You are religious. Why don’t you… or we… say grace at each meal?”
 “Well,” I started, “I am thankful for so much, not just the food on the table. I must ‘Thank God’ a hundred times a day, not always out loud.”
Jim added, “Do you need to say grace at each meal? Or can grace be a state of mind or a way you live?” The conversation continued touching on many topics, as you can imagine.
Prompted by this conversation, we “say grace” for the many gifts of Christmas and especially for the love we share with our family and friends.

Merry Christmas to you and have a wonderful New Year!

Love, Lea and Jim


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