|Keith, Jessica, Kate, and Alex|
Daughter Kate obtained her Master’s in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May. In August she took a short-term contract as a reference and instruction librarian at the George Washington University in D.C. Earlier this month, she began a new, permanent position as the College and Career Reference Librarian at the Arlington County Public Library. Next month she plans to move into her own apartment less than a mile away from us.
Jessica, Alex, Carla, Kate and Keith
hiking in the Presidential Mountains
Over the summer, we moved Jessica’s 90-year-old mother Kay, from her apartment into an assisted living arrangement, staying within her continuing care community south of Philadelphia. This involved sorting out family heirlooms and also helping deal with Jessica’s sister Margy’s things, since Margy had been living with Kay part-time, helping her cope in spite of growing disabilities. Kay, barely mobile even with a walker, is relieved to be in her new quarters.
|Jean and all her grandchildren|
|At Glenn Falls in near Pinkham|
Notch, New Hampshire
Thanksgiving dinner with Kay,
Jessica's sisters Margy and
Bethany, and Bethany's family
Keith, who turned 60 this year, is also thinking about the future. After six years under the umbrella of another non-profit organization, Bikes for the World incorporated separately and established its own board of directors (February), took over payroll (April 1), received its IRS non-profit letter (April 29), and took on all the joys and risks of an independent existence. Despite these institutional changes and increased expenses, the organization--with three dedicated staff members and many hundreds of volunteers—continued to operate in the black, and maintain the flow of donated bicycles to programs overseas. Although production has remained constant during the last four years, Keith believes that it is poised for expansion in 2012.
Our health is always a concern. In early November, taking advantage of a large gap between international trips, Jessica squeezed in foot surgery to deal with chronic arthritis in her big toe, and has found the recovery process frustratingly slow. Keith, meanwhile, is keeping better control of his blood sugar levels with a continuous glucose monitor – providing family members with peace of mind. With an inch-long transmitter/sensor inserted above his waist, he jokingly refers to himself as “the bionic man”.
We cannot end this note without noting some of the drama in the world—some negative, such as the continued unemployment and debt burdens of people both in the U.S. and abroad, and the demagogic focus of some politicians on issues that ignore injustice, divide the nation, and actually forestall economic growth and environmental sustainability; and some positive, such as wider political participation in some Arab countries, greater public recognition of the perversity of concentrated wealth, and stronger prospects for cuts in military expenditure. May we work toward greater justice and prosperity in 2012.
Jessica and Keith
P.S. In case you want to see our blog from past years, here is the link.