|Keith, Jessica, Carla, Alex, and Kate (photo by Dee Rietveld)|
|Alex and Carla on day of the wedding|
|The next day, their "Just Married"|
sign was on the back of the tandem
We are delighted to have Carla as our daughter-in-law. We hosted an informal open house for them here in Arlington in late December, one of several low-key celebrations they are having with friends and family.
Another significant, but much less positive development, came in the fall, when Keith learned that he had a rare, often-fatal fungal infection. [Spoiler alert; he survived.] Since the previous winter, he had been suffering a chronic “runny nose”, thinking it no big thing and hoping it would go away on its own. Then, once he finally decided to do something about it, it took nearly two months for the right appointment. Tests revealed it to be mucor, a fungus that is usually invasive with a high mortality rate. At this point, the surgeon moved quickly. Fortunately, it was not invasive—Keith joins only three other cases in the medical literature --and the surgery appeared to have removed everything.
Just to be safe, he was also started on a powerful anti-fungal medication. Unfortunately, Keith and the chemo-like drug did not get along. Not only did he have nausea (a common side effect), but after five days on treatment he received an alarming call to immediately come in to the hospital emergency room (and stop taking the medication), after lab tests revealed kidney damage. He ended up four days in the hospital on an IV, until his kidneys began a slow recovery.
|Keith loading the 100,000th bike with staff and a representative of|
the recipient non-profit
|Keith and Jessica in front of new French doors and bay window|
|A happy beneficiary|
Our August vacation delivered not only an important break from the stress of Keith’s office changes, but in retrospect provided a humorous anecdote that preceded Alex and Carla’s marriage. It was during this holiday that the couple planned to tell us of their plans to marry. Finding the right time to make the announcement during our time together proved more difficult than expected.
|On top of Camel's Hump in VT|
Here the story took two tracks. The first, of course, was that this represented one more interruption to sharing the news. We picked up the worst of the shattered glass, headed down the mountain, attempted to report the crime (not easy on a late Saturday afternoon in northern VT), vacuumed the remainder of the glass, and purchased some high-quality plastic sheeting and duct tape at a local hardware store. Still emotionally on edge from the car break-in, we finally reached a local restaurant and began to relax…whereupon Alex shared the news of their marital intentions. A welcome distraction!
|Bikes getting loaded on the shuttle|
|Keith along the Le Petit|
Tren du Nord rail trail
|On Milford Sound|
|Along the Routeburn Track|
|Another view of the Routeburn Track|
Back home, when not dealing with medical and contractor appointments, Jessica continues to enjoy biking, hiking, exercise classes at a county recreation facility, and to participate in the Finance and Nominating Committees of Langley Hill Friends Meeting. In coordination with sisters Margy and Bethany, and daughter Kate, she is regularly visiting her mother Kay Mott, who turns 94 in January. Jessica also continues to read – her favorite book this year was Betty Medsger’s The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI.
We see Kate regularly despite her rich professional and social life. At work, the library has increased her supervisory responsibilities. She was a primary mover behind an extremely successful library program, Late Night Recess, where over 200 twenty- and thirty-somethings blew off steam by playing four square, tug-of-war, capture the flag, nerf and other games after hours. She has increased her participation in Young Adult Friends, and continues with her book club, seeing friends and dating.
Despite the personal distractions of this year, we remain concerned about issues such as global warming, inequality, and violence in all of their many contexts, keep trying to do our bit, and have deep appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of others.
|Margy, Kay, Kate, Carla, Alex, and Jessica|
Wishing you well for 2015,
Keith & Jessica
Keith & Jessica
|John and Kay Mott on|
top of Mt. Washington
in late July 1944
|Alex and Carla on top|
of Mt. Washington
in late August 2014