Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays, 2011

Dear All,

It’s been a great year for Linda and me. 

In May, I passed the first anniversary of my open heart surgery, and I was happy to hear that after all the tests and consultations and examinations everything was fine.  My heart and all of its associative parts were clicking and clacking just the way they were supposed to.   This is great because we’ve been super busy this year.

A lot of our time has been spent with Lillian and Luciana, and we’ve all enjoyed watching Luciana grow and start talking more and more.  Lillian is keeping a running account on her Facebook page of the great things she and Luciana are doing.  If you aren’t a Facebook friend of Lillian’s you’re missing some wonderful stuff. 

Let me just give you one recent example.  When Lillian asked Luciana yesterday what she’s going to say to Santa when he asks her if she’s been a good girl, Luciana without hesitation said, “Ho, ho, ho.”

We’ve had two great vacations with Lillian and Luciana this year, one at Williamsburg and one Hilton Head.  The second was really super.  We spent a week there on the beach.  Luciana wasn’t sure what to make of it as first, but she soon figured it out.

Another highlight of the year was all the visitors we had in Danville.  There were visits from Linda’s parents Tony and Mabel, her sister Laura and her husband Bill, Linda’s cousin Nancy and her husband Naumann, and our nephew and niece Anthony and Kate Calendrillo and their kids Anna, David, and John.  Luciana was meeting some of them for the first time but they quickly became her favorite people.  As Christmas cards with photos come in, she loves the ones with photos of our visitors.  She’s got a terrific memory and is always pointing out her nanny and poppy, her uncles and aunts, and her cousins.

We hope this coming year we have even more guests, and I think we will.  I’ve already heard from Carol and Joe Glaser and Carol and David Stevens, telling us that they will be stopping by.

We’ve also done a lot of traveling this year, mainly cruises.  One of the highlights was the cruise Linda and her mom took to Canada in October.  They got to see whales! 

The other highlight was our Mediterranean cruise and transatlantic crossing. We both loved visiting Florence’s Uffizi museum and the volcanic mountains of Ponte Delgado in the Azores, but the absolute best was visiting Gaudi's Cathedral Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  It fills the eye and the soul.  

I've also had the pleasure of being asked to do a number of presentations about my parents and their experiences in World War II.  I've spoken to grade school students and college students, and just people curious about what happened to Poles like my parents.  The presentation I gave at St. Francis College was filmed, and you can watch it here.

It's been a great year, and we hope that all our friends and family members find as much happiness in the coming years as we've found this last year.

Wait!  Wait!  I forgot to mention that Linda won the Danville, VA, St. Patrick's Day race in her age group!