The Martin Family 2019

What a wonderful year! Nazy and I enjoyed a spectacular trip to Australia and New Zealand as well a visit east for a college reunion and an Upper Valley anniversary. We welcomed the arrival of a new grandchild: the total is now five. We celebrated offspring retirement and immigration success. We offered encouragement and aid as babies grew and learned to turn over, crawl, walk, talk, count, read, write and generally dazzle. Under my direction, the drought ended. (Nazy notes that the ‘end’ was followed by 180 rain free days, so the accuracy of the term ‘end’ is somewhat suspect.) We banished termites and made it through the entire year without denting the car in our steep and narrow driveway. Furnace-free, we successfully negotiated the coldest two weeks in the history of our 7 year residence in California.

One day, late at night, in early March, Nazy and I reclining on flat beds that, surrounded by a metal cylinder, were moving at 600 mph. We were on the 777 way to Australia via Japan. We took a bullet train-enabled tour of Kyoto before heading to Sydney. In Australia, we saw an Opera, we snorkeled along the Barrier Reef, we hot air ballooned above Queensland, we hiked around Ayers Rock, we watched West Side story outdoors on Sydney Harbour, we meandered through drizzly rainforests and we toured mountains and villages in New Zealand. It was…

“… you forgot to mention the shopping,” Nazy interrupts.

“Yes, we found trendy boutiques, nifty hats…”

“… and great bargains on Australian Opals!” Nazy concludes.

dan and nazy for xmas 2019 web

We returned home just barely before Christiane and Darius welcomed the arrival of Auriane. And, as an aside, Darius and Christiane arrived at the hospital just barely before Auriane surprised them with said arrival. The obstetrician and anesthesiologist were not quite quick enough. Leandra welcomed the new arrival in three languages. Another exciting, but not so quick, appearance graced the Bellingham Family Martin: Christiane received official papers from US Immigration. Trips to Canada and Lebanon are much less worrisome now. (However: trips with a two year old and a baby are never easy.) Darius enjoys his college professor work.

Dar family for XMAS 2019

Meanwhile, in Santa Barbara, Melika and Tom live an exciting life with Tiger (5), Arrow (3) and Azelle (1). Life was so exciting that Melika decided to retire — from law firm-ish work. Tom’s company is highly successful with lulling mattresses. Now, inspired by the cacophony of house full of children, Melika is taking drum lessons. She and Tom made their traditional trek to Burning Man and supplemented it with excursions to Oktoberfest and Mexico. [I think they like festivals.] Tiger, following a post grad session in pre-school, began Kindergarten, Arrow smoothly accepted his role as the sole pre-schooler and Azelle, fearless, climbs everything.

The Adams Family Xmas 2019

Mitra and Stefan visit frequently from Los Angeles. Exceptionally popular with grandchildren, they always bring adventure, excitement and a wonderful selection of projects. They harvest the citrus from the garden, prepare smoothies (with exotic greenery), read, draw and build puzzles. Mitra got her company, AnswerLab, to offset carbon emissions from business travel. Outside of research, she is working on developing software to build community, inspired by her experiences with tango. Stefan has combined native American inspired ceremonies, and training to work in the field of energy readings and healings. They are both very happy.

nazy, dan, mitra, stefan at Les Miserables

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