Title Christmas

Coupeville, on Whidbey Island

With the constraints of last year receding, we have enjoyed mingling with friends and having family gatherings again. We've flown on airplanes, seen our kids and done some fun things. So have you, and we enjoy reading about your exploits in your emails, cards and on Facebook. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and to celebrate it with others is very appealing.

My first outing was in May when about 50 of us old timers, who flew and maintained the A-3 Skywarrior, had a reunion in Corpus Christi, Texas. The A-3 Association has played a role in restoring eight A-3 aircraft which are positioned at various bases and museums. The association is a way for crew members to communicate, share pictures and find one another. In Corpus Christi we had the fun of exploring the USS Lexington, a retired aircraft carrier, now a museum, which has many well restored Navy and Marine aircraft, including an A-3. It was good to spend time with two friends in particular, Andy Niemyer with whom I flew many hours in the A-3, and George Sigler, who was a school mate all the way through eighteen months of flight training, and then a fellow A-3 pilot.

TA-4J aboard USS Lexington

With Andy on the hangar bay of the Lexington, and with George in front of the TA-4J Skyhaw. In 1969 we spent five months flying the Skyhawk for advanced jet training just a few miles away in Kingsville, Texas. We both got orders to fly A-3s and were classmates for A-3 training at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, just one bridge away from where Pat and I live now.

 

 

Pat has remained faithful in her role of "Adoration," at church, which is a continuous prayer chain shared by the members. She helped out at Faith on Fire, an inspirational conference which draws attendees from the Pacific northwest.

Her highlight was a visit by Eric, Irene and the girls. Horseback riding, walks on the beach and visits to cousins made their time pass all too quickly.

Pat has continued to deal with a number of health issues which are chronic, limit her mobility somewhat, and keep her living with a background of continual pain. It is wearing, and I marvel how she forges through it on a daily basis. Yet, she keeps busy and has completed a few quilting projects this year.

Pat Kate and Lauren reading

Story time.

 

Eric and Irene were much relieved to have the girls back in school. Irene makes it her focus to advance them in enriching activities. Both girls are taking dance, swimming lessons and other shorter term programs as they become available. They occasionally get away to the mountains with other families.

Eric is back to traveling as part of his analyst duties. He took the family to Maui for a vacation which was fun until an unexpected wave lead to a knee brace and an unhappy ligament slowly healing.

Eric, Irene and family Burrows Channel

Eric, Irene and the girls on a Washington Park trail.

 

Corey began 2022 training for distance trail races and had several choice events on the calendar. Trying to avoid overuse injury from running, he began climbing more frequently in the climbing gym. Ironically, after several months of climbing, he had a fall that resulted in a meniscus tear in his left knee. After four months of being unable to rehabilitate the knee, he had surgery in September. Pat and I used that as an opportunity to fly to the Bay Area and help Corey post-surgery. Corey's knee has been getting stronger since and he is looking forward to being able to run again soon.

Corey is now a 'senior post doc' at the Buck Institute where he is building models to better understand cellular senescence, or the cellular process of aging, in specific cell types in the brain. He hopes that this work will further the understanding of age related diseases such as Alzheimer's. 

 

When my parents, Dick and Lucille, were dating at Cal Berkeley, a favorite hangout was Fenton's Creamery. In 1951, after our year of house arrest by the communist soldiers in Western China, I was doing kindergarten in Oakland, CA. Fenton's was only a couple of miles away, so Dad and Mom rekindled old memories and introduced my sister, Dorothy, and me to Fenton's. To us it seemed like just another magical part of what Dorothy called, "Merica." During the 20 years of raising our kids in Lafayette, CA, a frequent reward for good report cards was dinner at Fenton's. So, the suitable ending to this year's Bay Area visit was to have a family dinner, where our adult kids introduced generation four to Fenton's Creamery.

Corey Postdoc

Corey Webster, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Campisi Lab, Buck Institute

 

 

Fentons

Fenton's Creamery

 

Mt. Baker Larry Darlene Dorothy

I join my sisters, Dorothy and Darlene with brother-in-law Larry for a high elevation walk on Mt. Baker.

In September, Larry and Darlene visited us from Illinois. Darlene knew that she would be having heart surgery in two weeks, so we walked with a bit of care. As I write this, Darlene's valve surgery is in the past and we thank God that she is up and about and gaining strength every day.

In November, Pat and I had the fun of going to Austin, Texas, for the marriage of Pat's nephew, Reid, to Rachel. It was a good time of visiting Pat's siblings and their adult kids whom we had not seen in a long time.

 

 

Ried Rachael wedding

Reid leads his Bride, Rachel, onto the dance floor.

 

siblings

With Pat's brothers Tom and Mike and sister-in-law Kathy. Tom is father of the groom.

 

We continue to enjoy time every week with Ed and Dorothy (Don's sister). Relatives, yes, but very close friends. Ed has been dealing with stage 4 liver cancer. Nuclear implants early this year had no beneficial effect. Some months ago, it was decided to try immune therapy at our local hospital. The factor that the doctors are following dropped from several thousand to single digits. Ed appears to be in remission and once again we praise God.

Ed still goes on walks when he feels up to it, loves to BBQ and makes a mean "Twice Cooked Pork." We do lots of family things together. Beyond that, Ed and Dorothy still engage with others, counsel friends in Germany as well as many in this community. We love having them close.

 

 

Ed and Dorothy at the beach

Ed and Dorothy

 

22 Anacortes Family

Indeed, our Anacortes family is still large. Some have moved away, three are in college with more to follow. Many of the little kids who moved here now have driver's licenses and cars. Most in this photo are family and live here.

 

Again, we wish you a wonderful time of celebration, hopefully with lots of family. Some of my reading this year has centered on the design of the universe extending to the design of the living cell and of DNA. Allow me to close with the observations of King David, who knew nothing about DNA, but observed the visible world with great care. Here from Psalm 19:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

Merry Christmas dear friends,

Don and Pat Webster

 

 

Don Pat formal

 

Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker in the afternoon sun.