A bit late posting this (in January 2019)
“If you don’t know what to do, just dance.”
These words of advice offered to a newbie in my Nia exercise class seem like a good motto for
life, at least in some circumstances.
Kent and I are departing on December 6 for a month-long visit to Venice and the Adriatic that
will take us through Christmas, Kent’s birthday, and the New Year. Therefore, I’m unsure of
how to keep up the more than 30-year-old Christmas letter tradition. I wrote the first one in
1983 on the very first IBM PC when Psyche was six months old and Jesse was four years.
I will send this electronically, perhaps to be followed by an Epiphany letter in response to
greetings we will receive upon our return in January.
Animals, babies, family, and friends have been themes for 2017.
Animals: We traveled to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with Overseas Adventure Travel in
February. It was the off-season and green, wet and beautiful. We traveled with a small group
of just eleven travelers in two jungle vehicles with local guides. We delighted in the many
beautiful birds, flowers, giraffes, impalas, elephants, zebras, lions, hippos, monkeys, baboons,
and painted wild dogs. We slept in comfortable tent cabins at night, often hearing animal
sounds in the surrounding bush. We were occasionally awakened by rain that required us to
get up and close the tent flaps. We also had opportunities to meet local people, including
school children. The tour concluded at Victoria Falls in high flow.
Babies: On Good Friday I was participating in an urban pilgrimage in downtown Albuquerque,
when I got a text message that Psyche was in labor. Hallelujah! The baby was already a week
late, but very early the next morning, Saturday, April 15, baby Zia arrived. We went to see him
three weeks later, and I have been going to San Francisco to see him every month since, It has
been a thrill to watch him grow. Kent also became a great-grandfather with the birth of Melanie
and David’s Alanah Jo in February. We met Alanah in June in Minnesota. In June I also
became a step great-grandmother with the arrival of Calvin to Andy Feldman and Caren Zhao
in June — giving us a second baby to visit in San Francisco. Calvin and his great-aunt Psyche
and cousin Zia live only a few blocks apart.
Family and Friends: Our friend Bob Kieffer has kept us hiking. Walks this year have included
exploring the Whitewash trail, Rincon Ridge (where I lost my Tilley hat in the wind on an icy
slope), a green, flower-bordered Embudito creek scramble, a difficult climb to the the site of the
fatal 1955 TWA crash in the Sandia Mountains (that I’d never thought I’d be able to reach), and
finally two interesting hikes in the Manzano Mountains, including one to the top of Manzano
In June and July we visited friends in South Dakota, and family (both mine and Kent’s) in
Minnesota on our way to my high school class reunion in Newberry, Michigan. A truly
memorable event was a first-time ever gathering at my cousin Sylvia’s home in Iron Mountain
of all of the grandchildren of Olof and Lydia Olson. We also gathered with Hendrickson
relatives and attended the church where I’m related to “half the people in the cemetery” (only a
slight exaggeration) — and a few still living. It was great connecting with classmates and
friends in Newberry and visiting old haunts “Out North.”
In August we stayed in the lovely Bighorn Mountain cottage of Kent’s high school friend Dick
Kuzara, and then met our British friends Colin and Trish to see the total solar eclipse in
We enjoyed many visitors in September. A main event was Tea with Zia on his first visit to
Grammy and Grampy’s place in Albuquerque.
We spent Thanksgiving in a lovely rented house on the beach in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico with
Saad, Psyche and Zia, where besides beach-walking, playing in the surf, and checking out
numerous local restaurants, we watched 7-month-old Zia crawl, sit up, pull himself to standing,
and learn not to put sand in his mouth.
I continue to volunteer with the Albuquerque Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino.
Kent continues to take care of things around the house and make improvements. We had the
floors refinished in the living room and dining room, and completely repainted the dining room,
living room, and front and center halls. Kent built beautiful new drawers in our old linen closet,
which is now much more functional and easy to use. The dining room built-in china cabinet is
wonderful, as is our new kitchen. We also finally replaced the cracked front step — so please
come to visit!
Our life is good, although it is hard not to be discouraged about the state of the world. Friends,
family, the community at St. Michael and All Angels, and the beauty of nature all give me joy
With that, we wish you joy, health, and happiness during this holy season and the coming year.
Linnea and Kent
On top of Manzano Peak, November 8, 2017