Pat and Clay Christmas Letter 2001

25 December 2001

First, we want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

In March we did 2 weeks in Dallas with Betty and kids. The 2 grand kids are doing great. They're still into soccer as you see. We missed out on the T-ball effort this time.

In mid May, Pat, Clay, her sister, Jean & Bill took a 3 week driving tour to the north-west. We left here, got in their van in KY and headed to Denver. Saw Bolder and a bunch of parks; then up to Salt Lake, Volcano National Park, down the river to Mt St Helen and Mt Rainier. To the sea and then to Seattle, Port Angeles and a ferry over to Victoria. Back via the Badlands and Mt Rushmore. Glacier was closed. Great trip. I took 2,100 photos. Can send you a zip file of them if you wish.

In June, Pat's brother, Fr. Herb was reassigned and we, Pat's 2 sisters and 2 brother-in-laws went to Hazlehursh GA for a going away party given by the parish. Great people. Herb was assigned to Brunswick GA for now.

In July, Betty and kids were in and we all went to St George Island, FL for Mike's family week. We did the first half and had a great time. While they flew to Disney with Ken during the last week and we took a quick 4 days in Biloxi. On the trip back to FL, the kids used my combo-TV with earphones for the trip and their attitude was greatly improved. They took it with them for the trip back to TX. For a while they used the headphones but Ken made the mistake of letting them unplug followed by 6 hours of listening to the RugRats.

We all took a day trip to Columbus and was greeted by Tina's new husband, Brian. They ran off out in Utah and got married. He seems like a nice guy and she's going to finish college. The girls gave her a post wedding shower. All had a good time. They have since announced that they will be having a baby in April. That'll make Pat and Clay GREAT-Grandparents and he still doesn't have any gray hairs in is head.

In August, the kids got Clay a 80GB plug -in hard drive bringing him up to 132GB. His is bigger than yours.

We did a long weekend in Kentucky making bergoo (a barbequed stew) with Pat's sister. We also had another trip to KY earlier in August for a niece's wedding.

In September, we spent 3 weeks at Indian Rocks Beach below Tampa. We were with Pat's sister and husband and her brother, Father Herb. We ate 19 fish meals and sat through a mild hurricane that hit 50 miles south of us. We spent a few days in front of the TV watching the horrors of 9/11. Shortly after the trip, Herb had a triple by-pass in Jacksonville. Came through great. We came back to a 3 week water leak just on our side of the meter. Pretty soggy area out there. Pat and Clay did a quick 4 days in Biloxi, MS.

We helped Mark, Lisa & little Clay move into their new 4,500 sq ft house on 2 acres in West Cobb. It has geo-thermal heat/cooling and 7700 ft of Cat 5 computer wire throughout the house and a lot of stuff and of course a 3 car garage. He's at Atlanta Medical as a PA gas passer.

The last of October we spent 2 weeks at Betty's in Dallas with appropriate stops at the Vicksburg casinos. The grandkids are growing and doing well in school and soccer. We got to Canton Trade Days (6,000 booths) and of course, El Phenix in downtown Dallas. I had absolutely the best chips I've ever had.

One week after we got back, Mark, Lisa, little Clay and Pat talked Clay into a 5 day cruise to Nassau out of the Cape. We all had a great time and no one got sick.

We made it back in time to get to Columbus and have both a baked and a deep fried turkey at Bob and Kathy's. There were a lot of Kathy's family there. The 5 of us were all of the Houston's that were there as Bill, Dawn and 3 kids were in New York at the "Fort" visiting with Dawn's brother, Danny and his new family to be. Betty and Ken were with Ken's parents in Tyler, TX. Mike and Lisa had a big family get-together in Nunan GA.

Bob is still at Mead Paper in Columbus with Kathy teaching there. Laura and Robbie seem to be doing fine with Tina now married up in Utah.

Bill is at Lockwood Green and Dawn at Cobb General heading the Lactation Dept. Chris is cooping at Georgia Tech and Delta. Seems to be heading into propulsion engineering. David and Theresa are doing fine at Wheeler High School.

Betty is doing the full time mother effort with Ken being a VP of Distribution at BearCom in Dallas. Both the boys are doing fine also.

Donna's company, where she's a Director has change it's name to Empagio. Randy is still a VP at Warren Environmental. All of their kids are doing fine. In May they after her divorce was officially annuled, they got re-married in the Church followed by a pool party at Dawn's. Great time!

Mike, Lisa and the kids are doing fine. We had Greg's and Pat's birthday in mid-December at their house and used their enclosed pool. She is still teaching in the next county and Mike's company GenRad was bought by TeraDyne. Looks like no change for him. He'll still get to work 3 days a week at home and commuted the other 2.

It was a bad year for the garden and it had very little to do to the fact that we weren't here. We connected the greenhouse with underground metal pipes and have a working auto-watering system. Here in December, we still have blooming plants. There was a record amount of leaves this year. Clay dumped 105 Snapper grass bags on the garden.

Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Pat and Clay Houston