Round Robin Letters
Issue 19 - Winter/Spring 1997/98

Skip to other sections: Bob & Esther, Larry & Lou, Eileen, Glenn & Marjorie, Malc & Bev, Ben & Vae

First, a few photos from Glenn & Marjorie's 50th Anniversary celebration:

Jerry & Idee Keller

November 25, 1997

Dear family,

I decided to get this off before Thanksgiving so it doesn't get lost in the busy-ness afterwards. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving with family, etc. We're only having Bruce & his family and Don & his this year. Geralyn's sister will be with us, too (from Chicago). So with the four kids, it will be lively and fun. It's fun to watch Ethan and Nathan play together. They are two cuties!

We've had such nice weather for a week now -- today it's sunny and 68. Feels like spring. We just hauled all our patio furniture up to the locker and put away the birdhouses, yard things, etc. I don't like having to do it. It means winter is coming -- yuk! We already had a 3" snow two weeks ago which is very early for here. Hope that's not an indication of what's to come!

I was in Wichita week before last for a week with Kathy and Bill. Kathy got Thursday and Monday off (she doesn't work on Friday) so we had a good time shopping, eating lunch out, etc. Went to a house tour all decorated for Christmas -- actually they were furnished display homes. Different florists and shops did the holiday decorating and it was spectacular. Got us in the mood for Christmas. It was a really cold but sunny day. The last house on the tour was a boutique and you could buy whatever was there -- even some of the furniture. It was in a very upscale neighborhood so the houses themselves were gorgeous. I always really enjoy going to Wichita -- it's a great city. Kathy and Bill are doing pretty well -- just takes a long time to recover from such a huge disappointment.

Don't know if you know our latest news -- Barb is pregnant -- due in March. They are excited about it and she's doing real well. The kids are thrilled, of course. And the sonogram showed it's a boy! Makes me tired to think about it! Also they have visas good 'til July 14. PTL!

Jer is enjoying his new situation with the merger. It couldn't be better -- the only thing is, now he's having too much fun! Doesn't have all the big responsibilities of running his own firm anymore. He can just enjoy working with the clients, etc. He's still busy but not as pressured. Everyone really appreciates his input and wisdom (he's the oldest one there). Anyway, we're very thankful.

We need your prayers for Don. He recently found out that he has a disease of the eyes (from a virus) that has affected his peripheral vision -- scar tissue on the retina. The doctors know what it is and it's rare. There is no treatment or cure and the progress is unpredictable. It could get worse slowly or stop where it is -- no way to tell. So far he can still do his job and drive, but for how long is uncertain.

So good to hear all your news and that everyone is doing well. Hope the holiday season will be special and just busy enough to make it fun and not take our attention away from the wonder of it all!

Lots of love.

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Bob & Esther Staley

December 16, 1997

Dear Family,

I'm sitting in our little dining room as I start this letter. The cars are whizzing by my window like on a freeway. When we moved here it was nice and quiet. Then the road was rebuilt and everyone drives like mad on it. Oh well! In a way the traffic is a nice change after so many years in the boonies.

The trip to Seattle and Canada last summer was great. It was really nice to see Jeff and family and others. We got to visit Ben & Vae also. It's nice that they are settled near family.

Esther has been hobbling around on a bad knee for several weeks. She hurt it several months ago when she was hiking near here. Now the doctor thinks she has damaged some cartilage. She still has a test or two to take before knowing what to do.

Recently we attended the yearly Christmas program at church. Since it is so large, there are plenty of experienced (so to speak) people to call on. It was great and a meaningful program.

Esther's mother passed away several weeks ago. She'd been in a care home so it wasn't unexpected. She was 96. She'd been in the assemblies around Philadelphia for many years and quite interested and active in missions. She lived here in our complex her last few years.

Trust this finds you all well and happy in the Lord.

Love to all.

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Larry & Lou Bush

January 28, 1998

Dear family,

I hope you are all warm and dry wherever you may be. At the moment we're in a lull between rain "cells" with more to come. Our local beach area, Seal Beach, is sometimes on the news with high waves and the pier area. So you may see our neighborhood. We don't get as much coverage as Malibu, however!

I must admit this letter has been here since right before Christmas. It arrived in the middle of a bout of flu, which I feel like I'm finally recovering from. In fact, I didn't have the energy to even read all the news for a couple days. It (the flu) made Christmas kind of a blur. We had Christmas eve dinner and gifts at our house with all the family. What fun! I really enjoy buying girl toys for a change, after all the years of GI Joes and Star Wars figures. Allison loves her dolls and "baby" toys.

We then went to Mammoth for about 10 days with Bill, Mary and the boys joining us there. We had lots of snow for sledding and skiing with about 6-8 feet on the mountain.

Some of you heard about Lawrence's bad accident on the school playground. His leg is now all mended and he's been given the okay to do whatever he wants. So -- he was back at skiing for a day in mid-January. Kids surely do mend fast!

Since we got home from Mammoth, we found that Larry's dad was really declining in health so we've spent almost every day driving back and forth to Claremont which is a two-hour round trip on busy freeways. He quickly went into a state where I doubt he knew we were there, but you just don't know what they are aware of. I'm sure you've all been through this experience.

He finally passed away last week in his sleep and the funeral was on Friday. It certainly was not unexpected and we are certain he is much happier where he is now. The last couple years were hard on him as he had to give up all the independence of 98 years of doing things his own way.

Luckily we had made the major move from his little cottage to the main home a year ago so sorted and got rid of most of his stuff then. We still have a storage shed packed full but we're not pressured to deal with that yet. We sure will miss him.

On to new things -- On Friday Larry is taking Lawrence by Amtrak from L.A. to San Diego where I'll drive the car down to meet them. Lawrence is nuts about trains but has never been on a real one. So this is a birthday promise finally getting fulfilled. We'll stay overnight then go to Sea World or the zoo if we can get El Niño to cooperate. We enjoy taking the kids one at a time -- much quieter, if you remember.

On the 16th we're taking off with our trailer for Death Valley for a few days. The Wests just bought a new trailer and are anxious for a short trip to try things out. We haven't been there in years and they claim it never rains there. We'll see. Hope to play a little golf on a renovated 1930s course. Jean is just getting back to near-normal after a year of cancer treatments. She's doing fine now and anxious to be out and about.

Hope everyone is progressing along as usual or better.

Much love.

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Eileen Staley

February 10, 1998

Dear Everybody!

The arrival of news from everyone was certainly welcome and a bright spot on a gloomy, drenching day in Fresno. When I pulled the letters from the mailbox, the rain was pounding and the eaves were overflowing. But this area has been fortunate so far -- we have even had a few sunny breaks.

With more short-term holidays on the calendar, there are excuses for more potlucks so there are frequent requests for food that give me something extra to do. There is enough going on every week -- time flies.

Carol and I plan to attend a CBC Women's Retreat at Hume Lake in March. Neither of us has had the opportunity to join any retreat before.

Glad to hear of your dad's easy release to his permanent home, Larry. As we view the details involved in these events, God's perfect timing is always so evident.

Most of the family was here for dinner a week ago. It's hard to blend schedules these days with so many interesting things going on. I'm glad they are close by and I can "catch up" with activities.

Have another interesting and healthy several months while we make another round. Until then, love to all.

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Glenn & Marjorie Layton

February 17, 1998

Hi Everybody,

It has taken a while for Round Robin to get around but that's okay. Our lives do get complicated sometimes.

Really feel for Lou and Larry and their past few weeks with the death of his dad. I talked to Larry on the day of the service. They were glad to have their family all there. Bill Bush was a unique Christian gentleman.

Hope it doesn't flood in Death Valley when they are there -- a few years ago we were there with RVing friends and there was a deluge -- washed out roads and tents were floating.

We have been "blessed" with plenty of rain this past few weeks and I guess we aren't finished yet. Our only problems were being without power 24 hours and losing a few shingles.

Some of you may remember Al Bailey who worked for us in the early tree business days. We've been friends with him and Leana for years and they attended our anniversary party. Leana died Sunday and Glenn will have part of the service tomorrow. She had been treated for cancer for 8 years but had some really good times -- a fine, patient Christian lady.

We think we're going to like our 1989 Class C Jamboree motorhome. The next big trip will be to Denver for Hannah's high school graduation May 25 -- then on to Weaverville for Zach's on June 5 -- and back home in time for Merry's June 11. Whew! We're proud of all of them and don't want to miss graduations if we can help it.

Last week we attended the Hume Banquet at Madonna Inn. We hadn't been for several years but Hume is still special to us. There have been many improvements but the message is the same. So glad Carol and Eileen will be able to go to a conference there. Our Ladies Conference is March 6 & 7 at Atascadero Lake Pavilion with Carole Mayhall of the Navigators as speaker.

Cast your vote for 1999 reunion in the Seattle area -- how about it?

Love to all.

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Malc & Bev Staley

March 4, 1998

Dear Folks,

I last wrote in October so you would think there would be much to report in that length of time, but only our trip south again would be the highlight of our activities.

We headed for the southland in mid-January on our now usual trip of about 2,000 miles this time. First a nice layover at Lake Havasu for about 3 days. They still had Christmas lights up all over the London Bridge and shops and boats below the bridge and was very impressive to see. I guess they just started this year (last) to go so big into it and evidently are going to add more each year.

We only had with us our friends the Starrs in their 5th wheel on this part of the trip. We left them after 3 days and headed to Tucson for a week and were given the first class tour and hospitality of Becky, Jan & Dan and also Ben & Vae. The weather was perfect, as it should be down there in the winter months. We had space in an RV park north of town in Catalina and worked out just fine. Plenty of tourist things to do there.

Next on to Phoenix for a visit with Bob & Esther for a few days, and again perfect weather. They are easy to find and fun to visit with in their little private community of Baptist Village.

Then on to Quartzsite for a week where we hooked up with our usual group from Oakdale. We had seven RVs in our circle and had plenty of room for more. Every night campfires and plenty of places to shop (plus some golf) make it real special, and perfect weather here, also.

Back home in early February with much rain and colder weather. We didn't get flooded here but our backyard is just now finally drying out some. Probably not too good for our '98 almond crop, so far anyway.

We have had our wood stove going almost continuously since returning and only in last couple of days have tapered off a little. The sun finally decided to shine last week and so far this week and is sure nice. We will have a big weed crop now and I will be out mowing the orchard tomorrow for the first time this year -- with my antique Ford Tractor (1950).

Our almond trees are just about all done blooming and leaves are starting to pop out in a big way. Our plum, peach and nectarine trees (one each) are starting a big bloom right now (also apricot).

Mickey still is working in Vallejo (2½ years now) and seems to like it okay. Bridget and I usually have a project going of some kind in Martinez and Andrew is in 2nd grade and doing real well. Same school his dad went to but different teachers. They just got a new computer and Andrew knows more about it than I do. He has several games on it that he likes to do. No printer or internet yet but maybe later on.

Hope everybody is reasonably well. Beverly has a head cold but says hello!! Bye for now.

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Ben & Vae Staley

March 23, 1998

Dear family,

Greetings from rainy Washington. Actually we've had more sunny days than usual this time of year, thanks to El Niño -- they say. Others of you have gotten the wet part of it.

We spent 6 weeks in January and early February in Tucson, staying with our girls this time. The sun and warm days were hard to leave but we had things to do here at home and projects to interest us. We like our house and location here north of Marysville. The yard work Vae does mostly and I do inside things. Right now I'm making a light fixture for over the dining room table. The one there is rather cutesy and not to our liking. The new one will be in dark oak frame and white plastic. Anyway, its the type of thing I enjoy.

In Tucson we went on a couple of hikes in the desert and went to a couple of basketball games with Becky at the University of Arizona.

Here at home we've been painting the paneling in the hallway of the mobile. It was rather dark oak and seemed like a cave. Now it is a nice off-white and reflects a lot more light.

Also I got another plane model for Christmas so had to work on that. It is just a display model of the B-25 Mitchell -- about 26" wingspan.

Vae is busy making a slip cover for our divan (love seat). She likes this kind of thing and makes it a real nice job. She likes interior decor -- and does a great job of it, too.

We went to Gary's (Keller) birthday party a week or so ago. Pam had some church friends there so included us, which was sure nice. Idee has been visiting there, too, so had a day together with her, checking out a possibility for family reunion location up here. It was over at Port Townsend at a historic fort the State Parks now rent to groups. But we decided we wouldn't work in very well so will look at other locations such as Leavenworth area or some other. Got any suggestions?

Had a nice visit with Idee, anyway, and it was a beautiful spring day.

Bye for now. And stop by for a visit anytime.

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