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Merry Christmas 2015 and a Happy 2016 from Ted & Cathy Morris!

          And now, The News…  Cathy retired from teaching in May, 2014.  She sat out a year, and then couldn’t stand not having a bunch of 3rd graders tugging on her skirt, so she took a long-term substitute teacher job at Alameda Elementary here in town.  Well, a 6 week job turned into 5 months, and now she is ready to try retirement again!  hmmmm… we’ll see…  She did sign up for Social Security Retirement this past summer when she turned 62.  So now we are living on retirements & SSR and can now use that hallowed excuse “but we are on a fixed income!”  That didn’t stop us from taking a drive on her Birthday to Pietown, New Mexico.  I think we’ve set a new record – a 550 mile round trip for some dessert (which wasn’t that good after all).  Cathy did take a month-long trip back east in the spring, and got to see her brothers and enjoy her freedom from the classroom for a little while!

          The rest of the family is doing pretty well.  Our youngest son Greg and his family are now old hands in Hawaii.  Greg works at PACAF Headquarters, and Rebekah is in the Wing at Hickam.  She was promoted to Master Sergeant (E-7) this last go around, and so they are both Senior NCOs.  They live in base housing, which is a lot nicer than what we lived in when I was a kid.  Kirstin is 10 now, and goes to a school just down the road from their house.  Cathy got to go over for a visit this past fall.  The kids wanted to go on a little get-away on the Big Island, and so Cathy really went over to keep Kirsten company.  They had a great time together.

          Chris & his family are back at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, after a three-year stint in Naples, Italy.  His old job opened up and he jumped at the chance to go back to Japan.  They really like it there, and this time they are living “on the economy” and have a nice house on a hillside overlooking Yokohama, and just a few minutes from the base by car or train.  Janna has a job at the base school as an educational assistant, and is working on getting her teacher certification.  Geoffrey and Connor report that they too like it there.  Geoff, 14, is now a Star Scout and the Senior Patrol Leader of his troop, and just endured his Order of the Arrow Ordeal.  Connor, 12, is busy trying to figure out how he can make a living playing video games.  hmmmmm…  They are here for Christmas this year, even as we speak – and I will blame the lateness of this letter on them!  ;-)  Eric is home too and is re-meeting his nephews and brother after all these years.

          Mom and Dad are doing pretty well too – at least neither one got hospitalized this year!  They are still in The Village at Northrise assisted care complex.  Of course there are some minor complaints, but that comes with the old “familiarity breeds contempt” saying.  Overall they enjoy it, have all their important, emotional stuff with them, and most importantly, Charlie, their dog.  Dad’s legs are giving out slowly but surely, and his best buddy, Ben, gave him a motorized wheel chair Ben had inherited.  We got it spruced up and Dad only ran over my foot twice while learning how to drive it.  When he can’t take Charlie on one of his numerous daily walks using his wheelie, he goes in the motorized wheel chair and they have a great time.  Mom is doing o.k. too, but I think her favorite activity is napping.  Mom and Dad will be coming over for Christmas dinner, along with my sister Kerry, so it will be a full boat!

          As for the menagerie, Cathy decided I didn’t have enough dogs, and so got me a mini-Australian Shepherd puppy.  Since the name Sheila is currently in use in the household zoo, her name is Matilda.  Get it?  Waltzing Matilda.  She is just like Sheila was as a pup - a bobcat on speed!  All the rest of the cats, dogs and birds are doing well.

          This year we had a pretty steady stream of friends pass through the Ville – Rick, Jack, Steve, Terry, Dave, Nancy, et al.  Seems like a lot of folks were relocating or travelling, and I hope more will come by this coming year!  I’ll give you the standard touristy tours and we can eat at really great New Mexican restaurants, so come on down!

          As for me, things are pretty boring.  My shoulder has finally healed up, at least as good as it’s going to get after I broke it a year and a half ago.  I still attend various activities of the Friends of Fort Selden, and take pictures of interesting stuff when I can.  This fall I’ve been the house-husband again while Cathy works, and somehow each day passes quickly, even though I try to drag them out sometimes.  I help my sister keep track of Mom and Dad too.  A local group put up a very nice Memorial to Vietnam War Veterans in the City’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, and I was selected to come up with the text and photos for the US Air Force panel - not because I was there (I wasn’t) but because they think I can write better than the other guys!  Even with that though, I don’t feel like I’ve done anything particularly productive this year!  Maybe 2016 will be the year… yeah, 2016… that’s the ticket!

          Somehow I thought there was more to write about, especially since it seems that there is even less time for things than there was before we retired!  But that’s about all I’ve got for this year.  We hope you and yours are doing well and never lose the spark, and wish you the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest New Year.

Now, Here's This Year's Crop of Photos:

Cathy and I in the front yard, Thanksgiving 2015