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2010 Holiday Letter

New Year's Eve2010 began, for us, with something of a bang - we went to Nathan Phillips Square for the New Year’s Eve festivities. (clicking on an image will bring up a larger version that can, itself, be further expanded, clicking a second time will close the image) It was followed with a somewhat more sedate concert at the Haliconian Club on New Year’s Day. Peter Roosen-Runge didn’t want to attend the concert, but Cheri did and we all had a New Year’s snack after the concert.

This year we returned to Ottawa for Mira’s birthday in February. It’s cold, but the cityRideau Canal seems equipped to survive and even thrive in winter. We got a jump on Spring with a trip to Vancouver in March. I was out there for a meeting about the IT Profession and Mira joined me after the meeting. We got a chance to walk in the Vancouver spring, and to see Laurie Johnston. Laurie and I were in graduate school together, lo these many years ago. We reconnected when Mira and I moved to Toronto, but Laurie deserted Toronto for the more balmy waters off Laurie in VancouverCanada’s west coast.

My concern for professionalism continued apace during the year. Mira accepted a one year term as President of CAWIC - Canadian Association of Women in Construction. It’s been an “interesting” year for Mira. Leading a volunteer organization has been compared to herding cats and Mira’s experience would seem to bear out that comparison, but it has been “interesting”.

Paul and Jonathan visited us twice this year. They’re a reasonably comfortable 6.5 houPaul and Jonathanrs away in Columbus Ohio where both of them now work for Ohio State University. We were fortunate to have them visit in the early Spring and in the late Fall. Next year we hope they will bring at least a portion of their extended family, maybe spending time with us at the cottage.

Dori as AnnieOur big excursion was a road trip that crossed through 11 US states. First, we visited with Mira’s sister, Doris, and her husband, Zoltan, in their new seniors apartment just outside Baltimore. Their two eldest children, Charlotte and Tom, are both within easy driving distance, and the new apartment provides full support for seniors. We had a chance to see Tom's youngesOtto and Margiet daughter, Dori, star in Little Orphan Annie. She was great. We then drove South to see Mira’s brother, Otto and his wife Margie who had just moved to Georgia. After his stroke, Otto is really sensitive to the cold and Georgia suits him. They returned to just outside Fort Benning where they met nearly 50 years ago. We then drove back home, but stopped for a too brief visit with Suzi, Doris’s daughter, and her family in Cincinnati. It happens, fortunately, that the shortest route from Fort Benning to Toronto leads near Cincinnati.

PriscillaWe didn’t have a chance to see Pricilla, our friend from college Noelle and Chrisdays, on this trip South - she was busy. But we did see her in Toronto, first in the Spring and then in the late Summer. During one of her visits we got tickets to hear Isabel Bayrakdarian. We were fortunate to be able to have dinner with Priscilla and Barbara Deller, an old New York friend we first met at The Pines. We stopped at Priscilla's place in Pennsylvania on our second trip to Baltimore for the wedding of Tom’s eldest daughter Noelle. She’s the first grandchild of Doris and Zoltan to marry.

Two other children of Doris visited us this summer. Dora came with husband and twins for a visit in Toronto. New Philadelphia, Dora and familywhere they live, isn’t exactly a major metropolitan centre; spending time in a big city like Toronto is a welcomed change of pace. The twins seem more interested in all things aquatic than in urban life, but Dora and Lou, her husband, do appreciate the city. Suzi and family visited at the Suzi's family at the cottagecottage. They were off to a new Provincial park just North of our cottage. On the way up they stopped and we also had the chance to meet Paul’s brother and his family. On the way back, Suzi and family stayed with us at the cottage.

The Borodins visited us at the cottage after we all attended a play at the 4th Line Theater. It’s an interesting “farm” theater that takes place outside and in natural lightBorodins. They’ve been running for a decade now and every year present new plays that highlight events in the history of Ontario. We saw a play about Pontypool, the early Jewish resort area just South of our cottage. This year, we were also fortunate to have the Weirs visit us at the cottage. Doug and Claudet live within walking distance of us in Toronto. It was nice seeing them at the cottage.

Mira at 5th Anniversary GalaCAWIC played a big role in Mira’s life during much of the year. The organization has made it to year five. They had a big 5th Anniversary Celebration at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. They need to consolidate the gains that a few stout hearted women achieved during CAWIC’s first five years. They have a plan, and now face the challenge of moving to execution. And the comparison to herding cats continues to be apt.

I continued to explore professionalism and community. I haven’t (yet) discovered the meaning of it all, but the exploration is interesting. And technology offers new and interesting opportunities. The availability of a vast trove of recorded classical music has led me to explore music that I would not otherwise have heard. There’s a bunch of good stuff that was new to me. I’m filling out my library with this new (to me) music. It’s been interesting. And I have just begun to explore ebooks.  I recently indulged and bought a BeBook Neo. I’m discovering the thousands of titles that are available for download. The jury is still out about how attractive it will be to read for long periods on the BeBook. I await the outcome with some interest.

Our health continues to be reasonable, but we do need to take greater care in order to maintain that status. We can no longer eat with impunity - waistlines require constant vigilance. The aches and pains of age are with us too often, but with moderate care we have been able to (mostly) maintain our status.  Next week, we’re off to see what life in Cuba is like. It will only be for Christmas week, but it will be in Havana and not one of those artifical resort enclaves. 2010 has been interesting and promises to end on an interesting note in Cuba.

Mira and Bob Fabian