This year we return to time honored tradition by wishing our friends and relatives Merry Christmas and publishing the Blichmann+Bond family newsletter well AFTER the official end of the holiday season. So, here’s the year that was. In order of descending age:
|The Mighty Mackinac Bridge|
Parental Unit #1 The big news for Bob is that last summer he started a new job that’s actually local: no more living out of town Monday thru Friday. This is looked upon as a definite lifestyle upgrade. The position is with Element Materials Technology, an independent metals testing lab in Charlotte. He'll miss his friends at Caterpillar and the great bicycling community in Sumter, SC, but not the driving back and forth. It's great to get back home again!
Parental Unit #2 Betsy’s year had fewer dramatic professional and personal changes, unless you count seeing more of Bob.
|Hiking near Roan Mtn, NC|
Offspring #1 Paul finished up his research job at the Medical School of South Carolina this fall, and immediately landed a temp spot at a firm in Charlotte working on FDA approval for a new pharmaceutical. That will keep him busy managing something like 10,000 PowerPoint slides worth of data. His zeal for the culinary arts has lead to the destruction of an insignificant number of kitchen appliances. So far.
|Christmas snow in Livonia, MI|
Offspring #2 Nart graduated from UNC Chapel Hill last spring. He's now down in Florida working part time as an elementary school tutor, and has started working toward a teaching certificate. He's staying at his girlfriend's parent's place, and appears to have moved into the position of chief gardener, dog walker, and chef of that busy, multi-shift working, multi-generational household.
|Hiking near Mount Mitchell, NC|
Lifestyle notes The most noticeable impact of all this moving about is that three apartments worth of furniture and junk descended into our house over the course of 2013. Our garage is packed to the gills with old furniture and cardboard boxes full of kitchen gear, textbooks, and who knows what. It seems a good percentage of our house is similarly afflicted. So far we've re-decorated/re-purposed a couple of rooms, but we're not sure we've really accomplished more than just shuffling giant stacks of stuff from one place to another.
Travel tidbits We took a couple road trips to Michigan to visit family, which is always fun. The U.P. is beautiful in August. Christmas marked the first time all the Bond siblings have been together for quite a while. We did spend a week in May up in the mountains of NC hiking to waterfalls, haunting the local art galleries, and hanging out by the peaceful South Toe River. Bob got to spend a few weeks in Birmingham, England on business.
|The old harbor at Lafayette, MI|
|Ardis Furnace site, Iron Mtn, MI|
Hobbies, Bob Bob's jazz and Americana bands still perform locally from time to time. Upright bass continues to be the thing – the electrics are gathering a bit of dust these days. He's re-kindled his (possibly hereditary) interest in photography, and has been having fun catching up with the world of digital imaging.
Hobbies, Betsy Betsy continues her keen interest in the fiber arts, and is currently Secretary of the Charlotte Knitting Guild. She does swim the early shift at the pool several days a week.
|Skippy and Zeela, not stressing it|
The rabbits (thanks for asking) are both doing swell. Skippy is hyper-friendly and eager to please, and his girlfriend Zeela II is aloof and a bit suspicious. Nothing new there!
Bob and Betsy