Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sneak peak

Okay, this picture is on our Christmas card (which I think will actually get out before Christmas this year...), but it is so cute I had to post it too...


carly said...

okay, that picture is so cute, and i ALSO would like an attached garage!!

Tom said...

Dear Weston and Amy:

It was great hearing from you. I'm so happy that life is going well for you and your family. I found your letter very uplifting. I keep in touch with Joy. I has been a trying year for me. Your prayes would be appreciated.

All the best

Tom Bauman

2007 and Beyond…….

Dear Friends:

What a year 2007 has been! I wasn’t going to write and share, but I thought I would give it a try. I don’t want to come across in a downhearted fashion, however, it proved to be a very trying year for me personally and for all my family. Next year can only bring improvement. For that matter the last several years have been trying starting with the loss of my mother in November 2005 and legal problems that followed in 2006 for my brother and me regarding her home and an eviction.

The year got off to an uneventful start with the exception that I made the decision to retire at mid-year. The stress and demands of my position at the college convinced me that it was time to call it quits. I sold my rental and paid off my house mortgage so that I could make it happen.

Almost immediately after retiring in May I was served with a formal discrimination complaint by a disgruntled employee at the college. That really shook things up. The following six months were a night mare. The final outcome proved that all the allegations against me were completely without merit. Unfortunately the damage had been done by all the untruths that had been said.

In the midst of all this my daughter, Ann, died unexpectedly on August 8th in her sleep. I had been spending a lot of time with her trying to help her move on with her life. She had been struggling for sometime. The cause of her death was listed as “natural” causes. Needless to say this did not comfort my family. It did, however, bring us closer especially my remaining daughters Kim and Laura. Laura and I have reconnected and have been spending a lot of time together. That has been a gift for me. We celebrated Ann and her gentle spirit in a very touching memorial service with sun flowers, friends, poetry, sharing and music. Her sisters released a balloon at the end while I played “Going Home” on the pipes.

I committed to teaching a class at the college during the fall semester as a favor to a department head. It proved to be both a blessing and a curse. With all that was happening I couldn’t get myself settled into retirement. Although my pension is very modest I’m fortunate to have been able to build up some savings and become debt free.

I bought a lot in Mexico last year overlooking the ocean. My plans are to build a home down there. I have visited there several times over the past year with my girlfriend, Marti.

I have been able to get away some and visit friends and family around the state including a family reunion in October. I get up to Marysville as often as I can to see Kim and my grandsons. Kim and I tried out for “The Amazing Race” in early December. No luck.

I hope that in 2008 I can travel more and take longer trips. I’ve kept the slate clean and my calendar open so that I’m not held back by any obligations. My brother Steve and I have been able to spend more time together. Given all that we have faced together many brothers would not have survived the ordeals, but in our case it actually brought us closer. I have truly enjoyed his company.

For the most part my days are uneventful. I have coffee and read the paper in the morning. Walk the dog. I write in my journal daily. I try to get to church a couple of times a month. I go to Montana’s a honky-tonk on Friday’s to visit with friends. Go to the gym several times a week. I’ve trimmed down about 25 pounds and shaved off the mustache to mixed reviews. Overall I’m trying to take better care of myself. Marti and I usually spend the weekends together.

I’ve been going over to UCR’s pipe band practices once a week to listen and visit with the players. I’m giving some serious thought to getting back into solo playing and competition. I haven’t played much the last couple of years and miss it. There is a Scottish Festival on the Queen Mary in February. I hope to be there.

I did indulge myself and bought an X-terra. I really like it. It proves to be great for travel since I can put my dog, Peebrah, in the back. I also bought a lap top computer and GPS unit. I’m hoping to chronicle my travels next year. I had my 3000GT painted so it is now parked in the garage. I also got a big screen HDTV for the downstairs.

Christmas will be spent with Marti and my daughters. Marti and I are heading up to the central coast to visit SLO and Cambria after Christmas to celebrate her birthday.

My hopes and prayers are that all of you will have an enjoyable holiday season and great year in 2008.

I’m optimistic that the journey next year will be a rich one. Time is such a precious gift I want to make every moment count. God bless you all and take care. Please keep in touch 909-945-3029.

Love and friendship,