Lots of big stuff happened this year. Probably the most significant was my mother's death last summer after a very short bout with cancer. It took all of us by surprise, since it was just one month from when she first felt sick to the day she died. As many of you know, we had had a strained relationship over these past few years, so we had a lot to go over when we visited her in the hospital. Still, we managed to end a lot of old disputes. I just wish we were able to enjoy having a better relationship now...
My father was able to visit us last summer, which was good. We took him for a ride on the local steam railroad. Since he used to take me to them when I was a kid, there seemed to be a nice symmetry in this.
The other big news is that we finally decided that it was time to pull the plug on the `noble experiment'. I am actively looking for a new job so that we can return to Los Angeles. After nearly four years here in Austin, I finally came to the conclusion that if I was going to start liking Texas, I probably would have by now. [I-hate-this-place rant deleted to save space]
We're still both working at the same jobs. No real vacation yet this year, since I was kind of hoping that we would be moving soon... Cathy bought a new car this year. After nearly 16 months of looking, she bought a Honda Civic. Whew. Now Cathy's `dogological' clock is ticking, and she wants to have another dog. I don't know about this, since Cosmo is the Most Perfect Dog, and I wonder if we could find another to compare.
I did some more caving this year. This is the one thing that I have found to do here that I really enjoy, and that doesn't exist in Los Angeles. I even got Cathy to go one time. I have pictures to prove it. I show them to people, and they ask me, "Do you really have to put on makeup to go in a cave?" She was the cutest caver I ever saw.
The rest of the year has been Homeowner Hell. Yard work, rats in the attic, all the usual fun stuff. Cathy remodeled her bathroom. New paint, baseboards, texturing the sheetrock. The whole bit. It was impressive, and quite interesting to watch, as I was just a consultant on the project. We also put some extra insulation in the attic, after I discovered [while looking for rats] that the @#$%! builder had failed to put any insulation over the kitchen. That was actually not a very difficult project, and it made a real difference in the house.
Happy New Year!
Stan & Cathy