Dear Family and Friends,
It's been a quiet year on the west bank of the Ashley River here in Charleston, South Carolina, our hometown. The mole crickets got that patch of St Augustine grass we sodded under the gum tree out back, again, but the violas by the driveway are still doing okay.
The other big news is that Ginny and Eric were engaged this spring, with dates set for a civil ceremony in France next March, and a wedding at First (Scots) Presbyterian next April. The handsome couple visited Charleston in July, and the four of us (sans Bryan, who had to work, alas!) drove up to Virginia for a lovely week visiting family.
Where in the World is Ginny Dillon? She continues her studies of 17th-century Eastern Europe at Oxford, although apparently passing through campus but rarely nowadays. This spring Ginny enjoyed another fellowship semester in Uppsala, Sweden, with frequent visits to France and Germany. Then after bouncing around Charleston, Atlanta, Virginia, and Chicago over the summer, she decamped for Marseille, where Eric is currently designing a railroad. She assures us that she can translate early 17th-century German newspapers and work on her dissertation anywhere, including French ports on the Mediterranean. Hmm.
Bryan is working two jobs – both enjoyable but wildly different. On weekdays he’s back at the Orange Grove afterschool program... supervising homework and playing games with the kids from 2-6:00 PM. On weekends he works in the Tech Department at Office Depot – selling computers and everything that might go with them. He’s also taking classes at Trident Tech for certification in Graphic Design.
Shary continues as the Teacher Coach at Orange Grove Elementary – doing everything from discipline to directing traffic. She seems to have become obsessed with planning for that wedding in April, which she has extended to include painting the family room, stripping all the hardware off the kitchen cabinets, and having her husband plant six flats of violas by the driveway, see above. A highlight of her year (and ours, as well) was her mother's visit to Charleston in the spring [at right].
I spent my spring break in Honduras again - the second year I've worked with the children at the LAMB Institute, an interdenominational ministry based in Tegucigalpa. On Judgment Day (May 21, for those of you still with us) I was at the all-star race in Charlotte, which Cousin Carl Edwards won, which was nice. At the other end of the speedometer I attended snail-related meetings in Louisville in April and Pittsburgh in July, and did snail-related field work all over Tennessee and Kentucky in February, June, July, August, and September, camping along the way.
While loitering around Charleston between trips I have continued to serve on the constituent school board and the faculty senate, coordinate Darwin Week, and sing in barbershop and shape note groups, as well as the choir on Sunday morning and the old folks' home on Sunday afternoon. And re-drill every hole for every hinge on every cabinet door in the kitchen. And water the violas.
Wishing you all a joyous holiday season!