December 2002


Once again we greet our friends and family at this time of the year. In all respects it has been a good year. We have all been blessed with good health. We tend to take a day at a time, being grateful for each. We have been enjoying an absolutely fantastic late summer and fall weather. Never before have we had such a spectacular long-lasting show of fall colors.

Early in the year George took a group to the jungle in Ecuador and then toured various villages in the high country. As always, it was quite an adventure for him and for all who went with him. He still tries to keep fit by riding his bicycle. Just before Thanksgiving he raced in Tucson, Arizona and was first in his age group (70+) and beat over 53% of the 750 riders in the 100 km race. He gets older but resists growing up.

Most of his time and energy this year has gone into plans for the Korean War Children’s Memorial to be dedicated here on 27 July next year. In June he spent 8 days doing research in Tokyo, Japan. He has gathered over 2,000 photographs and thousands of stories documenting the relations between the US forces and the Children of Korea.

David is still working part time at the university in food services. It is a great job because he gets all school holidays and summer off. In the summer he works for the Park Department in Big Rock Garden Park (our former garden). He also puts time in around our own yard, goes swimming and does some bicycling with his special friend Beth. Friday and Saturday evenings he goes to the drop in center to visit with friends, play pool and engage in other group activities. Someone gave him a box of over 40,000 stamps which he is diligently sorting by country and mounting in books.

On Thanksgiving the three of us went to Everett to have dinner with Todd, Michelle and our lovely little grandson Cyle. He is 18 months old and is a grandparents dream. Todd is learning the responsibilities of being a father, not only to Cyle but to Chad (5yrs) and Cody (4yrs), two boys of Michelle’s.


Mary Ann still spins, knits and weaves. She entered two juried shows this year and did very well selling her hats and scarves. Her resolution for next year is to do more weaving. The two guilds she belongs to give her a lot of pleasure and companionship. She often begins her day with a 3-mile walk in Whatcom Falls Park near our home which takes her past a marshland, through a forest of tall Douglas Fir, cedar and hemlock trees, past the falls and back past the fish hatchery. Twice a week she plays racquet-ball and swims. As one gets older it takes more effort to keep fit.

Finally, after 35 years that we have been in Bellingham, Mary Ann’s brother Herbert and wife Sue paid us a visit. Her other siblings never got here before passing away. We were delighted that they girded up their courage and came out to visit the wild west. The weather behaved itself while they were here so we could show them the best of the northwest.

In midsummer the three of us took a trip up the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia to visit the sites of the International Sculpture Symposium. We stayed in B-and-Bs most nights and had a very relaxing trip. We crashed a party at the home of the organizer of the symposium assuming that if he knew we were in town he would have invited us, a correct assumption, he assured us. Later in the summer George and Mary Ann celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary by taking a leisurely car trip up the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia to the very end of the road. It was quality time enjoying a lovely coast. David, meanwhile, spent several days with Beth and then time home alone till we returned.

We wish all of you the best of the season and a healthy New Year. Please join us in our prayers for peace in these most troubled times.

Peace, Love, Joy.

The Drakes