Christmas Letter 2022

2507 Briargrove Dr.
Austin, TX 78704
December, 2022

Dear Family and Friends,

We are having a difficult time starting our annual holiday letter this year.  In the last few weeks, we have suddenly lost three very dear friends days apart and are still in shock.  We do want to reach out and say hello to you, though, so we will do our best.  We hope that you are doing well.

 Mel had surgery on Dec. 2nd for a malignant tumor in his bladder.  We are so grateful for excellent medical care—he is doing well, the tumor (aggressive but non-invasive) was removed.  He will be having frequent checkups from now on.   We are so grateful that Mardie was able to come on Dec. 1 for 10 days and that Beth was able to come for 5 days.   Beth and Mardie even overlapped for almost 2 hours which was a real treat.  They were such a big help!  Sarah had already planned to come to see us on the 18th (Joe could not get away) and will go home Christmas morning—what a joy to see our 3 girls this month.

Pat continues to write the Personals for the church monthly newsletter and has been able to return as a docent at the LBJ Library.  Mel gave her an Apple Watch for Christmas last year and it has really encouraged her to walk more and more.  She talks with her sisters almost every night on a 3-way call (brother Robert is on several times a month) while riding the exercise bicycle (24 minutes is the goal) and Nancy also rides her recumbent bike and Sandra walks—multitasking is the best!!!  Twice a month the Winter-Brown cousins have a Zoom gathering. Sister Nancy surprised Pat by coming to visit for her birthday in June.  It was fabulous having an experienced, organized librarian to work with us on sorting pictures and other memorabilia as we try to clear things out of our home where we have lived since 1967.  Pat’s Parkinson’s is moving slowly (as does Pat most of the time!).  Depending on whether Mel is playing tennis or not, he and Pat walk for more than a mile at least 3 days a week—walking most days with friends Pat has walked with for years.

Mel continues playing tennis twice a week and working on his websites dedicated to UT Physics History, Warren County African American Schools’ History and family history. Pat’s and Mel’s book clubs have shifted to Zoom format.

Mel and Pat spent several weeks in San Francisco—they went for two, but developed Covid while there.  Our good friends, the Richmonds, whose home near Golden Gate Park we look after while they travel, also developed Covid while in Europe requiring them to stay an extra week and we did, too.  We enjoyed spending time with Mardie and Durham, our 11-year-old grandson.  Niece Pragya Mishra’s family was vacationing along the West coast and came by for a visit. Cousin Teresa Meikle also visited us.

Beth continues as the Director of Chamber Music at the University of Iowa.  She and Eugene have an empty nest with Emily (22) a junior at Smith (English major) and Ethan (19) - a sophomore at Stanford (saxophone and some combination of computer sciences and psychology).  Beth had a marvelous celebration of her 55th birthday when she and Eugene had a great trip to Hawai’i.

Sarah continues teaching high school chemistry at St. Stephen’s-St. Agnes Episcopal School in Alexandria, VA.  She and husband Joe enjoy indoor rock climbing and the occasional weekend getaway.  Sarah spent a lovely 3 weeks in Italy this summer and continues to study Italian in her free time.

Mardie and Durham continue to enjoy life in San Francisco. Durham is in 5th grade – next year, he’ll start middle school!

We wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy holiday season.

Pat and Mel

2022 Gallery

12/2022  Pat, Mardie, Beth and Mel--Austin
12/22  Pat, Sarah and Mel, Austin
Summer, 2022  Durham. Pat. Mardie,. Mel. San Francisco
 2022, Eugene, Emily, Ethan Beth, Iowa City
2022  Joe and Sarah