This has been a remarkable year for the Clarks!
- My picture was run in no less than four different magazines in 1997! (On the cover of the January/February Camp Chase Gazette, in the August Yahoo! Internet Life, the 11/10 Government Computer News and the 11/24 Insight Magazine.) I guess I've gotten my 15 minutes of fame.
- I wrote the above on the 23rd of December. Wouldn't you know it, the very next day we were photographed and interviewed by a reporter from the Washington Times as we stood waiting to buy our HoneyBaked ham, and the article ran in the Christmas Day issue. Here it is. I guess I didn't get my 15 minutes of fame, after all! (When I mentioned all this to the reporter, he called me "The King Of All Media." Heh.)
- We bought the new house, of course. (See below.) We bought lots of things in connection with this; in fact, we spent more money in 1997 than in any other year of our marriage. It was nice, for a change!
- I reestablished contact with my half brother Jack and a niece and a nephew. (I also learned about some skeletons in the family closet.)
- I attended the biggest Civil War reenactment ever (the 135th anniversary of the battle of Antietam).
- I got promoted in February and bought this spiffy watch as a reward. In October I was made a division manager (more responsibilities, same pay).
- Cari has been sewing and baking up a storm. In fact she spent one entire day doing nothing but baking! I encourage this activity, of course...
- I ordained Ethan as a Teacher shortly after he turned 14, and now help with Scouting with the 14 and 15 year olds. (A tough crowd.)
- Ethan attended his second year at Goshen Scout Camp in June, and his first "Especially for Youth" program in August on the William and Mary campus in Williamsburg. He then spent a week in Utah with family friends, cousins and grandparents. In September he returned to the public school system as an eighth grader at Washington Irving Middle School, where he is struggling with Latin, algebra and English.
- We played host to family friends the Palmers when they were on vacation in April, and a couple of girl friends of Julie and Meredith just recently, when their parents had to go out of state to attend a funeral.
- Julie sold an article to the Church publications group! It's about reverence at church, and represented her first written submission, ever. It hasn't appeared in print, yet, but when it does it'll probably be in an upcoming Friend. She bought a statuette of a ballerina with the money, and we're hoping this is but a taste of writing things to come...
- Meredith has done many activities with her Brownie Troop, including attending the dedication ceremony of the Women's Veterans monument in D.C.
- I was given about a thousand classical LP's by a friend at work. I ended up keeping about half of them.
Can't wait to see what 1998 will be like!
The New House
We're at our first Christmas and have made a lot of changes. We gave away our old six foot tree and got a new nine footer to take advantage of the cathedral ceiling in the living room. It looks great! That living room was meant for Christmas, I think.
My little nighttime job these days is in repairing and restoring Mom's illuminated dollhouse for the girls, who can't wait for me to finish.
The neighbors are thrilled with us since the previous owners were slobs. After much seeding, watering and fertilizing, for instance, we now have a green front lawn. (Or we did, before winter came along.) Oh, it's filled with grasses and stuff I wouldn't want to call "lawn," but it looks pretty good. I also edged it, apparently for the first time ever. The people across the street say the lawn has never looked as good, and they've been living there for 10+ years. The people in back of us state that in all the years they've been there, the back lawn "...never tasted fertilizer."
We did Meredith's room in a light violet shade, with a border at the ceiling and purple pansies as decorative accents. I was doubtful at first, but the room looks quite nice. Cari did a great job of decorating, and I did a superb job of painting.
The den is in green, and is practically finished. Cari made a nice drape for the sliding glass doors, and the room looks appropriately cool, dark and bookish. I want to find some room so I can display those extra few hundred classical LP's I got.
Julie's room is also done, mostly. She has the bedspread and pillows - I painted, put up a coordinated border and Cari put up curtains in her bay window. I also made a little office for her in her closet. All that remains is a coordinated cushion for the sitting area in her window.
Ethan, being 14, has his own opinions about room decor that clashes with Mom's, so we haven't done anything in there. We're trying to talk him into a northern woods theme. He wants a sun, moon and stars theme.
Cari made a nice set of drapes for the kitchen, and that room has come also nicely.
I want a cupola and an Indian weathervane for above the garage (a lifelong desire), and a rear deck. The deck will have to wait until next year.
In case you're new to all this, here are the pertinent facts about the house: 5 bedroom, 3 baths, cathedral ceiling in the living and dining rooms, white ceramic tile in the kitchen and basement den, wood floor (in need of refinish/replacement) in living room, new carpet, new paint, 2 car garage, recent hot water heater, air conditioning and high efficiency gas furnace. We reroofed it in June. We're redoing the kitchen as soon as we can afford to. The pictures date from April, before we moved in. The place looks better now!
Here's the front of the place, and here's the back. The back isn't much to look at, admittedly, and neither is the lawn in the front, but the price was right and we can fix up and put in a deck at our leisure.
- A photo of me shot in November, 1994 at the 20 year Burbank High School reunion. It's by far and away the best recent photo of me. (I prefer the ones in my twenties when I had hair, but that wouldn't be representative.)