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Christmas 1997


‘Twas the month before Christmas,
And in the Vogts’ home,
We were wracking our brains
To write you this poem.
We longed to be different,
For our tome to stand tall,
And not just be fodder
For that pile in the hall.

For year after year
As our letters went out,
We wondered in our hearts
If they made you all pout.
So truthful, so factual,
So honest, so boring.
So this has some rhyme,
To keep you from snoring!

Hello to everyone far and near. Another dull and boring Christmas letter. At least you won’t be wanting for kindling to start that fire in the fireplace you keep promising to have! We tried to write this year’s family letter in verse to entertain you a bit instead of boring you to tears, but it failed miserably, so the pieces are scattered throughout to amuse you. We found that it’s a lot harder to put the year’s experiences into rhyme when you a) have to be sort of truthful, and b) can’t make up words to fit the rhyme.

This year has been an interesting one. Lots of things happening, not always for the best, but always keeping the attention span focused! Lynn has enrolled in an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling program at a local college (she’s in training to be counselor). It’s a three semester, full-year program (no break during the summer) with a course load of 3 full classes per semester. The first semester is wrapping up now. It’s been a major life-style change for Lynn, and has touched us all, as you can imagine. Lynn works hard at her school work. She takes it very seriously and her grades reflect that. Next semester she will be doing an internship as well as classroom work, so life will get even more interesting. We’re all cheering her on as she undertakes this formidable challenge.

Megan is a senior – the time for college hunting and application is here. She is currently undecided about her ultimate career goal (leaning towards music and theater), but has gone through preferences for two or three majors in the last year (and she’s not even in college yet!!). She is applying to the University of Southern California, New York University, Boston University, DePaul University, and U-Mass Lowell. I have to get busy and buy more lottery tickets.

Megan is also still heavily involved with her singing. She still takes voice lessons, and this is her 2nd year in the New England Conservatory Youth Chorale (they just released a CD!). Her two choirs at Woburn High School (Concert Choir and Show Choir) keep her busy as well. She’s also an officer in the Key Club at the school (she got to go to the Key Club international convention in Nashville this past summer), stage manager of the school play, and in her spare time, she sleeps.

Audrey has shifted into 2nd gear as a sophomore in High School. She auditioned for and was accepted into the Show Choir at school (with Megan), so she too is in both choirs. She also has a major role in the upcoming school play, which she is enjoying immensely. Her circle of friends gets wider and wider – pretty soon she’ll know everyone in the school! She also spent her 2nd summer in Wyoming this past year, working on a horse ranch owned by my niece and her husband. She wants to learn as much as she can about horses and how to care for them.

And I’m is still at MITRE – passed the ten year milestone this year. Seems like only yesterday I was preparing lesson plans for the 9th graders at Burlington High School.

Our puppy’s no longer a puppy (though he thinks he still is). Buddy’s a part of the family in more ways than one. He works hard at keeping Lynn from rolling off the couch when she’s studying (he stands by the couch and l-e-a-n-s on her), and he’s a great foot-warmer during the cold winter nights when we huddle in front of the TV.

Family excitement has been minimal this year, which can sometimes be a blessing. Lynn and I got to travel to San Antonio in January on a business trip (Lynn hid in one of my suitcases!), and wouldn’t you know it – it snowed while we were there! We figured that heading to the deep south during January would be a nice escape from winter, but N— O— O— O! We also got a chance to see Riverdance live in Boston in January. That was an incredible experience that we heartily recommend to anyone even remotely interested in Irish music and dance.

We took a February skiing vacation to Loon Mt. and Audrey unfortunately managed to fracture her arm during the snow-boarding lessons. I guess snowboarding was harder than it looked – Megan came home that day with a bruised derriere too. While on the topic of injuries, I’ve been fighting since March with a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. The worst part about it is that I don’t have a clue as to how I did it! Don’t you just hate that?!

In May the high school choir and band did a concert tour of Montreal and participated in an international choir fest and competition. Lynn and I were supposed to chaperone but one of us got sick and we were replaced (whew!).

In June we hosted a 2nd VOGT Family Reunion. We had the first one back in September 1995 when we first got home from Europe. This 2nd one was less-well attended, but there was still a big crowd here, and my sister and I managed to get a family history book printed in time for the Reunion that listed all the known relatives and tidbits of information about them. Lots of people wanted copies so we did a 2nd printing later in the year.

Lynn’s mom moved in July to an assisted care facility in Topsham Maine. As she got older it got harder and harder to support her living alone up in Camden, and her recovery from a broken leg only hammered home that point, so with much sadness and reluctance she moved out of her house in the coastal area of Maine and into a retirement home near Bowdoin College. As anyone would expect, moving is hard on anyone, and not all aspects of this move have been positive, but overall her health and well-being is much improved.

We all had great fun again this year hosting a German Exchange student from Bremen. Julia Kunze came and lived with us for 3 weeks, leaving on Halloween day (much to her dismay on having to miss the uniquely American festivities).

Not much else happening. Like I said, another boring Christmas newsletter. After you read it, start a nice warm cozy fire with it and think kindly of us as you snuggle in!

 

 

 

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