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Christmas 1988

It's Christmas time again. Time for those hated, chatty, form letters telling you all about the year from another family too lazy to write something personal in the Christmas card. Don't you hate those things?!?

Well, we do have some news to pass on to everyone. I hope you haven't sent out your Christmas Cards yet. The big, Big, BIG news on the home front is that we have moved! The Vogts have left their quaint little house in the woods in Lexington, and have moved into a bigger, newer, nicer house in Woburn! Our new phone number is 1-617-933-xxxx. Notice the similarity to the old number! That took a bit of doing, but I convinced the phone company to let me get a new number close to the old one. I tried for an exact match, but 1311 was already taken.

Our new house is a 10-room 3-year-old split entry, with 2 of the rooms taken up by an in-law apartment downstairs, with separate entrance. (Gene's) Dad is with us now, so we are one big happy family! Dad was living alone in the old family homestead, and hated it. The opportunity to scoop up this house with the apartment in it came up quite quickly towards the end of the summer, so we all leapt at it. So far its working out quite well! Dad has his privacy and his independence, but he's also got somewhere to go for suppers when he wants, and the kids will never let him feel lonely.

This house has a lot of creature comforts that we are not used to. We have a 2-car garage now (with big loft, and automatic door openers), and a big pool for the summer months. The house itself has wall-to-wall carpeting everywhere except the kitchen and bathrooms. It also has a family room with fireplace downstairs, along with an office for the computer and Lynn's sewing stuff. Upstairs has a cathedral-ceiling'ed living room with another fireplace, dining room, kitchen, and three bedrooms. We have central air conditioning for those few hot days in July and August (hard to remember them now), and a big deck off the dining room overlooking the back yard and pool. The only thing missing is a cellar or workshop area, but the garage is over-long and over-wide, so most of the shop-like tools fit out there quite nicely! We've decorated the house up royally for Christmas inside and out, so it really feels like our home now with all the familiar trimmings around. We're having fun! The kids love having their own bedrooms, and we love having a family/TV room downstairs instead of using the living room all the time.

Megan is in the third grade now, eight years old. She is a graceful and energetic bookworm. Her favorite thing to do is read, and her second favorite thing is cartwheels. She is trying to grow her hair out ("Finally!" she says), so we are in a hairstyle experimentation phase. Just yesterday she announced that she wanted to be a rock climber when she grew up, so if any of you out there know where she can get a PhD in rock, let us know. If she did take up the sport, she would probably fill her knapsack with books anyway! She knits, and sings in the junior choir at church, and just yesterday found out that she had won the grand prize in a school contest. She won a $100 gift certificate to Toys-R-Us! She's in ecstasy dreaming of all the things she can get.

Audrey is in the first grade this year, a passionate, sparkley-eyed six-year-old. She has learned to ride her two-wheeler without those nasty training wheels, so now she can keep up with her sister wherever she goes. Both girls enjoy the paved street, sidewalk, and driveway for bikes, skates, and the like. Audrey will probably get a job with Neilson when she grows up, as a professional TV viewer. She would watch 20 hours a day if we let her. Lucky for her we don't! She is also crossing the threshold into the world of reading, and is very excited about it. She read her first full book the other day, and she was pretty proud. So proud in fact that she brought the book in to school and read it for the class. She's also in the junior choir, and brownies, and hates having to set the table for dinner. Sounds like all in all she's a pretty normal kid, huh?

Lynn is going through culture shock, moving from a 5-room, 150 year-old house to a 10-room, 3 year-old mansion. Christmas brings with it a settled-in feeling to the house, and being back down to one mortgage sure helps, too! Lynn tried working at a local book store for the Christmas season, but being on her feet for so long wreaked havoc with her leg veins, so she had to give it up. Too bad, because the discounts were great! Other things will present themselves, we're sure.

I am dwindling away to nothing. I've lost about 60 pounds so far since February. I'm going for the "gaunt" look! I keep a picture of myself from a Valentine's Party on the refrigerator, to remind myself of what I used to be like. This time its for keeps. I'm still working hard at MITRE. The honeymoon is over, though, now that I've been there for over a year. I'm also having fun in the new house, with all the storage space, and a place for my computer, too!

We got to travel a bit this year; some for business, some for pleasure. We were in San Francisco for a Marriage Encounter convention in July. That was a lot of fun. We spent a day in San Francisco proper, and saw the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge (the top was shrouded in fog, as usual). Lynn got a week off from being a mother and went to Colorado in June. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me! I had my usual collection of business trips, some to Los Angeles, and even one to Germany. That was fun. I was able to see a bit of the countryside southwest of Frankfurt, including the valley around the Moselle River. Nice!

That's about it from the Vogt household. We hope this finds you well, and we hope you don't mind the form-letter-ness of this too much.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Lynn, Gene, Megan, and Audrey






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