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The VOGT Holiday Newsletter

Christmas 2011

c2011 has been a quiet year for the VOGT family; no weddings, no house purchases, no job changes or retirements. Audrey did buy a new car… And though the weather in these parts had a number of wrong-season affectations leading up to the present (eight inches of snow before Halloween, 60+ degree temperatures into December, mowing the lawn well into November, putting up the outdoor Christmas lights in a t-shirt), we're once again head-first into the Holiday season! From our house to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!

Throughout the year Lynn and I continued our rehearsal for retirement, with long weekends, occasional weeks, and (for Lynn) the entire summer at our house in mid-coast Maine (the Ballot Box). For me this was possible because I am lucky enough to be able to tele-commute to work on a regular basis. The work I’m doing doesn’t always require my physical presence in the office, and my management encourages the flexibility that tele-commuting provides, so I am able to work while up north on a regular basis. One of the first additions when we bought the house was high-speed internet so I could tele-commute, and it's been heavily-used since.

Our projects at the Ballot Box have been mostly modest so far, with one exception. Lynn’s been wanting to create an English Cottage Garden since soon after we bought the house, planning a quaint area out in front with an arbor entrance, a meandering rustic pathway with grass and moss and little flowers, flowering trees for shade, flowerbeds of all kinds for perennials, a bench for sitting and reflecting, flowering and berried shrubs along the front of the house that will attract birds and butterflies, all bordered by a white picket fence with rambling roses growing along it. We quickly recognized the "white picket fence" as being the foundation for the garden, bounding it and giving visual definition to the project, so we started by installing that. My glorious plan for do-it-yourself fence installation was thwarted by the hardened clay that was hiding six inches below the surface, so Plan B was engaged; we hired an installer. Now the white picket fence stands proudly in the front yard, bounding the future English Cottage Garden and giving us a vision of things to come. It’ll be years in the making (we’re not retired YET!), but we’re patient.c

Gene’s still at MITRE (25 years next August) and doing well, with a few irons in the fire. I'm managing a small group of people who design and deploy secure VTC suites at MITRE sites. My guys do the real work and I choreograph the multiple assignments and buy all the equipment. I'm also the official "ombudsman" for site-located employees back here at MITRE headquarters; I plead their cases (usually technology-related, but not always) and represent their interests here at home. I also help run an internal system for tracking employees deployed to hazardous areas around the world, be it for a day or a year. The "during" part is easy, it’s the "before" and "after" deployment bureaucracy that'll kill ya!

My genealogy research has stalled in some areas and been energized in others this year, but my genealogy activities have continued strongly. In April I was honored and privileged to present the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Sponsored Lecture on my efforts and successes in researching my VOGT heritage at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference in Springfield MA, and I gave a derivative presentation from that talk in November to the Pejepscot branch of the Maine Genealogical Society in Brunswick ME. In June I was also asked to participate on a Massachusetts Society of Genealogists panel discussion on doing genealogy research in foreign countries.

Lynn's still teaching quilting and working at the quilt shop in Cambridge, but she's connected herself to another quilt shop up near our house in Maine, and actually taught a class or two up there last summer. She has two quilt studios, of course – one in Woburn and one in Newcastle! Her quilt designs and craftsmanship continue to amaze, and she is in charge of the design and construction of the 2013 edition of the Rising Star Quilters’ Guild raffle quilt, a two-year process that culminates at the annual Quilt Show in the fall when the raffle winner will be announced.

cLynn’s horticultural endurance was put to the test this year with gardens at TWO houses to take care of. The southern gardens were a bit neglected for a time (specifically July, August and September) while Gene’s black thumb was the only thing they had to depend on. A few days spent outside on a mid-summer visit south were enough to keep it all from going somewhere in a hand-basket, though, and they survived the summer. It was nip and tuck for a while there!

Megan and her husband Dan still both work for Bose Corporation. She's an "Interactive Display Technology Integration Project Manager" (the big Bose displays in big retail stores are her babies). She's truly using her degree in Sound Recording Technology! Dan designs and prototypes web applications for internal consumption. They're both geeks! 

Audrey has successfully extricated herself from retail sales and is now working Product Support and internal product training for PetEdge, an international supplier to professional pet grooming salons and groomers, with their home office in Beverly MA. She also is a professional groomer (the only one on the PetEdge staff - go figure!) and does that on weekends - has grooming kit, will travel! She and her boyfriend Todd make a fine couple. Her 400-mile-per-week commute is what prompted her to buy the new car, a Honda hybrid, and so far it’s working out wonderfully.

We won’t talk about the Red Sox this past year. Go Patriots! Go Celtics! Go Bruins! Did you realize that Boston’s professional sports teams have won seven world championships in the last ten years?c



Lynn & Gene





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