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Christmas 2014 at the Vogts

Christmas always brings family and friends together, and helps us appreciate the love in our lives we often take for granted. May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your heart and home with many blessings. May all your wishes and dreams come true and may you feel this happiness all year round.

2014 had been an uneventful year until recently; not a lot to report, not a lot to remember. Gene finally got rid of his 17-year-old minivan (202,000 miles) last December, replacing it with a 2008 Cadillac SRX crossover. We took possession of the SRX on 2 December, but acquiring the title from the former lender took a bit longer than it should have (almost a month!) so it didn’t get registered and inspected until the day before Christmas last year.

Our niece got married in late January – a delightful event that remains as one of the fond memories – and social events – of the year. We celebrated family birthday dinners at some fine restaurants in the area over the course of the first half of the year. Gene managed to get one ticket to Opening Day at Fenway Park in April 2014, complete with the presentation of championship rings earned by winning the 2013 World Series. Lynn and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in July in Brunswick ME, being serenaded by a bagpiper, and Megan and Dan celebrated their 5th anniversary this past fall. Gene did some renovation work at each house this year. He redid the master bathroom in Woburn (new tile floor, new vanity, new toilet, new paint, with help from his brother-in-law), and built a 6x11 foot deck as a new entryway to the Ballot Box in Maine.

We hosted the 5th annual Memorial Day Weekend Lobster Feed at the Ballot Box in May (our traditional “starting gun” for the summer season in Maine), and Lynn was “in-residence” at the Ballot Box from 10 June through the end of October, with occasional excursions south to teach quilting classes and to let offspring and their significant others take over the Ballot Box for getaway weekends.

Lynn’s still as addicted to quilting as ever! She taught two classes over the course of the year, attended a guild mini-workshop in February, and escaped to Center Harbor NH (near Keepsake Quilting, for those quilters in the know!) for a four-day Spring Quilting Fling with friends from her quilt guild in April. She described it as… ”Quilting, eating, laughing, more quilting, more eating, more laughing.” She also sold two lap quilts and two table runners at the annual Rising Star Quilters’ Guild show in September.

Gene’s still at MITRE (28 years next August) but isn’t working secure video teleconferencing anymore as he was for the past 5-6 years. There was a seismic shift in the company’s support plans for the secure systems and it didn’t involve him. The work was assimilated by another business center within the company (the “Borg” Division) but resistance wasn’t necessary – they didn’t want Gene!  It got a little tense as the end of the fiscal year approached on September 30th and Gene didn’t have a job lined up, but he landed on his feet and is now managing the northern segment of a split team (in Bedford MA and McLean VA) of about 20 people working on a system design for the government.

Audrey still works at PetEdge in Beverly. She’s changed jobs a few times (never actually leaving PetEdge), and is now a Web Merchandising Specialist. Previously she was an Assistant Product Developer and worked in product technical support. She worked Anime conventions on her vacations; for Anime-Boston in March she was Convention Communications Technical Logistics Coordinator, and at Otakon (the Anime convention in Baltimore MD) in August she worked convention operations. She and Todd are still a couple – four years this coming June.

Megan and Dan are living in Lowell MA, where they bought a house a few years ago in a downtown section of the city that puts them conveniently close to all the amenities of that moderate-sized city. Megan is still working for Bose Corp. but has had a shift in her responsibilities. She’s now the “Demonstration Experience Designer,” working on the creative engineering team that designs the customer experience for all Bose retail environments globally. She’s being moved to “The Mountain” (Bose HQ) in Framingham and working in the R&D Center, which means a longer commute, unfortunately. Dan is a Senior Business Systems Analyst with eBay, doing intelligent communications targeting for clients.

Lynn and I attended the Boston Irish Film Festival in Somerville MA last March, for the expressed purpose of viewing The Irish Pub; a film directed and produced by a cousin-in-law of the VOGT family (Alex Fegan) who is married to one of the daughters of one of our Ardfert second cousins. The website description of the film is wonderfully accurate: THE IRISH PUB is a celebration of the greatest institution in Irish society, the pub or more specifically the traditional Irish publicans who run them. The characters in this exceptionally endearing film all run and own pubs that have been in their families for generations and it is through their warmth, wit and wisdom that we gain an insight into the heart and soul of THE IRISH PUB.

In September Gene was asked to be official photographer at the wedding reception of our son-in-law’s sister Anna and her husband James. The reception was held at the Winter Island Park pavilion in Salem MA on a glorious late September Saturday under bright blue skies. We had a great time and a lot of fun!

The dominant event for the year has been – and forever will be – a calamitous automobile accident on November 1st. For those who know about it we won’t repeat ourselves here. For those for whom this is new news, we’ve summarized the event and the ensuing ordeal on our family blog. The quick summary is that Lynn was in a serious automobile accident in Rockport ME on November 1st. She was seriously injured but will make a full recovery.

From our family to your family, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy – and SAFE – New Year!





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