Colleen Meade
1991 Christmas Letter

December 6th, 1991       
Well, here we go again ! I don't have my own computer (terminal) to play with this year, so I'm just going to do a basic letter and then I'll have to do my customizing with hand-written (gasp!) notes ...

The reason I don't have a terminal any more is that I resigned from my job with Simons in June (although I didn't actually finish work there until early August). Just one too many straws (and one or two specific problems) and I decided that life is just too short for that much aggrevation and frustration. Since I was completely burned out, I decided just to take a few months off (something of an early retirement, I guess you could call it!). August was rather a write-off, what with poor weather (still!) and getting the divorce finished up, but starting in September we had that 6 weeks of fabulous weather which I spent just getting unwound (and tanned, and caught up on my reading and gardening, etc.). I was going to start looking for a job when the rains started, but as it turned out, I had a call from a head-hunter in the week before Thanksgiving. They were looking for someone to fill a very interesting position, and a mutual acquaintance had suggested my name. After some hasty pulling together of resumes and such, I did have several interviews in late October, but - unbelievable as it may seem - they still haven't finishing the process. As far as I know, I'm still in contention, but who can say ? At any rate, it's been a good excuse not to do anymore searching, as I'm having no trouble keeping busy (and spending money). Hopefully I will know before Christmas (though I have started sending my resume out to other places).

Meanwhile, I did go ahead and book another trip to Mexico for Kathleen and I. Only 2 weeks this time (I have to exercise restraint somewhere!). We are going to try the direct flight (well, same plane, though not non-stop) from Vancouver to Zihuatanejo that goes down each Thursday. We'll be staying at Club Med again, for a week, and at the Irma in Z (again) for the two days before and the five days after. Some other friends of ours (two couples and their families) are going to be joining us for the last four days. Each of them has a daughter Kathleen's age, so that should be really nice for her (and for me too, of course). Anyway, we're both looking forward to it. Last year was another great trip, although my memories of it were somewhat spoiled due to the fact that we missed our flight from Z to Mexico City (through no fault of our own, though with hindsight one can see how the problem could have been avoided) and then, in making our (tight) connection with the flight to Vancouver the next day, I left my diary behind, which was really depressing. I haven't even started the album(s) for that trip yet, though I have lots of lovely pictures. Kathleen did a great 'Trip Diary', as a school 'homework' project, so we have been using that - she had a tremendous time, particularly in the mini-club.

Though we had such a dreadfully rainy May and June and July and August, I don't feel I should complain too much. We didn't have to cancel a single T-ball game, and it was even a perfect day for her 7th birthday (another backyard barbeque lunch, with the waterslide out, etc.). In addition, we did manage an excursion during the summer, camping up at Cultus Lake with a friend on the August long weekend. We were really fortunate to have such perfect weather. We had a great time - including spending one whole day at the waterslides ! Then we really enjoyed the lovely weather that we had in the fall. We went to the beach (Spanish Banks) or the park (Balaclava, usually) pretty well every evening, as well as on weekends. Actually, that reminds me of our other big excitement - back at the end of April, we had a major collision with the car. No injuries, but we didn't get it back for 5 weeks. It wasn't written off, but it should have been. Just the discussions, etc., with ICBC dragged on for months.

I did give my 'Fashion Party' in April last year, but I decided to skip the one in September, since, without a job, I didn't really need many new clothes. Besides, I didn't need any extra excuses to spend money. I managed to get myself invited to several other peoples parties, so I ended up with some nice new things anyway, and I also did have a number of different groups of people over for dinners, so I did have to do my fall housecleaning after all (thank heavens).

Kathleen is now in Grade 2 at Maple Grove School, although, with this new 'Primary Program', I don't think they call them grades any more. She's still having a bit of trouble with a few of the things (her 'fine motor skills' are not outstanding, which means, for example, that her printing is not great), but I've been keeping in much closer communication with the teacher this year (Mommy is learning too!), so all is OK. I was also very fortunate to find a fabulous new sitter for Kathleen for after school, which is a real load off my mind.

In spite of all my spare time, I still never seem to get caught up on everything around the house and the yard, or on my various other projects - I'm now over 3 years behind on Kathleen's photo albums. Oh well, as I said last year, I just keep telling myself it will get better. It never does, but as long as I can fool myself into believing it will at some time in the future, I can keep on going. I'm still missing Mom Shelton a lot. We do see Dad Shelton occasionally, but it's just not quite the same kind of relationship.

Kathleen and I still have our 'kittens', although they are certainly acting all grown up - including bringing home half-killed birds for our entertainment !

Well, time to get on with the rest of the Christmas preparations. I got lots of neat decorating ideas from Kathleen's sitter, who is a real genius at that kind of thing.

Hope all is well with you and yours ...

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