December, 1999

We hope this letter finds you all well, and enjoying the last Christmas season of the 1900's. 

     As a teenager I remember considering how exciting it would be to experience the millenium, and then realizing with a shock of horror how old I would be - 47!  Man, that seemed like such an advanced age from way back then.  I wondered if I'd still be alive.  And now, here I am - and not that old, after all.  It seems a bit incredible.
     Yet, now that it's finally here, I'm nonchalant. We will have a very low-key domestic celebration. 
      We've had a good year.  Deborah is in her new school called Terraview-Willowfield, teaching a split grade 3/4 class. 
      I am at Samuel Hearne Sr. P. S. for the third year, halfway through my second year of running a woodshop program interspersed with science units (fluids and structures) for about 450 grade 7/8 students from my school and three visiting schools. 
     We had a great vacation in the maritimes this summer, and we also spent a lot of time at the sailing club and the tennis club.  We have served on the executives of each of those clubs for the past two years - actually three years in the tennis club, and continuing for a fourth year right now, as secretary (Steve) and membership person (Deborah).  We ran the house league program for the past three years.
     We still have Chrissy the Greyhound and Maxie the Great Dane, and Kitty Lemieux the "ditch kitty" from Kingston.  Pavarotti our parakeet still sings, but is growing unsteady on his little bird feet - getting ready for that last big flight, I suppose.
      Deborah gets out to fitness classes once a week.  I play in the concert band on Monday nights, and play volleyball on Fridays and sometimes Thursdays, and I've even played soccer on Wednesdays, but I'm finding that more of a workout than my old feet can take, so I don't know if I'll continue.  Generally we're both in good health, however.  I lost 25 lbs in July and August and have kept it off, through a disciplined diet.
      We don't anticipate any huge surprises this coming year.  We might have to buy a new old car; and we are hoping to make a trip this summer to visit Deborah's brother Geoff in Singapore, do some scuba diving in Malaysia, and whatever else we can fit in and afford while we're in that corner of the world.
      Our longest friendships continue without much change - old friends are the best friends, as my old friend Arnd once said to me - although we now have many terrific new friends that we've gotten to know in the past few years at the sailing and tennis clubs who will slowly become old friends as time passes.  I also have a terrific staff at my school - there's never much time to cultivate them as personal friendships outside of school, but they would make great friends, they're all wonderful people.  My chief reflection as the new millenium begins is something age-old: how important friendships are to me, and that friends and family are a man's real wealth.
     So, to all of our friends and family: we wish you all the best Christmas and New Year ever, and a wonderful Year 2000.


Steve and Deborah Gilchrist
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