Merry Christmas!
from Steve & Deborah
    Deborah and I have had another good year.  My shop program is still funded and running, and with the election of our new Liberal government, it will probably survive. Now that I've spent two years preparing myself for a promotion to vice-principal when the shop was threatened with closure, I'm very ambivalent about leaving the job I love for a new challenge, but I have passed all the coursework and the interviews, and I'm on the list of personnel approved to be placed in any openings, most likely next September. Maybe I don't want to feel I've wasted the time and money it took to become qualified for promotion; maybe I really am ready for a change.  I can't decide.

    We had a great summer.  We lost some of the photos in our new digital camera, but through the magic of html I can link you to websites for some of the places we visited, instead.  After my final course finished in mid-July, we hooked up the Boler, loaded Maxie in the back seat of the Marquis, and drove to Vancouver Island.  On the way we stopped at Sudbury's Science North, the Panorama Amethyst Mine, the Agawa Canyon and the Bushplane Museum in Sault Ste. Marie, and the Prairie Bolerama in Cypress Hills.
    A Bolerama is a gathering of tiny fibreglass eggs like ours where people swap ideas for restoring and upgrading their nomadic abodes.  Boler owners share a special affection for their trailers.  There have been some awesome restorations.
   Deborah loves Vancouver Island.  She wants to retire there.  We're still a decade away, but already thinking about it.  I'm lobbying for a southern destination with warmer water, but she wants to buy me a dry suit so I'll agree to dive in that frigid northern Pacific ocean instead.  We drove all over the island, exploring and visiting some of my old stomping grounds.

   We sailed for a day with Jim and Anne Watts out of Victoria, and I dove in Nanaimo and Victoria, among 6 foot wolf eels, great anemones and other underwater creatures.
We saw this strange house outside the marina where we stayed in Victoria,

The lovely house above belongs to the Conradi's, who have moved to their new home on a hillside on Salt Spring Island. They had a pig named Curly living in their basement when they arrived.
We went to Tofino and Ucluelet, and went caving with my brother Peter's family.
We photographed this herd of mountain sheep on Highway 1A coming out of the Rockies, and we saw lots of wildlife: wolves, bears, elk, etc. 
On the way home we visited Edmonton and attended my sister Dianne's wedding, which was a memorable event with lots of singing and playing of instruments.

    We also sailed a great deal this year. We took the cruising trophy for the second year in a row at the July annual C&C Regatta. The Redline is in the process of being sold, and we have a smaller (more trailer-able) CS 22 that we intend to sail in the North Channel next summer for several weeks.  The North Channel is said to be as beautiful as the Greek Isles; many people who cruise the Caribbean every winter come back to cruise the North Channel in the summers.
    Maxie had a skin cancer removed from her leg.  She's still acting like a puppy, but she's nine and a half, which is getting on for a Great Dane, and she has some smaller lumps here and there.  Kitty Lemieux is still her affectionate, playful self. 

    Deborah and I are in good health, and hope that you are all happy and healthy too.  We wish you all happiness and good fortune for the coming year.


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