Reflections at Yearís End 2003


Dear Ones,

If a great year could be predicted by its happy beginning, this year shall have been one of the best. At Helen and Scottís we welcomed in the New Year with family and friends. And, although we missed Roger and Amy, we had just heard the great news that they were expecting a baby in July! This would be grandchild #4.

Speaking of grandkids, being grandparents is great! Bryan and Elizabeth, who live in Vancouver, WA, have two wonderful kids. Tiffany, who turned 8 in August, is sunny, fun, talented, and smart. She plays the violin with amazing skill. She is studying in home-school this year in third grade, which must be a tremendous challenge and change to the family. Grant, who turned 4 in November, is funny, fun, talented, and smart. He is taking piano lessons, loves to go to the kidís gym, and finds along with thousands of other children, that Spider Man and Buzz Lightyear are amazing heroes.

Helen and Scott and their little boy, Gareth (two years old in March), live about 20 minutes away, in Redlands. We spend a lot of special times with them. Gareth is a typical boy, interested in all things that are machines, and curious to check out and take things apart. Scott is a specialist in computer networking, CYBERTEK his business. Scott and Helen buy homes that are close to being repossessed by the bank, fix them up and resell them. You can find more out about them at their website, http://www.helenandscott.com/.

February was a time when clouds obscured the sun, the family mourned. Philipís precious mother, Virginia Steinweg, was laid to rest. We will surely miss her, as will the many colleagues and students whose lives she touched throughout her life of ministry. We look forward to that great resurrection day when we will be reunited with her.

March and April I had some personal health problems, and medical tests, Things were not so cool. April 28 I had a papiloma removed from my left breast. May 6 the surgeon told me the lab report said it was cancer. The good news is that he removed it all. The bad news is that it could  recur (30 Ė 40% chance). My surgeon recommended he cut more out. My oncologist said that would be "Overkill", so I decided against further surgery. I also decided against radiology, because of the unfavorable side effects. I am living a  healthful lifestyle and working with my physician to watch for recurrence. I appreciate your prayers.

To get some needed R & R and Phil and I spent a week in beautiful Oahu in early June. Everything was beautiful and fun, but most special of all was spending Sabbath with the SDA church family and Philís Cousins, Jan and Ron Sauder and their twin girls. They took us on a special hike up to a lovely waterfall that was not on any of the commercial trips we had seen. Now we dream of returningÖ

July 16, while they were in the Island of Guam, Amy and Rogerís baby, Nathaniel Don Krum, was born, bringing with his precious life, joy and perhaps some chaos to their island home. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21.5 inches long. They are planning a furlough this coming summer, so we are looking forward to a special visit. You may remember they are self-supporting missionaries on the Island of Paata in the Federated Islands of Micronesia. Please keep them in your prayers.

Gloria worked as a substitute teacher in nearby school districts through June. Meanwhile she was applying at a multitude of different school districts in the State. She then worked at an elementary school in southern California, near Yuma, AZ. The school is on the Quetchan American Indian reservation and her classes consisted mostly of Indian or Hispanic children. Now, she is planning to complete her accreditation with the Seventh Day Adventist church school system and look for a job teaching in a Christian school..

August I made a trip back to Pennsylvania for a high school reunion. This was a great time for renewing friendships and seeing many friends and family I had not seen for several years. My sister, Lynda, lives in Ohio, so I stayed with her and her daughter, Kristi and Kristiís son, Cole. One night I was also able to stay with Lyndaís son, Les, his wife, Tammy and their twins, Joshua and Caitlin. The twins are nearly the same age as Gareth. One night I stayed with a high school friend and her husband, Judy (Bauman) and Gary Gotthardt. Another HS friend, Nancy (Farrell) Spinning, drove over from Ohio and we had a great visit. We went to reminisce with our HS English teacher, Peggy J. Townsend. Then I had a delightful dinner with another HS friend, Kay (Gibson) Dunlap. I almost did not want to return to CA. I also looked up many classmates, class of 1959, who did not attend the reunion. Now that I am reacquainted with so many friends, I plan on making that trip again next year for another reunion, this time with the class of í59.

We have had two special visits with Bryan, Elizabeth, Tiffany, and Grant this year. First, was their trip to this area in late December and the New Year. In September we drove there and had such a great time. We went blackberry and huckleberry picking and toured two of the impressive, glorious mountains that tower over the great state of Washington, Mt. St Helens and Mt. Ranier. 

This year I am still singing with the group called, Canto Bello Chorale, that performs both sacred and secular music. Helen joined the group last year. This gives us time to be together in something we both really enjoy. I have also been designing and creating "Christian" Dream Catchers. The ones I completed recently have been mainly in ceramics, with ceramic or wood beads, leather and feathers. Phil is into his second  year of retirement and looking forward to my retirement. He really enjoys surfing the Web, continues as Health Director of our church, and is my faithful gardening companion. He has joined a mixed group of friends who are studying Spanish. We are planning a trip to Ecuador, possibly in the Spring, to conduct a training of Home Nutrition Instructors.

This year, the world stood back, some in awe, some in fear, some in surprise, as war again came to the nation of Iraq. Is this another sign that Jesusí second coming is nearer than we thought? Many believe it is. The time is not as important as is living close to Him. May this year find you living closer to Him.

Love, Phil and Marlene

Whether we have laughed and sung from joyful times God lovingly has sent, Or suffered painful trials or empathized with those whose lives are torn by strife,  As a clear mountain lake beautifully mirrors both pleasant and tempestuous event, So the unfaltering presence of the Lord has blessed the experiences of our life. by Marlene, 2003