Another Year in the Life

Well, here it is December of 2013.Time for the yearly family retrospective. This year seems to provide some handy categories, so I'll use them.


Ryan, Gillian, and Gary are in good health. Carolyn has had some oral surgery but is recovering well and has otherwise been in good health. Carolyn's mother's health has deteriorated; she did come out to visit this August, but that is unlikely to be repeated. Carolyn will be going to Shotton to visit her around the new year.


At the beginning of the year Gillian left Korea and her abusive employer. She misses Korea, but not her work situation or her ex-boyfriend. She is considering a master's degree in computer science at DeKalb, and expects to start chiseling away her pre-requisites early in 2014. She and Carolyn can been seen going to the local health club together.
Carolyn is now working for Suburban Pediatric Therapies about 20 minutes from home, although she still sometimes does supervision for Therapy Care. She's working 3 days a week, and enjoys having the opportunity to talk with co-workers at the clinic and the variety of working with children of all ages.
Gary is still with W. H. Leary.
Ryan is studying computer science at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and has his own apartment where he cooks his own meals.. He comes home most weekends to do his laundry and to enjoy a family dinner. He reports that he likes most of his classes.


Carolyn is still doing Jazzercise as well as attending the local health club.
Gary is still mushing. In August he brought a new dog into the house, a Samoyed, that we named "Gusty". Gusty was a rescue out of Utah from the National Samoyed Rescue Alliance. One of Gary's rescue contacts (from NISA) heard about him and served as a reference ... 2 weeks later we were driving home from O'Hare with him sprawled out on Carolyn's lap. Gary has been training him to mush with Vita. They've entered a couple of races so far, finishing last ... but finishing. Gusty is a very high prey drive dog ... after a couple of very close encounters we decided to re-home our parrot Chloe Data. Both dogs are up to hijinks ... Gillian was surprised to hear chirping coming from Vita's (closed) mouth after a walk. She pried Vita's mouth open and removed a live, terrified cicada, and returned it to the out-of-doors. Boy, I bet that give that bug something to talk about with his buddies!
Gary continues teaching kids judo most Fridays.
We spent last Christmas in California and got to meet the youngest Hughes, Andrew. His pictures have been bringing smiles on our fridge as he has grown over the past year. This year we will be staying home, although Carolyn will be heading off just before year's end to visit her mother in Shotton.
This past October saw the 30th anniversary of Gary & Lyn's marriage. They celebrated by spending a week up in Michigan, spending most of the time on Mackinac Island where they spent a lovely day riding a tandem bike across the island. They crossed over the great bridge connecting the two pieces of Michigan and spent the night in a working light house on Lake Superior. They finished the journey home after spending some time with Betty Petroski up in Iron River on the way home. How can it possibly be 30 years?


After more than a decade in a nursing home and very deep dementia Gary's mother Vivian finally finished dying this year. Her ashes were scattered in Marovitz park, across street from the building in which she had lived since leaving Skokie. The park was named after Sydney Marovitz, a family friend for decades.It seemed the most appropriate place.
Mike Barnas also died this year. Gary and Mike were roommates when Gary first started dating Lyn.
Helen Rappaport, mother to Gary's high school singing partner died too. She was the last concentration camp survivor Gary personally knew. She had refused to talk about her experiences for most of her life, but began giving public lectures over her final few years. She had been one of Mengle's "subjects".
Marty Crowley, Gillian's kindergarten teacher, also passed away this year. She had been leading the alter guild at church for many years and had become close friends with both Gillian and Carolyn.
Oscar Weil, the father of one of Carolyn's best friends, union organizer, and all-around one of the most interesting people we've ever met, passed away in March. Carolyn has known the family about 35 years.
Our cat Vo passed away unexpectedly while we were in California last Christmas. She had feline leukemia, but died after only two days of obvious illness in the company of good friends who were looking after her.


Have a healthy and happy 2014, and please be in touch.

Gary (
Carolyn (
Gillian (
Ryan (
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