Happy Holidays
Caledonia, MI, USA
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2003 is nearly finished, and I’m not quite sure where it all went. Lisa has continued on at Delphi, working longer and longer hours, fortunately not for less money!! Roger has continued improvements around the property, including finishing the patio and surrounding lawn that replaced the pool that came with the house.
We ended last year’s letter with the hope that United Airlines would still be around to take us to New Zealand
in June with the free tickets we acquired with our frequent flyer miles. Well they stopped flying to New Zealand early in 2003. Thankfully Air New Zealand stepped in and took over the United tickets, so we got to fly Air New Zealand Business Class to and from New Zealand in June – up in the “hump” on the top of the jumbo jet – much more luxurious than the downstairs has ever been for us! Plus, we were able to spend most of our layover time in the special Premium class Air New Zealand and United Airlines lounges. We’re wondering how we’ll ever be able to go back to coach class on an international fight again! We saw, but didn’t get to fly in the Lord of the Rings jumbo jet, but we did get to stand beside Frodo in the Los Angeles luggage claim area. He, and one or two other Hobbits were on the same flight as us back from Auckland.
We had a busy, but great time in New Zealand, even though the winter weather wasn’t entirely co-operative. The day after we arrived we headed south to Wanaka, then to Glenorchy for a reunion of the people who spent the Winter of 1993 at Scott Base. Of the 11 people who wintered over, 10 of us made it to this reunion, so there was plenty of reminiscing and stories for a couple of days. While in Glenorchy we stayed at a hotel that had been used by the film crew of Lord of the Rings at some point. We also attended the Antarctic Society’s Mid Winter Dinner in Glenorchy before heading back to Christchurch with wonderful visits to Roger’s relatives in Balclutha and Dunedin along the way.
Soon after this Ruth and her family arrived down from Auckland, and Alistair and his family arrived in Christchurch from Australia.
So we had our whole family together again for the first time since January 1998 (I mis-wrote last year when I said it would be the first time since January 2000).We had a Saturday party to celebrate Roger’s Mum and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary at Rachel’s house with friends and relatives. The decorations included two tailor’s dummies wearing mum’s wedding dress and the head bridesmaid’s dress.
Ruth, with help from Lisa, Thau Mee and Rachel made a replica of Mum and Dad’s wedding cake from 50 years ago to have at the Saturday party. On Sunday we had a family picture taking session in Hagley Park with everyone dressed in their finery, followed by a fancy lunch.

The next few days were taken up with trips to Hanmer Springs for a soak in the Hot Pools, and a trip up over Arthur’s Pass to see the new viaduct that replaced “the Zig Zag”. We left Christchurch to come back home the day before quite a good snowstorm hit the city.

We headed off to Canada at the end of August for the 2003 Clan Moffat Society AGM. This was in Calgary, Alberta. We spent 4 days in and around Calgary, some of it for the Clan Moffat Society’s meetings. We had a day trip sightseeing around Calgary, including visiting Olympic Park where the 1988 Winter Olympics were held. We got to stand at the top of the tallest ski jump, and try to imagine what it would be like to jump from up there. Trying out a luge sitting on flat ground was more my style!!

We also had a day trip up into the Rocky Mountains to a highland games at Canmore – a very picturesque place with huge rock mountains towering over the games grounds.
Then we had 4 days with a rental car and traveled around in Banff and Jasper National Parks, walked on the Athabasca Glacier, and drove over Roger’s Pass. We also went out on the plains to the Drumheller area to see dinosaur country, including the Royal Tyrell Museum, which claims to have the world’s largest displays of dinosaur bones and fossils. They certainly had a lot!!
In the middle of September we braved Hurricane Isabel and headed east through it to Delaware for another “Porch Party”. This so called ferocious hurricane was little more than a breeze and some rain as we traveled through Pennsylvania right under the eye of it, but by the time we got nearer to Delaware the damage was much more widespread, with the power being out at Mary Lee’s place when we got there. Alas I’d taken our chainsaw with us, but not the generator, and of course she had no trees that needed to be cut up.
Lisa had the dreaded 40th birthday in April this year. Roger managed to pretty much surprise her by getting a number of friends and relatives to meet us at a restaurant in town for a yummy Sunday Brunch.

This has been the second year of our involvement with “Dinner Club” – a group of 4 couples who take turns each month or so to cook a dinner for the group. We always look forward to an evening of good food and lots of fun and laughter with our friends. We’ve hosted two “Dinner Clubs” here this year.

No major medical problems this year luckily, but Roger has had a number of trips to a foot and ankle doctor for problems arising from how the foot/ankle that got attacked by a lawn mower blade in 1980 has slowly deteriorated. Thankfully no surgery yet, just supports in the shoes to try and hold the foot in the position it’s supposed to be relative to the ankle.

This year we both visited a Dentist for the first time in a long time – for Roger it was the first visit in about 10 years – bought about by a broken tooth that had to be crowned. So that was done, two fillings done, and a schedule made to do 3 more crowns next year when there is more insurance money for it. For Lisa it was her first visit in 18 years. She got one small filling, and that was it – she’s bad for the Dental business!

Roger has learned about “apheresis” this year. About once a month he goes to the blood donation centre and gets connected to a machine that takes out his blood, and it’s separated into what they want – platelets usually to be used in patients at local hospitals – and the rest is put back. The amount taken at any one time is small, but during the nearly 2 hours of a session about 7 litres (nearly 2 gallons) is “processed”.

We both continue to be involved in the local genealogy society, and Roger is still the Genealogist for the Clan Moffat Society maintaining the genealogy database and running their web site. After several years Lisa has finally finished typing school children’s names from 23 Kent County school census books the genealogy society had acquired. The books list all of the school age children and teachers from each of the local schools from the years 1903 to 1925 – 232,296 names in total!!! Roger created a searchable database for the books that can be searched on the Internet at http://data.wmgs.org/.

We hope this finds you well, and wish you all the best for 2004.

Thanks for being Reader  of our Newsletter 2003.
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