Allan and Chris Green
5604 Dairyland Road
Hillsborough, NC 27278
December 10, 1996
Dear Friends and Family,
We may be stretching a point to call this our Christmas letter, since some of you may not receive it until the New Year, but our greetings and wishes for a blessed Christmas season will hopefully still apply whenever it arrives. My only excuse is that, as you will hear below, Chris has a part-time job, and has not been around as much to organize me. But, to start at the beginning:
During the 1st half of 1996 much of our time, energy, and all of our money went into the addition to the house that we started just about this time last year. Our plan had been to have the new construction contracted, and to do the renovation and remodeling ourselves. By early summer the construction was completed and we were able start using the new space. This fall we remodeled the kitchen; we have a few rooms downstairs yet to do, and a lot of finishing touches, but we are very happy with the result.
Our summer agenda was .... Reunions! First in order came my Geneva High School 35th reunion (Class of 1961). Chris and I made the trip, and had fun dancing to music fondly remembered, reminiscing, and catching up on the activities of old friends. I was impressed with the number of my classmates who have journeyed the last 35 years successfully, and for the most part, happily. Next came the Green family reunion at Kirkridge Lodge in the Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. We had four generations represented, from Dad and Mom Green down to Julia Rose Oller, their great-granddaughter and, I think, everybody’s undisputed favorite. The Poconos are a great place to vacation and we hope to return in the next few years and do it all again. At the close of our week in the Poconos, we headed east to Ocean City, NJ for the Bell family reunion. Mom and Dad Bell had rented a house a block away from the beach which somehow housed 4 families plus themselves, amazing when you consider that we were one of the families. It was a delightful, lazy week of lying on the beach, walking the boardwalk, watching the Olympics, and getting to know cousins and in-laws. We all had such a good time we are planning to do it again next year.
In August, Dan, Michael Sanders, and I headed out for the mountains to continue our hike to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail - and a major milestone! We finally made it out of Virginia and into Tennessee. Although this year’s hike (about 120 miles) was through some of the most scenic areas on the whole trail, it seems like we have been hiking Virginia forever.
Perhaps you remember hearing about a little windstorm we had down here in September. Hillsborough turned out to be just about dead center in Fran’s path, and we are still cleaning up tree damage. Thanks be to God, we had only minor damage to the house, and the prolonged power outage was no more than an inconvenience. Wilmington, where Mom and Dad live, was hit much harder, and we were glad to have our favorite “refugees” staying with us until Wilmington power was back on.
In November Chris went shopping for some sewing notions and left with a job. I think the store owner immediately realized what an asset Chris would be and convinced her to work part time. Apart from the added pressure to her busy schedule, she is having a wonderful time. A lot of people are getting hand-made apparel this Christmas!
Thanksgiving this year was a double blessing, shared with the Montondo family visiting from Milton. I think we could convert Michelle and Melinda to Carolinians, but John says its too hot to raise really good apples here. All of you up in Milton are invited to follow the Montondo’s example and visit. Really! We have two bathrooms now, and both are inside. It looks like the house will be even more full in the next few weeks. I love it!
I wrote earlier of difficult times during the year. One was that, after three years of increasing growth and success, the market for QualiNET services just dried up after 1st quarter. We pulled in our belts and I went to work trying to develop some new clients, but things didn’t really pick up until very recently. Perhaps this is just a normal occurrence in business that I will have to get used to, but it made for many months of anxiety and soul searching. But far, far more difficult for us was that in August our relationship with Laura and Raleana reached crisis stage, and as a result Raleana is now living back in New York and Laura is at a Christian children’s home in Virginia. Laura visited us over Thanksgiving and it was a blessing for both us and her; we have not heard from Raleana yet. As many times as it has happened, Chris and I do not get used to losing our children, and these girls are very close to our hearts. But, we believe that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called to His purposes, so there is abundant hope.
Briefly, here is what everybody is doing:
Jeni (28) and Rob have been kept busy with Julia, who will turn two on Christmas Eve. Rob’s job has allowed him a lot of freedom to write features and he is enjoying it. They were well along with plans to move closer to Columbus when they found out that Jeni is expecting their second AND third simultaneously next June. I’m pretty sure that Rob has recovered enough from the shock to drive them here to spend Christmas with us, but I hear that he was pretty dazed for several weeks. Mike (27) moved back to Las Vegas, and seems to be finding more work there than during his sojourn in Milton. He reports that he has had parts in several movies this year. Two to look for are Conair (with Nicholas Cage) and Vegas Vacation (Chevy Chase). Mike played a policeman in Conair. Jason (27) has been working pretty steadily with Lewis Bros. Construction up in Milton. Beyond that, I haven’t much to report. He periodically tantalizes us with reports of a potential Mrs. J. Green, but then .... Someday. Amy (26) also moved into her own apartment in Durham and is doing well. She still is working in the Roxboro school system and is doing a lot of coaching along with her regular classes. Theresa (25) continues to live in Middletown and care for Christopher and Noah. Chris was able to spend some time with them on our last visit up to Milton. We don’t see them enough. David (22) is working and living in Charlotte, far enough away from Mom and Dad to live his own life, but close enough to come home every few weeks. He changed jobs twice this year, making progress each time. Tim (21) decided to delay his senior year at Grove City and regroup for the final assault next year. He is still thinking about medical school and how to manage the academic and financial pressures that go along with that. Ben (19) is in his second year at RPI in Troy, NY. He is: a Naval cadet, an active fraternity member, plays intramural hockey, had a leading part in the school play, is on the deans list, and still appears normal. We don’t worry much about him. Carlisle (16) is the proud owner of a nice little Ford Escort, and is learning what its like to be a car owner. Dan (15) is very involved in school academics and organizations, particularly theater (another one!). I wrote last year that Dan was hoping to go to the NC School of Science and Math: although nominated, he was not selected. It is just as well: we would miss him. And, as I wrote above, although she is living in Virginia for this year, Laura (14) is doing well and our visits with her have been very positive. Raleana (17) is ever in our thoughts, and we ask God to bring her back to us someday, some way.
I dare not exercise your eyes any longer! We would love to hear from you - even better to have you visit us here in beautiful Hillsborough, NC. May God grant you a rich and joyful Christmas season and a New Year full of His blessings.
Love to all,
Allan, Chris, and family