and Chris Green
5604 Dairyland Road
Hillsborough, NC 27278
December 1, 1997
Dear Friends and Family,
It seems like only a few months has passed since our last letter went out. For us, and I know for many of you, these years when the next generation is establishing their own households seem to be the busiest yet. More and more of the important things happening with the Green family are happening to all of the younger Greens, and we are glad of that, but I suspect that my feeling of living in a whirlwind isn't going to go away anytime soon!
My year started quickly with a sizable contract that occupied most of my attention during all of 1st quarter. Meanwhile, Chris was becoming an expert in the retail store computer system being installed at the shop where she works. Then in late March, David moved back to the Triangle area from Charlotte and joined me in the business full-time to work on another sizable contract that lasted through July. In May, Jeni and Rob became the proud parents of Drew Hudson and Grace Chrisanna Oller, who have to be the most adorable twins I've ever seen. Chris went out to see Jen home from the hospital, and I went a few days later to make sure she wasn't exaggerating the news. (She wasn't).
Our year was again blessed with family reunions on both sides. In July the Bell clan gathered in Ocean City for a great week of beach living. Mom and Dad Bell celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year and had the whole family on hand to celebrate, including all 6 of their great-grandchildren. It was Jeni's first major expedition with the twins, so we had a double blessing spending time with them. Then just recently the whole Green family convened at Thanksgiving here in North Carolina, even our Canadian contingent. We are cherishing these times more and more as we realize that we have a finite number of these get-togethers to look forward to.
As of August, I am about 160 miles closer to Springer Mountain, GA, the southern end of the Appalachian trail. Benjamin, Michael (our Godson) and I survived the first 90 miles, some of the roughest and wettest hiking between Vermont and Tennessee. My brother Dana, David, and I had a much better time hiking the next 70 miles, ending in Hot Springs, NC. Thank God! It was Dana's first experience on the trail, and had he started a week earlier I think it would definitely be his last. As it is, he is reserving a decision on whether he will do it again!
In September, we had a few hours free so we tore apart our "parlor", removing the old floor, beams, trim, and walls damaged by termites in bygone years. The repairs required excavating the area and redoing the foundations and sub-structure from the ground up, including a new hearth and fireplace. Needless to say, like most Green projects, this one went down to the wire. We finished (more or less) on Thanksgiving eve with the help of some of our guests. Tradition!
Our October was focused mainly on visiting grand children and concern for dear friends in Milton and here in Hillsborough who were seriously ill. Along with all of you who know and love Lorrie, Francis, and Stewart, we rejoice in God's healing grace, but it won't diminish our continued prayers for their full recovery.
In November (along with Thanksgiving) we also finalized the sale of our land in Virginia. This turned out to be a pretty traumatic decision for both of us. We are sensible enough to realize that we don't need two farms, particularly while Virginia remains largely a future dream, but dreams die hard. Up to the last minute we were hoping that God would intervene and prevent us from making this "sensible" decision. To facillitate the sale we subdivided the property and still own the house and a few acres, but the land is gone. So, I guess we are staying in Carolina for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, although it may not be quite as pretty as the Virginia mountains, we live in a wonderful community of friends.
That about sums it up for major events in our family this year. More importantly for most of you, here is a brief run-down on the younger Greens:
As I have mentioned, Jeni and Rob have been pretty busy assimilating two new children while trying to keep up with Julia's inquisitive mind. I think Rob said it best: "We don't need a TV with Julia around. We just sit around a let her entertain us". He's right - she's much funnier and certainly a lot cuter than TV fare. Rob career continues to flourish (read him in the sports section at www.dispatch.com) and he and Jeni have resumed their search for a house nearer to Columbus. Besides, the Springfield house has suddenly gotten a lot smaller!
We haven't heard too much from Mike this year. He is still in Las Vegas and has been working steadily to finance a (mostly) new car. He also completed bar tender's school and hopes to move up to a higher paying job, either there or in NY while he looks for more acting jobs. We don't think that his scenes in either of the movies he was in last year survived the cuts, but he remains hopeful.
Jason continues to work in construction in NY, holding down our Milton connection. I wish I could report that he has settled down in a long-term job, with wife, family, and home accounted for, but not yet. Maybe next year. (I really must stop setting my expectations for my kids based on what I want for them! Does anyone else have that problem?)
This year Amy finally got the job of her dreams. She is Phys Ed teacher and head coach of girls basketball at the Durham Magnet school. She also does summer coaching work and has found a wonderful church fellowship. We are pretty proud of her, and even though she moved into her own place early in the year, we still get to see her fairly often because we have a new washing machine she likes to use.
Theresa continues to live in Middletown, NY with her sons Christopher and Noah. Christopher has started Kindergarten and is a really bright and happy boy; Noah is too young to do much except be cute and cuddly, which he is.
As I mentioned earlier, for much of this year David and I were partners on a consulting contract and it was a lot of fun working together (at least I thought so). When the contract ran out, he got a better offer than I could afford, and is now an OS/2 Server specialist working for CDI here in Raleigh. Interestingly, one of his first accomplishments was to recruit Tim for a similar position, and now both are working at the same place. Tim is still in a holding pattern with his last year of college. He recently moved into his own place and the house seems … quiet, maybe too quiet, without him here. Those of you who know him will recall (fondly, I hope) that Tim is not a "background" kind of person.
Benjamin is now in his junior year at RPI. He has decided to co-op the next semester at, of all places, that major NC company, QualiNet. After his varied and frenetic schedule of studies, Navy duties, being president of the theater company, and fraternity involvement, I think he will be bored stiff with technical research, courseware development, and administrative work, but he seems to think it will be valuable to his overall academic success. We shall see!
We think Dan and Carlisle still live here with us. Their beds appear to be slept in each night, and we occasionally see their cars parked outside, but it is a rare evening when they aren't at work or a sports event or with friends (Carlisle) or at work or Tech or with friends (Dan). "Tech", by the way, is a theater term for Technical Crew. This year Dan was the technical director for several of Orange High School's drama and musical events, one of which won the regional competition and got honorable mention at the state level. Both Dan and Carlisle will be attending some college, although no decisions have been made yet.
Laura, at 15, has had a wonderful year. I wrote last year about both Raleana and Laura leaving our home, Laura to a children's home in Virginia and Raleana back to NY. It now appears that Raleana's move is more or less permanent, but Laura is a constant source of joy to us. In the last year she has worked very hard at her school and has moved ahead one full year in her studies! Moreover, she has matured into a very sensible and wonderful daughter and if it weren't for the fact that she is doing so well at her current school, she would be back with us right now. We enjoy her visits and are looking forward to Christmas vacation.
We hope that 1997 has been a good year for all of you. Of course, we'd like to hear about it, preferably in person, but letters are always appreciated. Our prayers, thoughts, and best wishes will be with you during this Christmas season and throughout the New Year.
Love to all,
Allan, Chris, and family.