2017 Waldo's Holiday Newsletter

Hi friends and family!

We kicked off the holidays with our annual Open House, which went very well. Over fifty people dropped in to sample David’s delicious eggnog. It’s fun to watch the different groups that we’re involved in interact. A friend from my Mahjong group will know someone who works on the Habitat house; or a friend from church will know someone who’s in Master Gardeners with David. It’s a small community.

Our firstborn, Curtis, is still lawyering in Houston. This year brought big changes for him. He bought a house (inside the Loop of course) and married Anna, a lawyer for Shell. The two are perfect for each other and David and I are happy that they’re happy. The spring wedding took place in Napa, a welcoming town composed of the things I love most—antique shopping, restaurants, winetasting, and historical neighborhoods to explore. We enjoyed the trip.

Here’s what we hear from Sam these days: his business, Mantra, is no longer a fledgling enterprise, as he currently employs five people, and has taken the company international, which means his glasses are now available for order in the US. He’s been living in China for several years and sometimes goes weeks at a time without speaking English. This year he was interviewed by NPR, China; and he has done a Ted Talk, which will be released soon. The glasses and website are classy and innovative. Here’s the website so you can see what he’s been up to:

https://www.findyourmantra.com/

He and his girlfriend, Julia, live in the Hu tong district of Beijing, a tightly packed maze of interconnected dwellings, a trendy area for the millennial ex-pat up-and-comings, and a place the locals want to escape. Julia, a Brit, works for the British Embassy. She’s spunky, smart, beautiful, and she was very helpful when we visited Beijing. We’d like to see more of Sam, which makes me wonder how my parents felt when David and I stayed overseas for years at a time. I never felt like they missed us at all, not the way we miss Sam. On the other hand, what did we expect? We dragged him from country to country: that he decided to follow the same lifestyle is a testament to how much he enjoyed his childhood.

It’s hardly new news, as I’ve been all over Facebook about it, that my second novel, Why Stuff Matters, was published by Arcadia in October. It’s out only in the UK because I met my agent, Helen Mangham of Jacaranda, in Singapore and, as she’s British, her contacts in the industry are also British. Plans are in place, however, to distribute my first book, Old Buildings in North Texas, in the US, which means that, as of April, it will be available here. So, that’s been a milestone. As to how I spend my time when I’m not writing—I abandoned yoga and tried spin class for a couple of years, which I never enjoyed. Now I’ve returned to yoga and am much happier. And I just finished pinning a quilt, which involves crawling around on the floor and using the recently resumed yoga stretches.

Those of you who know David know that he’s a joiner. Two golf groups, Habitat for Humanity, and Master Gardeners keep him busy, plus he enjoys his workouts and spin class at the Y. He works at the Helping Center, a local food bank, on Fridays, the Habitat house on Saturdays, plays golf on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and has been asked to be a mentor for Master Gardeners, which means organizing a lesson once a week. Busy, busy. He gets irritated with me when, every morning, I ask him where he’s off to, as though I should have his schedule memorized. But he’s all over the place. I can hardly be expected to keep up.

That’s us in a nutshell.

Ya’ll have a happy Christmas and a great year to come!

Jen

 Every one of these gift bags holds a bottle of red wine, given to us by people who came to the open house. I guess I've made my preferences known. Thanks, friends. 

Every one of these gift bags holds a bottle of red wine, given to us by people who came to the open house. I guess I've made my preferences known. Thanks, friends. 

 Curtis and Anna at their wedding in Napa. They're fun to hang out with. 

Curtis and Anna at their wedding in Napa. They're fun to hang out with.