Holiday Letter 2002

In 2000s by Steve Sliwa

Dear Friends and Family,
This year’s holiday letter comes to you a bit early, to announce yet another change of address. Steve accepted a full-time position as President of The Insitu Group, with which he had been consulting for several months.
Insitu is developing the technology for small robotic aircraft, and has a major contract with Boeing. They have raised several million dollars of venture capital. Please see for more information about the company.
Thus we are now living in one the most beautiful places on earth, the Columbia River Gorge, a National Scenic Area on the border between Oregon and Washington. We are on the Washington side, in a little town called White Salmon, renting a house that has a view of Mount Hood and the Columbia River. Steve moved here in March, with all the household goods. Nancy remained in Atlanta as the guest of a dear friend from her church, while she finished a major project with BellSouth Internet Services. She joined Steve in late June, and loves being a full-time homemaker. She bakes bread, cooks tasty dinners, and has decorated and maintains their comfy home. She has done extensive exploring of the local area, taken classes at the local community college, and does volunteer work at her new church. She also has been enjoying playing hostess to the many visitors we have enjoyed since we arrived.
One of the major treats of living in this area is that Steve’s brother Dave has also joined Insitu as the Director of Flight Operations. Dave and his wife Michele live less than a mile from us, and the recent arrival
(November 25th) of their first child, daughter Andrielle Kendall Sliwa, brings a wonderful family camaraderie to the area. In addition, Nancy is close to her brother Rick and his family in Yakima, her sister Janice in Seattle, and at least we are now on the same coast with our daughter Tabitha.
Steve and Nancy’s travel schedule continues to be active. Steve travels occasionally to Seattle and St. Louis for business, but he has also been able to enjoy a few vacation trips. We spent a week in Minden, Nevada soaring, and a weekend in Las Vegas to enjoy socializing with ERAU’s basketball team and their fans at an early-season tournament. Nancy has also enjoyed some additional travel, with a trip to Maryland to visit their friends the Hazens, a trip to Tennessee with her sister to visit her parents, a drive to Yakima and Seattle with her cousin to visit family, and a trip to San Jose to visit Tabitha and her California flying friends.
Tabitha is still in Monterey, working as Marketing Coordinator for Hampton-Brown, an educational publisher. She loves working with both print and video marketing media, as well as the computer graphics that she has worked with in the past. She is also freelancing some website development. She designed and developed Insitu’s new website, as well as others. She has been active with her little shoe collectors club, and the local Junior Chamber of Commerce. She is currently fundraising for her planned participation in the 2003 Avon Breast Cancer Walk for the Cure. Her personal website,, has more information about all her activities.
This holiday season will bring many family visits. Tabitha and her boyfriend Jeff came for Thanksgiving, along with Nancy’s sister Janice and her brother Rick’s three children. In addition, Steve’s mother is in town to help Dave and Michele with their new baby. At Christmas we also expect to have Steve’s sister Sue and her family, as well as the continued company of his mother. Nancy has been having a great time planning menus and other holiday activities.
Our sad news is that we lost Chandelle at the beginning of this year. Her various intermittent maladies of the previous year seem to have been connected to some serious underlying problem. Although never actually diagnosed by the veterinarians, she developed a severe protein-losing nephropathy. It was very heartbreaking to lose her at so young an age, especially so soon after losing Honey.
Casper spent most of the year at “Grandma’s summer camp.” Before our household move from Atlanta, we took him to Florida to stay with Steve’s mother and her 2 poodles, Cocoa and Rusty. He has always loved her pool enclosure, where he can be outside without being loose, chasing geckos and “patrolling the perimeter.” We brought him to Washington in August, where he quickly adapted to his new home.
Having been dog-less for almost a year, we are expecting a new addition to our pet family. After extensive research into the best breeds, we decided to again get two dogs (one at a time). While one will be a golden retriever, the other we chose was a standard poodle, or a “European Duck Dog,” as Steve likes to call it. Pixie was born October 25th at a farm in Montana, and we hope to pick her up by Christmas.
As always, we would be delighted to have you visit. We have two large guest rooms, and are always delighted to show the local beauty and fine dining to guests.
May love, peace, and joy be yours this holiday season!
Steve and Nancy Sliwa
and Casper
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