Dear Family and Friends,
We’ve just finished our Thanksgiving celebration, which reminds us how grateful we are for you who have touched our lives, and who continue to share our saga through our annual holiday missive. Earlier this year we collated all the seasonal correspondence we’re received since we inaugurated our own early-adoption of the Christmas-letter practice in 1986. It is our new tradition to review the lives of our loved ones through these letters each year. Our sincerest thanks to those of you who take the extra trouble to include us in your annual updates.
We continue to enjoy our new home, with its spectacular views and small-town lifestyle. It’s even more comfortable since we’ve completed what we call our “Phase 1” remodel: a new entertainment room and project room, new paint and carpet, and new appliances in the kitchen. We have a design for our next envisioned phase, a new master bathroom, but are postponing construction until all details are in place.
This year saw major growth at Insitu, nearly doubling the number of employees to over 40, plus the move to a new 25,000 sq ft. facility. Several ScanEagle units have deployed to Iraq to support the U.S. Marines, and sea trials in the Puget sound for the tuna fishing industry have done very well. Potential customers are lining up, and we hope 2005 will bring several lucrative contracts. Steve’s time has been wholly absorbed in this enterprise, and thus he reluctantly put his sailplane up for sale.
Nancy has enjoyed honcho-ing the remodel efforts, and her novel, while not complete, is developing nicely. She has joined a number of local critique groups who have helped nurture her writing skills. Steve has supported her with several textbooks from Amazon.com, and she took two fun and productive research trips, one to the D.C.-Northern Virginia area, and the other to Nova Scotia. Both settings figure prominently in her book, and she found delightful cooperation from all her contacts. She continues to be active in her local church, now an elder, serving on the executive committee of the board, and as chair of their local service committee. She also took several trips to visit family and friends this year.
Tabitha has moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, along with her boyfriend Jeff Moulton. She is considering returning to school full-time in fashion design, to pursue her growing passion for sewing, and is enjoying living in a larger home than Monterey could allow. She visited White Salmon in October for Nancy’s birthday, continuing to Yakima and Seattle to spend time with other family and friends.
Our pets continue to be a wellspring of joy and amusement. Pixie and Angel are still living up to their names, and Casper is by turns cuddly, playful, and demanding. The dogs spend every weekend with Steve at his office park, chasing bunnies and tennis balls to their heart’s content.
Steve’s mom was able to visit for a week over Thanksgiving, and we enjoyed her visit so very much! We hope to visit more family members this coming year.
Despite our remodeling, we maintain a full-time guest room, and would be delighted to host you and your family for a Columbia Gorge vacation. The scenery is most spectacular between Blossomfest in mid-April, and Harvestfest in mid-October.
May all the best of the season dwell richly in your hearts, now and throughout 2005.
Steve & Nancy Sliwa
Casper, Pixie, and Angel