Zirkel Wilderness

Season’s Greetings 2016

Another year has passed and we are all doing well. We hope you are, too. Even though it was a good year, there were a few sad events. Akemi lost her father in September. He had been in failing health but it was still a shock. We also lost one of my cousins, Pete Reigart, who had also been in failing health. Finally, although my dad passed away two years ago, we finally laid his ashes to rest next to my sister Susan.
Anise drank in the last drops of undergrad life and graduated from UGA summa cum laude in May with degrees in Biology, Psychology and Spanish. A month later we were hauling her and all her stuff down to Miami, FL to begin the long process of becoming a doctor. She was accepted into the University of Miami Med school in their dual enrollment program. She is simultaneously enrolled in the Master of Public Health program and the MD program. That is why she started in June. To pay for all this, she got a full scholarship from the US Navy which she will have to pay back with four years of active duty and two years of reserves after her school and residency. So she is an ensign in the Navy now, too.
Savanna finished one year of undergrad at UGA and decided she had enough of that for now. She also got married in July. She married Jonny Martinez, her High School sweetheart and they are living across town from us so we get to see them fairly often. She is now contemplating her next move towards gaining a higher education. Savanna held down a number of jobs through the year including Manager of the Green Acres Pool for the summer season. Jonny will start working at Hitachi in the new year.
Rio graduated from UGA last December and has spent most of the past year working on various music projects either on stage or in the engineer’s seat. He also still lives in town with a few old friends so we get to see him on a regular basis as well. George, Rio, James Stickney and Marlo Rio’s dog) went out to COlorado in early September. We spent the first four days hiking in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness in NW Colorado. We scaled Mt. Zirkel as part of that trip. Later we climbed Gray’s Peak and Torrey’s Peak. In between we visited our cousin Cathy and her parents, Johann and Carmen did some day hiking, went to some events, etc.
Akemi is as active as ever, playing tennis, working out, doing yoga and working. She has had a few temp jobs this year mostly translation/interpreting. Most of the year has been spent at Kubota and she will be there through March of 2017.
George is still working at Hitachi Automotive – as the business has grown, so have responsibilities. He kind of went overboard with the cycling this year and rode 7300+ miles which took up a lot of time. That will have to be cut back next year. Part of the enthusiasm was spurred by the purchase of a new ultra-light, all carbon bicycle. He also let go of his old Celica and gave it to Savanna and Jonny. It was replaced with a 10 year old Porsche Cayman S. That has been a blast. He also stepped aside as the Pool President after the season. He will serve on the Board one more year and then leave it to others. Ten years of that is enough. Thinking about some other things to turn his hand to.

We have Rio, Savanna, Jonny and their friends over for dinner most Sundays. We miss having Anise with us, but she does make a cameo appearance now and then. If you are in town, stop by and join us.
We hope you have a great 2017!

Season’s Greetings 2015

Crane_112615Another year, another pile of memories. It’s been a big year, especially for the “kids”. You can find all sorts of info on their goings on if you find them on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. To summarize:

Rio graduated from UGA this month and the future spreads before him – an open book. His degree is in Biology, but he also got a Music Business certificate. His initial goal is to focus on music both as a player and as an engineer. He is playing in a couple of bands and works on some personal projects as well. He is living with a few friends, but as I write this, he is in our basement wailing on the drums.

Anise will graduate in May 2016 so she has been going through the medical school application process. She has had several interviews and already has an offer to attend Mercer University in Macon. We’re not sure what she will do yet. She has also been deeply involved in Asura, the UGA Bollywood Fusion dance group she has been in for a few years. They travel all over the country for competitions. She has also been active in Freedom University, an alternative educational opportunity for undocumented students as well as other related groups. She has also been working at the Black Fly Lab, the Psychology Department Lab and volunteering as an interpreter at a free clinic. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in Spring.

Savanna graduated from high school where she was honored as Athlete of the Year. She lettered all four years in Cross Country, Soccer and Swimming. She was Captain of all three teams her Senior year. She then enrolled in UGA this fall. All three of the kids were at UGA for one semester! She has been working at local landmark Cali N Tito’s and worked as a lifeguard at the YW and Green Acres. She has already changed her major once in her first semester, so the future is still wide open.

Akemi, of course, plays tennis as much as time allows. Her high level of play keeps her in high demand. She had to cut back some as she took a 3/4 time job working at a Japanese trading company earlier in the year. She is getting good training in accounting and other administration functions. So, new job – new car. Picked up a new Honda Civic Coupe. Pretty sharp.

Other than work, I have become an even crazier cycling fanatic. The 2015 goal was 5000 miles which was passed in November. That has prompted a 6000 mile goal for 2016. Still swimming on other days or going skiing, though that dropped off more this year. Hope we can pick it back up next year. Was elected President of the Green Acres Pool and dealing with all sorts of issues with that responsibility, though it is all worth it when I can swim outdoors in the summer. Motorcycle projects plod along in fits and spurts as do all my myriad interests and unfinished projects.

This summer, Rio, his dog Marlo and I drove out to Colorado for some mountain climbing and camping. We did a warm up three day trip in the mountains behind Vail. Beautiful solitude. Then we did a one day ascent of Mt. Massive, the second highest peak in Colorado and third in the contiguous US. Pictures elsewhere on this site. In between we stayed with my Aunt and Uncle in Denver. After the first week, Akemi flew in and joined us for a series of less strenuous day hikes to Red Rocks, RMNP, etc.

So now, we are empty nesters, though having all three kids in town means we get to see them frequently. Otherwise, it is pretty quiet around here – except for the cat – Haku. He had some kind of accident that we can only surmise about. It is a “tail pull injury” that has caused his tail to lose function. He also temporarily lost other functions which caused a couple weeks of anxiety and treatment until he came right. He is a lot less keen on going outside now, so whatever happened to him has made him extra cautious and more of a homebody.

Best wishes to all of you for 2016. May it be even better than 2015 in every way!


Family 2015

Rocky Mt. National Park

A Hike up Mt. Massive

A Hike to Booth Falls

Red Rocks, Morrison, Colorado

A walk around Red Rocks Park in Morrison, Colorado

Where we've been – where we're going