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Family Updates

April 1 , 2005

(written April 23)


Dear Families and Friends,


This is just a quick little summary of what's happening in our regular (= non-traveling) lives. No particular help for tourists, but it maintains our presence with Friends and Families, even those very few who don't write back.

It should come as no surprise to our regular readers that Marianne and John are uncertain about our futures - again. This time, John's job seems secure (and interesting) but Marianne's position in the Department of Defense Dependents' Schools (DoDDS) seems shaky, unless we want to move just south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. She has received orders to teach at the Osan Air Base there, but MY employer still says: Germany. We'll figure out a way to go with that.

Like usual, I'll try to illustrate our situation with pictures.

I know the last diary said we had written off our dream house, the one without plumbing, heating, foundation, etc. In its winter snow covering, it still looked interesting to us and, with our current uncertainty, even the question of buying or not remains uncertain. So, stay tuned.

Our dream house neighbor, the Weissenstein Castle, was particularly impressive in the snow. It's a massive place with large grounds and its own herd of deer. Reportedly, this is a much-reduced herd, but that's another story.
My work continues and in March I was treated to a meeting in our Charlotte, North Carolina offices. The first picture was shot from my hotel window. Watching sunrise was one of the benefits of jet lag, since sleeping didn't work. On the right is the Charlotte Motor Speedway where our meeting had a dinner. Even in the rain, it was an impressive facility and I could imagine the place filled with one- or two-hundred-thousand Southern race fans.

For our company dinner, the Speedway hosted a more sedate crowd. These are some of the folks that make my job work.

And here is Marianne's finalist in the National (U.S.) History Day competition held among the DoDDS schools in Europe. The competition was just one of many parts of teaching that made Marianne's job work too.

Art and Robin came back for a visit to their old stomping grounds, after moving to Texas last Fall. Marianne misses her buddy so this was a real treat.

(see Scotland wedding)

Our other star visitors were Geoff and Suzanne. From this airport greeting, we headed straight on to a tour of German castles, churches, and squares - but that's another story.

(see Maryland wedding)

Finally, a bit of bad news, good news. Marianne drove in front of a truck ten times her size; definitely bad news. She was unhurt and the car is repairable; definitely good news.

That's it for now. Nothing too dramatic, just the normal mix of dreams and nightmares, work and fun. Our next few diaries will be more touristy: snowy cities, medieval towns, and a Cheetah in the backyard.


John and Marianne


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