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Starting 2015

December 31-January 12
written January 11+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,
OK, it's a new year ("New Year"?) and I need to keep up our 18-year internet diary tradition.  Why?  Who knows, but traditions need no justification, I suppose.  Besides, my memory definitely needs the crutch, and now it is continuously available on the fact-checking device in my pocket.

d141231_02_newcar.jpgWe ended 2014 by finally taking delivery of our new car.  It's big, red, and comfy.  That's the good part.  The bad part is that it was delivered with a problem - the "check engine" light was on, so we have been back to the shop a couple of times already to get that fixed.  Tomorrow (Jan 12) we hope to get it back in good shape.  If so, we will try a trip up into Yosemite for a couple of days.  I will report.

d141231_10_pinger.jpgd141231_12_ny_dinner.jpgAfter checking out the new ping-pong table, New Year's Eve was spent with Mamo, a quiet start of the new year, although at 95 she probably had more late-night energy than we did. In Pommersfelden, we would have been looking out across the valley at the fireworks of Muhlhausen and Steppach, but here in Fresno we were under the covers listening to fire crackers and gunshots.  Sheesh.

d150104_02_candl.jpgOn the weekend, we drove our new car (with "check engine" light on, of course) down to Monterey for a visit with Marianne's other mom, Klare.  We enjoyed some time with her and then Klare worked in a family dinner with Chris, Leisa, Adam, and Spencer.  At widely spaced intervals, we have watched the boys transform from little kids playing in the dirt in our Bavarian back-yard to fun and spirited pre-teens.  (I'm afraid I was unable to catch the boys still enough for a picture.  In fact, when I looked at how little I had used a camera to capture any moments on this trip, I resolved to do better next time.  Especially for people we see too infrequently.)

Back in Fresno, things are "as before", including the significant distraction of Marianne's visits to the Kaiser Medical Center.  She feels great right now, but faces gallbladder removal on the 22nd.  And, probably, new treatment for sleep apnea.  And heart ablation some time in February or March.  THEN, we will be able to restart our travels, we think.

We did manage to go to the January Art Hop, the monthly Fresno open-studio event that offers Marianne inspiration for her art and even reminds me to re-start taking photos, just for the fun of it.
Our first stop was at Clay Mix Gallery/Studio, a local ceramics workshop.  We were particularly interested in the work of David Hicks, a local ceramicist experimenting with complex shapes and surfaces.   Interesting.
The next stop was "M Street", a collection of several studios, guarded by a metal lion.
Here is work from two of the studios (forgot the artists' names).
Our final stop was at Richard Silva's studio.  We had admired his work on earlier visits and this time we were able to walk away with one.  We had contributed to a Fresno State University radio station fund raiser and were given a Silva work of our choice.  Thanks!
Now we are settling into even a quieter period.  TV football for me and creative artistry for Marianne.  (Mixed in with Mamo-care and Kaiser-visits, of course.) 

John and Marianne


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