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[Comments] (1) : This flu hangs on and on. It's miserable. I think I'm going to have to face the fact that I am not going to get everything I want to do done this vacation.

Rachel and I went to White Forest Nursery and bought a Christmas tree. It smells wonderful. We got a shorter one that usual and put it atop the antique trunk. Quite the procedure, wrestling it into place. While we were taking a nap, it tipped over, watering the tree skirt, trunk, and floor with its gallon of water. I have set it back upright and wired it to the curtain rod with florist wire. It is starting to look like we aren't going to get the decorations up today.

We are going minimalist, decoration wise because we have to leave the Monday after Christmas, and it's always such a drag to take everything back down. The Boy Scouts are not picking up trees this year. I guess I'm going to have to chop up the tree and put it in my bin.

:

Dear Family and Friends:

Another year has come and gone and we're still here! 2003 was an eventful year. I overcame some setbacks with my health, went a lot of places, and did a lot of things. I'm on an IV twenty-four hours, which gives me some energy, if not to do everything I'd like, then at least to do something. I teach a class every day at the college and do the church newsletter. I'm also continuing to scrapbook a lifetime of photographs, and I only have five years left to do. My genealogy has been very time consuming. I did finish doing all this for Uncle Carl's genealogy, and I found a few places where we are related way back. I'm getting ready to link Carl's genealogy to his sourdough memorial website

I am so proud of my kids, and I very much appreciate the opportunity to be a mother. Leonard is still writing software in San Francisco; in addition, he is working on the Wesley Clark presidential campaign in Little Rock, Arkansas. That's quite a commute!

Susanna is the big newsmaker. She graduated from Brigham Young University and then married John Chadwick in July. I was busy most of the spring making the dresses. She didn't choose an elaborate design for her gown, but it was still tricky redrafting the pattern to make the dress she had in mind, and it was scary cutting into that length of peau de soie. Ok, it was really peau de polyester, but it still was expensive fabric! My dress was made from tablecloths left from the wedding of my friend Susan's daughter. You can see the results in the above picture of our family standing on the steps of the Los Angeles Temple after the wedding.

Rachel is a senior at UCLA. It's been nice for me to have her relatively near and not trotting the globe this year. She is majoring in European Studies and working as a research assistant to a professor who is doing a book about women on the front in World War I.

A sad event of 2003 was the passing of my aunt, LeJeune Whitney. I am bereft. At Aunt Jeuney's request, I read from Tennyson's "Ulysses" at her funeral. This poem was somewhat comforting, and provided me with a philosophy to keep me going. I think I'll have it at my own funeral. We buried her in Provo next to my husband, Roy. I think he would be pleased with that.

After John and Susanna's Utah reception, Leonard, Rachel, and I went on a little expedition out into the Utah desert to find trilobites. We brought back a lot of fossils and were thrilled by the adventure and the time together. We had also planned to visit the new dinosaur site in St. George, but we couldn't find it, having used all our navigational luck locating the prehistoric lake bed where the trilobites used to live.

As another year draws to a close, I reflect on our shared memories, and look forward to hearing from each of you. If you ever wonder what I'm doing, you can check my weblog at www.crummy.com/jabberwocky and get an update, or you can write me at franny@inreach.com. I love you and hope to hear from you soon.

Love always,

Frances


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