December 2004

A few days ago, we celebrated Thanksgiving, which brought to mind the sacrifices of the pilgrims, who set the Christian standards for America almost 400 years ago.  But Thanksgiving has become universal enough for all religions to joyfully celebrate:  Jews, Muslims, Hindu; all participate in giving thanks.  The US five cent coin says it all in its inscriptions:  “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum.”

In April, we celebrated Gerhard’s birthday in California.  In the first part of the trip, Gerhard attended a materials science conference in San Francisco, where nanotechnology continues to be the center of attention.  Soon after, Peter drove us down the coast to visit Susan, and we met the parents of Susan’s boyfriend, Steve.  Susan and Steve moved to Bloomington, Indiana this summer, where Susan received a scholarship from Indiana University to pursue her masters in ceramics.  Steve has a job at the university.

While Susan is starting a new course of study, Peter finished his studies this year at Humboldt University in California with a degree in biology and zoology.  Tanya and Oliver had an exciting time on their vacation in Germany, with Tanya participating in the Berlin Marathon.

Business was going smoothly this fall, so we took a cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with five stops.  Leaving Manhattan at sunset and arriving back at sunrise is always a delight and surely convenient, complementing a very leisurely form of vacation cruising.  During the day, if one does not care to take excursions, there are art auctions and meals with interesting people.  At night there are stage shows for entertainment, and we frequently concluded the day with a pleasant nightcap at the piano bar.

This year, we will celebrate Christmas in Florida with the entire family:  Tanya and Oliver from New York, Susan and Steve from Indiana, and Peter from California.

Concluding with the Thanksgiving theme of a bountiful harvest; as time passes, one gets old enough to harvest the memory of all the years past.  Gerhard is continuing with writing his autobiography, while Tanya is translating her grandmother’s book from German to English.

We hope this letter finds you in good spirits and health. Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2005.