Happy Christmas and Season's Greetings to all our friends and family during these twelve days of Christmas! Our clan grew again this year as all our diverse adventures continue. We were fortunate this year in being able to get visit in person with everyone (but Skype and Facebook are indispensable tools).
Ruth (also known as Lola) had a great year as she retired from public service and her second stint as mayor of Davis. She is now the official City of Davis Sister City Ambassador and as such has taken several fun trips to Wuxi, China and Los Banos, Philippines. Locally it is her pleasure to continue to host contingents from all over the world including this year: Inuyama, Japan and Sangju, Korea as well as various cities in China. She is also a Special Assistant to the Vice Provost for University Outreach and International Programs. In September, she received the UC Davis Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Alumni of Distinction Award. However, the best part of retirement has been spending time with her three grandchildren.
Omen narrowly missed sharing his birthday when Alinia gave birth to the newest family member in late May, Zhayne Lane Jo Asmundson-Wild. Zypher has taken everything in stride as a new big brother and graciously gave up his bike trailer seat to Zhayne — he now views the world from atop a Trail-a-bike child seat. Alinia took the summer off again and this time around the family managed to do a little traveling with the newborn — weekend trips to a wine country wedding and Labor Day in Eureka. She returned to Intel in September working on a new project building the infrastructure for a tools web-store. Omen is still enjoying his short commute to the campus Data Center (especially since Lola takes the two children to daycare), even though the job means working the day after Christmas when most folks do not need their email. And although Omen's grandmother Natalie's health has been declining precipitously, the mixed blessing is that Zypher and Zhayne have been spending a lot of time with their Nana, Omen's mother Mary Jo.
Irena is still at the IMF, and continues to enjoy traveling the world. Closer to home, she drove cross-country this summer, visiting friends in Pittsburgh, Omaha, Denver, and LA. Since this was after she had just returned from Europe (and saw the US tie England in London), she also got to watch World Cup matches in seven different states and cheered (as did we all) when Landon scored his late-game goal. Although she spends as much time as possible in Davis with her nephews and niece, it is possible to read books and play hide and go seek over Skype.
Wil had an emotionally difficult year as he dealt with dealt with his paternal grandmother's affairs after she was tragically killed by a truck during the last Christmas season. His efforts to bring everything in order continue, but also took him to the Philippines last Spring to meet with his greater extended family in Santa Rosa and Manila. He was also able to meet with some of his father's contemporaries when he visited Los Banos. Since then he has been working on normalcy, still in retail at Apple (which helps or exacerbates his gadget habit, depending on your envy level), and with the occasional golfing bout.
Vigdis finally settled into her return to the United States and taught English at UCDavis to seventy Upward Bound high school seniors. She is now teaching 7th grade science and AVID, a study-skills and general education class, in the Fairfield School District, a short commute west of Davis. With her re-entry in the workforce, Vigdis now enjoys a tenant-less house, rock-climbing, and season tickets to the San Francisco opera which was the only way to see Placido Domingo as Cyrano de Bergerac. Vigdis also likes basking in as much nephew/niece time as possible when she is not jetting off to see friends in New York, Arizona, and Southern California.
Jonas surprised us with a visit for Alinia's birthday dinner in October when he had to travel to San Francisco for work. As the Director of Programs at Chorus America based in Washington DC, he manages programs that provides leadership development, professional development, and other resources to choruses all over North America. Jonas is especially excited this year because his largest event, the Annual Conference, will be in San Francisco in June, hosted by Chanticleer and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Outside for work, Jonas has been singing in a few choruses, volunteering on a variety of nonprofit boards, playing a little ultimate frisbee, and taking advantage of Washington DC's vibrant arts and cultural scene.
Sigrid and Tyler settled into their new house in North North Davis (aka the Spring Lake development in Woodland) just in time to welcome their son, Zachariah Davis Asmundson, in February. They are enjoying suburbia and their close proximity to Costco. Both Sigrid and Tyler continue to work together at the Best, Best & Krieger law firm in downtown Sacramento. (Don't worry, they carpool!) Zack-Zack has grown to a whopping 24+ lbs as he celebrates his 10 month birthday and is perfectly content to be carried around by his Lola and Taima, who watch him on a weekly basis. Zack-Zack was also fortunate in getting a new cousin a short two months after his own birth when Tyler's brother Jackson welcomed his own son Jackson. This prompted Grandma Judy's move to the Greater Davis area to be with her two new grandsons.
Virginia (Taima to everyone) celebrated her 90th birthday in Chinese years, this past March. At 89 years of age in American years, Virginia is still holding her 27th and 28th great-grandchildren (#24 is just too wiggly now) and gardening on a regular basis. She changed her base of operations to Davis last January, but still regularly visits the Richmond-El Cerrito area and her daughter Josie, Josie's daughter Hazel, and Hazel's two children: freshman college (great-grandchild #5 Lyman) and high school sophomore (great-grandchild #6 Leigh) there.
Hugs and kisses to everyone in this season of joy! We hope everyone is keeping their loved ones close in their hearts as we keep you in ours. You are always welcome in our neck of the woods, both physically and virtually. Please do visit!
Love to all,
The assorted Asmundson-Cartano-Uy-Wild Family
This file last modified Wednesday, May 6, 2015.