2002 Holiday Greetings

From the Fairfax Jewells

In today's world, with terrorist threats everywhere and the recent serial sniper shootings right in our backyard, we Fairfax Jewells consider ourselves fortunate to have survived the year 2002 peacefully and in good health!

In contrast to last year when we traveled considerably both at home and abroad, this year we have mostly stayed close to the nest. In May we did fly to Montana to spend a week visiting Cameron and family at their summer home on the shore of a lovely lake, where Colin and Trevor also joined us from California for a weekend. Aside from several visits with Gillian and family in North Carolina, our only other trip was to Philadelphia to enjoy the annual flower show there. Early in December, Rebekah will spend a week in San Francisco to comfort her brother David and sister-in-law Carol, who in October tragically lost their son Larry to a heart attack.

Much of the second half of the year has been spent on some major improvements to our 42-year-old home. First we had the hardwood floors in the living and dining rooms and three main bedrooms professionally refinished. This required that we temporarily transfer the entire furnishings in these rooms to our attic, basement and garage—a Herculean physical effort. This month we had all 23 of the original wood-frame windows replaced by modern vinyl-frame ones. Also, new concrete front steps were poured and the driveway resealed. Rebekah has ambitious ideas for additional improvements in the year ahead!

Both Andrew and Christopher traveled widely this year. On official business for the Treasury Department, Andrew visited Manila and Kuala Lumpur in the spring and Manila again in the fall, at which time he met Philippine President Macapagal-Arroyo. Also on his schedule were meetings in Oaxaca and Los Cabos, Mexico, and in December he will attend an APEC forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Girlfriend Anna Corfield will accompany him on the latter trip, which will also include a short visit to Japan. Anna, who also works for Treasury, recently made two official visits to Kabul, Afghanistan, on the first of which she met and was photographed with President Karzai.

Chris's Hong Kong girlfriend, Janice Lai, spent several weeks here over the Christmas holidays last year. In the spring, Chris visited the former British colony, met Janice's family, and did a lot of sightseeing, including trips to Macau and the border city of Shenzhen in mainland China. Later, after completing a one-year teaching certificate program, Janice paid an extended visit here, taking in many local sights. She is now teaching English and Biology at a high school back home and again will join Chris here at Christmastime.

Thanks to faithful adherence to her diet and regular exercise, Rebekah is in excellent physical shape and her diabetes is completely under control. I should shed a few pounds, but I walk fairly regularly; my previous sciatica pain disappeared completely early this year. In February, cataract surgery revealed that macular degeneration had destroyed all but peripheral vision in my right eye, but my good left eye allows me to lead a normal life (albeit with my fingers crossed!).

Last Christmas season, most of the family attended a reunion in Key West. This year, everyone will celebrate the holiday here in Fairfax. I am sure all the Jewells join Rebekah and me in wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year.