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   Winter 2001      All the news that's fit to rent.      Free!


Name That Christmas Tune...4
Front Porch...............0
Letters to Editor.........2
Operation Just Cause......5

Katy's Corner


Oh, boy, is this site in serious need of an update! We have since moved back from Italy, spent a year in Maryland, and finally settled back in the midwest. We spent a year without him as he finished up his military career in Maryland. Now he's safe and sound, retired and going back to finish his degree in education.

In other big Katy news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATY! On September 20th, Katy turned 12. She had a big party with six of her closest friends, with enough junk food to feed a small army. I cannot believe how much food preteens can put away.

Shona News

Shona is 4 now. Where did the time go? It honestly seems like just a few weeks ago when we went into the hospital for delivery.

My Little Reader

Happy Big 3-0!

Happy Birthday to my mother in law, Rowena, on December 19 and to my cousin, Brenna, a Christmas baby. Go ahead, saw "awwwwwww."

Another Birthday?!

Happy birthday to John on July 19th.


(Psst. If you want to see any of the pictures on this page in greater detail, just click on them for a closeup view)

Just up the coast from Naples lies a town of immense beauty. Gaeta (pronounced Guy-Ate-Uh) is one of those hidden jewels not too many people seem to know about. The drive up takes over an hour, and you can see some of the most beautiful scenery this side of the Amalfi Coast. Sorry, but once you've seen the Amalfi Coast, nothing else comepares, even other parts of Italy!


Our first stop up the coast was in an even smaller town (village?) called Formia where there is a fascinating castle being refurbished right on the waterfront. I wish we could have poked around inside, but it was closed off to tourists. Still, for a girl from small town midwest, it's always exciting to see a castle, no matter how small.


John's mother joined us for the trip.

3 amigos

The three amigos, Rowena, John and Katy, enjoying Formia.

On up into Gaeta we went, past this really interesting looking bridge.


What to say about Gaeta the city? I was just amazed at the beautiful view. It is set in a bay surrounded by mountains, and the pictures, pretty though they are, just don't do it justice.


I've found that to be true of many places in Italy, though. Try as you might, you just cannot take a picture that will truly capture the lighting and the vibrant colors you see in person.


Even the ruins in Italy are spectacularly beautiful.


During the summer months, and particularly the month of August, the Italians rope off the beaches and charge admission to them. They are rather nice and relaxing, as you can rent an umbrella and chair in the sand for a ridiculously low price for a day. We didn't venture onto the beaches of Gaeta, but you can't help but stare as you drive past.


Your visit to any Italian city isn't worth the gas money unless you visit the duomo. Theirs was particularly beautiful. The architecture was just gorgeous and the setting, up on one of the hills, made the picture ripe for a postcard view.



The day ended on a very sour note, much as we enjoyed the trip. My husband John became increasingly ill along the way and after arriving back home, was hospitalized with a mysterious illness.

the gang

Bad News

Which brings me to the other news. After spending a week in the hospital and being sent to the states for nearly a month for testing, John was diagnosed with lupus. They sent us to the U.S. where we spent a year trying to figure out what they were going to do with his career. The next year we spent apart, with me and the kids in the midwest, waiting for John to finish up with the Navy. He's retired and going back to school at this point, ready to get his education degree. I work full time now, so life goes on, as it always does.

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