Dear Friends & Family, 11/16/96

I have a surprise announcement, the news you have all been waiting for (some longer than others). On Nov. 10 at sunset on the Mendecino coast, I became engaged to Brent Gregory. Now that most of you are sitting down and gasping for breath, I'll give you a few more details. Brent & I have known each other for about 5 years. We worked together on CAD R&D projects. He works for Synopsys in California, one of the vendors we use for software to help us design chips. It wasn't until a business dinner last year that I had a clue that he had more going for him than just being a sharp and fun nerd. We found that we were in similar places in our careers and I found out he played piano (a good right brain talent). I didn't think too much about this until he emailed me and invited me to go skiing. To my shock, and against all of my expectations, we 'clicked' like two old friends. I spent the week after our ski trip trying to forget the weekend, but it was no use. I finally sent out a card saying I was interested in dating Brent, because I felt that if I did not do so, I would regret not trying that relationship with him for the rest of my life. My instinct was right and we are now engaged.

1996 was the year of the relationship and of travel. In Jan., I went to Panama and Costa Rica. I stayed with Kevin & Marlene on a base in Panama, then went to Monteverde to visit Arlene & Annalise. The cloud forest at Monteverde is beautiful. I enjoyed the butterflies, hummingbirds, a quetzel (an iridescent bird) and the sunsets. My final week in Costa Rica was spent at the beach with Janice, a friend of Arlene's. It was wonderfully relaxing. I did turn down a marriage proposal from one of the waiters at the hotel, so I didn't lose my wits while in paradise ;-).

After our ski weekend, Brent & I spent a lot of time traveling between our homes in California and Colorado. In July, he spent a month telecommuting from my house. After that, we continued to test our relationship by taking a vacation in Italy. We had a wonderful time in Italy. Half of our time was spent in Florence & Rome and the other half was spent in the Tuscan country side. The art, architecture, scenery and food were all excellent. I gained 7 lbs ;-( , but lost them again when I got back.

Now we are back to shuttling between California and Colorado again. We see each other once every 3 weeks or so. I will be spending the holidays and probably the month of Jan. in California.

At work, we have finished hiring a tools group and now have our own section. I am still a technical lead and have been doing some practice project management.

On the dance scene, this year I did Firebird, Giselle, Feiffer Dances (again), Cascade (a modern piece), another modern piece with a small solo which I loved and the annual 'Nuts'. A sad note in my dance life was the passing of Randy Wray, our ballet director. Randy was my age and died of AIDS. His creative genius and energy are sorely missed.

On the family news side of things, I became an Aunt in May. My nephew Christopher is my favorite lap baby. He has just passed through a Tweety Bird look alike phase.

Next year will be the year of big changes. Brent and I will be married in the summer of 1997. By Feb. of '97, we should know which state we will be living in.

I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones happy and healthy. May you find peace and caring amid the rush of the season.