December 13, 1999

Dear Everybody,

As Dad has redeemed his poor record of Christmas card distribution by finally sending out my '97 Newsletter with last year's greeting, I (Sarah) have agreed to write this year's letter for the penultimate (yes, that's right, second to last) year of the millennium. I am quite stubborn on this matter, that is, that the new millennium doesn't start until January 1, 2001, although it seems that most of my efforts are in vain. Actually, I've begun almost a full-fledged boycott. I have perfected this little snort that I promptly deliver whenever someone mentions the January 1, 2000 'Millennium,' and I have refused to wear any of the apparel. For example, Mom recently brought home a pair of Very Colorful Socks; and when she pulled them out of the bag, I squealed, "Oooooooh! New Socks!" (I love socks.) Once I had a chance to look at them, however, I promptly rejected them. They had January-1-2000-Y2K, Millenium-kind-of-slogans written all over them. Mom decided that she'd take them instead. She looks pretty funny when she wears them with her Birkenstocks.

We're all OK. Everybody except Kevin accompanied Dad to his conference in Alicante, Spain this summer. (Kevin, being Kevin, elected instead to go to camp.) It was great fun and we even took the boat over to Tangier, Morocco, for the day. "This is so that you can go home and brag, 'I've been to Africa,'" Mom explained to David. "Oh," and then, upon our return, asked, "So, can we go to Asia tomorrow?"

Speaking of traveling, if all works out, I will accompany Dad to a meeting in Amsterdam for a week in February; Mom will escape reality with her friend Jan Wirtz either to Ireland, Paris, or Greece; and I'm applying to be an exchange student next year, with a September 2000 departure and a July 2001 return, hopefully to Spain.

Kevin, the non-traveler of the family, has developed other, um, interests. However, unfortunately, I don't know what they are. Sorry. We don't exactly communicate a whole lot. Well, he's in 10th grade this year, 15, doing OK, just got a job at the Red Rose Inn (washing dishes, I think, although I'd have to check on that one.) He likes to play roller hockey and hang out with his friends. He's quite popular with the girls at school, and they're always calling; but, as I'm just "the sister," I can't keep them straight.

David, now 10 1/2 and in 5th grade, is a Pokemaniac! He collects the cards, watches the show, and generally acts like every other impressionable young boy I know. I've tried to do my duty as an Open-Minded Person several times with questions like, "So, David, what is Pokemon?" but I, Narrow-Minded-Big-Sister, just don't seem to get it.

Mom continues work at Glasgow High School, in the Wellness Center. She also continues to have Fridays off, which is great for her, because she can go to her quilting group. She's made some really beautiful quilts, and, if I get my act together, I may organize a fund-raising raffle of one of her exceptionally colorful quilts for my exchange student tuition. I'm hoping to tie it in with Spain, somehow. Stay tuned.

Dad continues to do what he does. What he does, no one really knows. It's very mysterious. As he likes to tell anybody who asks him what he did today, "I pushed back the frontiers of science, my dear." If it's been a particularly bad day, he might add, "In what direction, I'm not sure." At least his headaches have gotten a lot better; we're hoping that they don't have plans to return.

The pets (two cockatiels; one Severe Macaw; two cats; and two dogs) all doing great, making sure that, should the kids let up at all, our house looks like the perpetual war-zone it was always meant to be. Actually, scratch that -- the pets are all doing great, except for Bosco, the old chocolate lab. We think she has arthritis; we thought it was Lyme at first but, as the antibiotics didn't help, that now seems unlikely. She's having more and more trouble moving about, poor girl.

As for me -- I'm doing great! I just started high school, and so far, I've found myself with a love-hate relationship of sorts with the school. This means that some days, I come home with my rantings and ravings as to what's wrong with this and why we need to fix that, and other days, I think about the amazing diversity of people and ideas. I continue my career as a Monty Python fanatic and I'm guaranteed to quote something, from one of the scenes, throughout the course of any given day.

There is just one more '99 highlight I must mention, and this is our otherwise unremarkable purchase of a computer. You see, my friends, the Owockis have always been loyal Mac users, but just recently -- oh, it's so painful -- we purchased a PC. Actually, this PC isn't so bad; it's faster in many ways. It seems unnatural, though, for a PC to be sitting in our computer room, which as far back as I can remember has been filled with nothing but Macs. Thus I consider it an Owocki milestone worthy of mention here.

To end I'd like to wish you a Happy New-Year-With-Three-Zeroes That's-Not-the-Millennium. Our best wishes are extended to everybody.

Love, Sarah, for the rest of the Owocki Family: Stan, Suzi, Kevin, David; Bosco, Cheyenne, Ashes & Mea, Myra, Zeus & Mohawk.

Visit us online, via links on Dad's web page: