The Murphy Shafer Conclave Christmas Newsletter

Happy Holidays from the Murphy-Shafer Conclave

As 1998 draws to a close, we are less than thirteen months from the new millennium and its ensuing decade of Y2K cleanup: we need to get his latest family update out while our computers still work and we have power and water. Living as we do in seismically active terrain, we have prudently stockpiled a small cache of supplies to deal with the ever present risk of a brief period of quake induced chaos (although recent memory in our area leans more to shared barbecue and stories swapped around Coleman lanterns than marauding suburban hordes).

About now you may be trying to reconcile our salutation with an opening paragraph that is more appropriate for the letters column of Survivalist Monthly than a Yuletide note, so let us resume our regularly scheduled season's greetings.

Veronica has returned to Davis for her second year and we have seen much less of her this fall. The train schedule has not been cut back but she seems to find weekend life more interesting in Davis this year than San Jose. She has been keeping company with the same young man for more than a year now, Herb Wartens. He has been a good influence on her study habits and has helped Max with his basketball. Her career plans remain nascent, much to the chagrin of her very driven parents.

Max has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last year (a sentence I will probably recycle for another two or three years). Four years old now, he is much more a little boy than a toddler and he is speaking and singing much more. He likes lego, swords, computer games, movies, soccer, and basketball. Still a man of few words, he speaks clearly and completely when inclined.

Mark is now in the early phase of his terrible two's--at 21 months--and has gone from walking to running to climbing. He is still indestructible, at least in his own mind, and tries to do anything that the "big boys" do. A few months ago "No" would make him stop what he was doing and "No No No" would reduce him to tears, now he looks back at you with an expression that says "I can hear your voice but I can't understand a word that you are saying." We're not sure yet, and would have been shocked by this a year ago, but we may remember Max as the quiet one.

Theresa, light of our life and the only woman that Sean could ever find to live with him unless he were to relocate to one of the denser population centers in Asia, continues to devote to herself to her children. She remains active in Church and Las Madres. Her latest project is to select Max's kindergarten now that the Christmas Holiday decorating season--which in our conclave begins when we take down the Halloween decorations--is over. Max and Mark have more sword fights and fewer tea parties than Ronnie: Theresa is considering a try-out for the role of Zorro in community theatre.

Sean turned 40--the old age of youth--this year. It was a very understated party: he seems to celebrate his prime number years better. Perhaps because he is an experienced software user he distrusts any version that ends in a zero. He has returned to Cisco--in time for the holidays--taking a business development position. This has lengthened his resume such that he may have to start distributing it on CD-ROM as his own idiosyncratically annotated variant of the San Jose White Pages.

We hope that the holidays find you healthy and happy.
Theresa (
Veronica (
Sean (

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This page last updated January 23, 1999
© Copyright 1999 by Sean Murphy. All rights reserved.