Happy New Year.I'm back in

Jan 2, 2002

Happy New Year.

I’m back in North Carolina, where, at the moment, snow is falling. The big storm that rolled across Mississippi and Georgia is now upon us, and our part of North Carolina (called the Triangle, it covers Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill) is expected to get up to 10 inches of snow by tomorrow evening. That’s nothing, of course, compared to what Buffalo received last week. My Buffalo friends, Bridget McGuinness and Dennis Schaeffer and their daughter, Fiona, are safe and warm in their home; they were in Erie during the big snow, and had to wait a few days before the gates to the city were let down. Please pray for Bridget’s grandfather, who is near the end of his wonderful life.

The Zuikers were busy these last few weeks. Dad and Dot and Nick and Matt (along with Dot’s sons, Nathan and Aaron) spent a week in Costa Rica, hiking through the famous Monteverde rain forest—where they saw sloths and toucans and mischievious monkeys—and racing dolphins in the Pacific ocean. My brother, Joel, and his wife, Tracey, welcomed Mikayla Anne Rose Zuiker to their family on Dec 26 (stats: 6 pounds 12.5 ounces and 20.5 inches long). Aunt Sue and Robert Rheinmeimer were married on Dec 28 in Tinley Park. Congratulations to the parents and the newlyweds. I’m sure there were other Zuiker milestones in the last few weeks, so please add your news by clicking on the comments link at the end of this posting. I hear that my cousin Rebecca Kalinowski will soon receive her confirmation. Congratulations to you, Rebecca.

Erin and I and little Anna traveled to Cleveland for the holidays, with a side trip to southern Michigan where my mother now lives. Cleveland was cold, hectic, full of family. I was gluttonous, which led to my New Year’s resolution to banish chocolate and soda from my diet. Wish me luck, for I do love chocolate! I snuck away one night to see Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. I’d read the Tolkein books as a kid, and the film was simply splendid. See it for its action and fantasy and fantastic scenes of New Zealand. Erin and I also got to see The Majestic, a fond film with Jim Carrey. One night in Michigan, mom rented Witness, and Erin and I and mom watched it with interest; we’d spent the day in nearby Shipshewana, Indiana, learning about the large Amish and Mennonite communities there. If you’re traveling on the Indiana turnpike, consider stopping in at the Menno-Hof Mennonite-Amish Visitors Center. It’s one of the best interpretive museums I’ve encountered, and definitely a fine example of the high-quality Amish craftsmanship you can find in the shops of Shipshewana.

Since the Midwest was so cold, I spent a lot of time in my red flannel pajamas. Erin wore her green fleece pajamas, and helped my mother buy pink polka-dot cotton pjs. The Shaughnessy Family paraded out some other nice designs, and for the first time in my life I appreciated the comfort pajamas can give (I’ve always slept in just my boxer shorts, even on frigid nights). What color are your pjs?

Christmas showed me once again how generous people are, and I’m grateful to all my family and friends who gave me and Erin and little Anna gifts: mom (a cookbook and a nice edition of Cervantes’ Don Quixote), dad (a new Israel Kamakawiwo’ole cd), Dan and Joanne Shaughnessy (a cookbook and a Black & Decker Pivot Driver electric screwdriver), Pat Shaughnessy (a sleek and stylish Polo jacket), Butch McCarty (much needed cash), Joe Cimperman (a cookbook) and Erin (a green faceplate for my cell phone). Thank you, all.

2001 is history, and dark and damaged history at that. As the final moments of the year ticked away and I watched Mayor Giuliani in Times Square, my holiday exuberance wavered amid some tears. Last year was sad, yes, and hard, but there were some wonderful moments, too. The Zuiker Chronicles Online archives are available for any who want to look back on the year (see the links at right). Looking forward, let’s be hopeful and happy. May 2002 be a year of joy and accomplishment for you. Peace.

Anton Zuiker

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