The 1997 Canterbury Christmas Letter

It's Holiday Time again...and you know what that means...time for the annual Canterbury Christmas letter! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you! We hope that all has been well in your lives during the past 12 months.

Our year started off with a bang when we went to California to see Ohio State win the Rose Bowl on January 1! It was a great game, and we got to do all of the other tourist things as well: Hollywood, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Rodeo Drive, La Brea tar pits, and the Tournament of Roses parade.

Our tenth anniversary was in March, and we spent it in the Florida Keys, including anniversary dinner at Little Palm Island. The enclosed picture is of Nancy and I at sunset in Key West. In addition to sightseeing, we did a lot of snorkeling, and I earned my scuba diving certification. Impressive, yes, but even more impressive when you consider that I learned to swim just five months earlier. One really exciting moment during our snorkeling was when a shark went swimming along right in front of us! That really gets the ol' heart pumping! It was a nurse shark, which usually don't bite unless threatened. Obviously, we left him alone. We also took a seaplane ride to Fort Jefferson National Park on Dry Tortugas, an island about 70 miles west of Key West.

We enjoyed the Keys so much that we repeated the trip, taking a long Thanksgiving weekend to visit again. This time, we took friends Jim and Laura Blackshire along with us. Jim and I went scuba diving together, while Laura and Nancy enjoyed an afternoon by the pool and swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center.

Jim and I, along with his brother-in-law Paul spent some time this summer on our long-term mission of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, section by section. We've now done almost everything from the southern part of Shenandoah National Park to the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border. But there's so much more to go! Another weekend, I was hiking the trail with a neighbor when I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. (This seems to be the year for dangerous wildlife for me.) I hadn't realized I could jump 10 feet straight backwards until then. The snake rattled his rattle to let me know he wasn't happy, then moved on. I was quite glad of that.

Nancy and I continue to be active in Ohio State alumni activities. This year, it was Nancy's turn to be elected president, while I get to be Internet chair. The Washington, DC club was once again recognized as one of the best clubs in the country. Nancy received an award from OSU for her dedication to alumni activities. And, we continued to see a lot of Ohio State football this year, going to four games in Columbus plus one at Penn State.

In October we went to Baltimore to see the Cleveland Indians play the Orioles in Game 2 of the ALCS playoffs. Wonder of wonders, the Indians won! They usually lose when I go to see them.

On the career front, Nancy has continued to work for ACS in Fairfax, VA, honing her computer skills. I finally finished up my contract at IBM after staying for four years. From July to December, I worked on a contract at Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae is a company that provides student loans, and was until recently a branch of the US government. In December, I accepted a new contract working for Caliber Technology in Akron, Ohio as a DB2 DBA (for those who know what that is). At present, I'm commuting between Ohio and Virginia, returning home on weekends.

Our two cats, Snickers and Brutus, continue to do well. Brutus loves anyone who will get close enough, while Snickers loves us, but not much else; cranky probably describes her best.

Other odds and ends from the year: We saw a band called Vertical Horizon at Wolf Trap this year. They are not well-known, but I recommend them to anyone. We also saw Emerson Lake and Palmer at Wolf Trap, and Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center. We saw U2 play a concert in Ohio Stadium in Columbus, and visited Cedar Point amusement park for the first time in over 10 years.

We hope that 1998 is a happy and joyous year for you. And visit our web page, (Yes, we're geeks!)

Happy Holidays!

Nancy and Jerry Canterbury