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Nancy and Jerry getting ready to board the Panama Canal Railroad
Merry Christmas to you
and yours, and a Happy New Year too!
This is our third holiday season in North Carolina and I’m starting to feel,
well if not like a native, then at least like I live here. When people ask, “Where do you live?” I now
respond “Raleigh” instead of “Cleveland.”
We still feel a lot of nostalgia for our time in Cleveland and Twinsburg
– I still follow the news up there – but seeing green instead of white every
winter day makes a huge difference in my attitude.
As we all know, the
economy still struggles and many have been out of work for some time. Nancy
was out of work for a bit herself, from December until May. Then one day Nancy received two job offers the same
day! As you can imagine we were bouncing
off the walls that day! Nancy accepted the
contract position with Blue Cross Blue Shield
of North Carolina. She’s working as
an IT project manager and probably enjoys this job more than any she’s ever
had. We’re both hoping she gets to work
there for a long time to come.
My career at IBM continues along. I am lucky enough to work with an outstanding
group of individuals who all look out for each other. I was also fortunate enough to receive a
promotion to Associate Partner this year, which was quite unexpected. As you might expect, a promotion comes with
increased expectations and responsibility so I’m learning some new things and
working hard to do so. Additionally, I
finally finished my six-year project in Buffalo,
NY. I didn’t get to rest for long though, I was
assigned to a new project in New York
City almost immediately. The travel burden hasn’t been too onerous
yet, with trips to NYC only every week or so.
I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to spend time there. I saw a Broadway show (The Pee-Wee Herman
Show) and have taken quite a few runs through Central
Park. And as much as I hate
typical touristy things, there’s something to be said for a run through an
empty-but-still-bright Times Square at 6 a.m.
We started the year with
a trip to the Rose Bowl to see Ohio
State defeat the Oregon
Ducks. We had a great hotel in Santa Monica overlooking
the famous Santa Monica Pier, and although the locals thought the temperature
was a bit chilly, we thought it was just fine.
Nancy and Jerry on the bench they adopted at Ohio State
a few years ago; can you see our names engraved on it?
Our major trip this year
was a trip to Panama to see
the famous Panama Canal. As a wannabe engineer, I wanted to see the
world’s largest ever engineering project.
The trip was a few days touring the Panama countryside, including a
ride on the Panama Canal Railway, followed by a three-day cruise of the canal
itself on a small ship. If you’re one
for Carnival or Princess cruises, I wouldn’t recommend this particular one, it
was really for just for folks that wanted to see the canal up close; there were
only about 24 people on our ship.
Did you know it was just
about a decade ago when the US
relinquished control of the canal to the government of Panama? It was interesting to hear from locals about
the strict demarcation between Panamanian and US control along the canal, and to
see places where that demarcation had been.
It was also interesting to see the engineering and construction that is
still going on as the canal is being expanded to handle even bigger ships than
it does now. As a tourist destination, Panama is probably about where Costa Rica was
15-20 years ago, but they are looking to continue to expand their facilities to
bring in more tourist dollars and improve their economy.
If you want to learn
more about the Panama Canal, we both highly recommend The Path Between the
Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal,
1870-1914 by David McCullough.
For 2011 we’ve already
booked a cruise to Alaska
so are looking forward to that. We
once before in 2000, but that was a land-only trip so this will give us a
completely different perspective.
We didn’t get to visit Ohio State
as much as we would like. I got back for
two games, Nancy
for just one, although it was the Ohio State-Michigan game so she definitely
picked a good one.
We both spent some time
doing triathlons this year. Nancy did her triathlon
in May. I finally learned to swim in
2009 so I could start doing triathlons in 2010.
I did three of varying lengths, leading up to the Beach2Battleship Half-Ironman Triathlon
in Wilmington, NC in November – 1.2-mile open water swim, 56-mile bike ride,
and 13.1-mile run for a total of 70.3 miles.
Back at home, we finally
were able to get some things done around the house – new carpet throughout,
granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, and new paint everywhere
inside. We’ve also made a lot of new
friends over the past year and enjoy spending time with them, going to rodeos,
trying new restaurants and seeing new movies at the local IMAX theater. We were also thrilled to attend a couple
concerts this year, particularly Straight No
Chaser (if you’ve never seen their 12 Days of Christmas
video, you don’t know what you’re missing) as well as a local band called Weekend Excursion.
Our kitties Jackson and
Spookie continue to keep us amused. They
are indoor cats although Jackson
has an obsession with the garage, and both would like to break through the
window screens to get at those squirrels in their yard.
We hope we can keep in
touch with our friends more frequently during the year. If you are on LinkedIn or Facebook please find
and connect to us using the links below.
Nancy and Jerry Canterbury
Last updated 2010/12/25