The Canterburys - Christmas 2010

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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 visited Alaska 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.


Happy Holidays!

Nancy and Jerry Canterbury



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Last updated 2010/12/25