Welcome to the Brandows’ 2017 year in review lettter. Glad you could find us here on ColorfulClay.Wordpress.Com, a blog which I have been neglecting, but resolve to add to more frequently in 2018.
Our top story is the Seilers’ move to Davis, and grandparents Brooke and Clay celebrate their grandkids, Stella (5) and Zephyr (2) moving right around the corner. Clay told Brooke that now when we need a break from the grandkids, we need to leave town. More on our 2017 travels in a bit.
Our son-in-law, gymnastics coach David Seiler, took a head coach position with Davis Diamonds. Brianna and David sold the 901 square-foot, Berkeley house (circa 1900), they lovingly restored over the 5-years they lived there and moved to Davis. The sweat-equity they built up allowed them to buy a 2,200 square foot house in Davis. It’s a Streng home, which means it looks like an Eichler, built circa 1970. They moved in this July. Should be a great house for raising two rambunctious kids.
Stella is in TK and loves to organize make-believe games where she assigns you a role. Zephyr starts Applegate Nursery School in January when he turns two. He loves trains, is becoming quite the climber, and is happy to play on his own. We have fun taking care of them on Tuesdays and other times as needed.
Our younger daughter, Chloe, will be completing her 3-year residency in Internal Medicine in June with UCSF in Fresno. She was asked and accepted staying on one more year in Fresno after June 2018 to serve as Chief Resident in the program. She works long-hours at Fresno Community Regional Med Center and Fresno VA, but found time last year to ski with with her dear old Dad 3-weekends at Dodge Ridge near our cabin in Mi-Wuk Village, CA. Turns out the cabin is have halfway between Davis and Fresno by driving time. When a 65 year-old skis from opening to closing with a 28 year-old, guess who is more tired at the end of the day. Luckily, I ski with a doctor.
Chloe has a boyfriend, Kyle Manchester. They met on-line in 2017. Kyle grew-up in Lompoc, CA, graduated from Cal Poly SLO in food science, and works for Foster Farms. He is a really nice fellow, and Brooke and I like him a lot. Chloe has been to Lompoc to meet Kyle’s folks. Stay tuned, we’ll see what happens.
In addition to trips to Mi-Wuk, Mono Lake and other nearby places, our big trip this year was to Ecuador and Peru, where we visited the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, respectively. Observing the wildlife in the Galapagos on land and underwater at very close range was riveting. In Peru we saw some inspiring ruins and learned more about the Incas and the civilizations that proceed it. Lima, a city of 10 million on the Pacific Coast gets rain about once every 20-years or so. Machu Picchu in headwaters of the Amazon recieves 10-feet of rain a year. Cusco, were we slept one night, is a city of half a million at 11,200 feet elevation in the Andes. It is a land of extremes. Many thanks to Brooke who planned our travels and got Clay moving. We both like Linblad/National Geographic.
We stayed home long enough this summer to participate in the 3-day, 45-year anniversary celebration and reunion of the building of the Domes on the UC Davis campus, aka Baggins End. It was great to see so many old friends from out student-builder years. Extra special for us because that is where Brooke and I met in 1974. Having dinner with the students who live there now was a kick, and the students made us feel welcome. Were we this young once?
Brooke is still working as a property manger and settling her late-mother Grace’s estate. Pilates and Jazzercise are parts of her weekly exercise routine. Clay is completing his third year of retirement. Turns our he is good at retirement. Biking and skiing are Clay’s preferred forms of exercise. We both like walking, sometimes together, in the neghborhood, in the UCD Aboretum and on the levees. We did lots of walking in South America. Love those collapsible walking sticks.
We hope you and yours have a wonderful 2018.
Clay & Brooke
P.S. Please, leave me a comment on this blog. I am eager to know if this new method of a Holiday Postcard in the mail and a blog entry with family update works for folks? Thanks.