ANNUAL NEWSLETTER - 2005


 

12 March 2005

Delivery of this letter contradicts any suggestion of a Christmas letter . . . let's just consider it an annual update on our wonderful lives.

Ann developed a very painful calf muscle . . . like a terrible cramp that could not be soothed. After two or three days, she went to see Rob Gleser, our doctor, who diagnosed phlebitis. The cure was a couple of aspirin 4 times a day, and within 2 days she was fine.

Except, it occurred again a month later. This time, recognizing the symptoms as it began, she self medicated with aspirin and again was fine.

Then, another month later, it happened again. Rob had Ann come in and drew several vials of blood for extensive workup. Ann simply didn't fit the profile of a person with phlebitis (excellent health, low body mass, regular aerobic exercise and resistance training, etc.).

All of the blood tests came back negative. Rob then arranged for her to go in for a full body CT scan. The radiologist raised an eyebrow upon learning that the scan was related to phlebitis, but proceeded with the scan.

The CT scan revealed a small, lesion on her lung. Approx 1 centimeter long.

Rob then arranged for a PET scan, and Ann was into Google learning in depth what might be up. Ann's family history of cancer with both her sister and her mother, and her own bout with breast cancer 10 years ago give her a high risk profile. Rob was being careful and diligent in trying to figure out what might be causing the phlebitis. We felt encouraged that her body alerted her (with the phlebitis symptom) and, if the lesion proved to be malignant, it was so small, in a place easily excised, and there wasn't a hint of cancer in her blood workup.

She went into surgery, time stood still, and the lesion turned out to be a granuloma. Friends from Tucson who make and sell granola in their coffee house sent her a huge box to celebrate the false alarm. Wonderful support, prayers and heartfelt wishes from family and friends aided her significantly in the healing process.

WEEGO & ITALY

In late September, we went to Germany to visit our Weego partner and review her progress. Weego is growing in a very similar fashion to Snugli's growth 40 years ago. It's primarily a web based business (www.weego.com). The German insurance company has agreed to sell product liability insurance to Weego at a reasonable cost for the US market, and we're now exploring arrangements with a Denver based warehouse/fulfillment business to process orders placed on the website from North America.

After our Weego visit, we proceeded to spend 3 special days in Prague. Whatever you've ever heard or seen in photographs of that wonderful city simply can't approach reality.

From there we joined old friends for two weeks in Italy: Florence, Sienna, Cinque Terrae and Varenna/Lake Como. We had lovely weather, and absorbed all that we could of the history, culture, and natural beauty of that country . . . and its gelato.

ELECTION

We became intensely involved in the Presidential election when it became clear that a lot of folks were going to vote for the reelection of President Bush. We hadn't done so much doorbelling, telephoning and general election-time work in years, and had forgotten how much fun it can be.

Even if we lost.

We've been marveling at the remarkable fabric of our country since then. At the annual Christmas-caroling party of the Moore clan, one of Mike's brothers asked if we weren't all relieved that Bush got reelected. We could see in his eyes that he was as surprised at our expression of dismay as we had been at his expression of relief. It's interesting that we can be absolutely convinced that those of a different persuasion or belief system are wrong, but when it comes to matters as serious as the election of our President, it becomes a great cause for pause. And, undoubtedly, had Kerry been elected, the opposition would have been as stunned as were we Kerry supporters.

FAMILY HOLIDAYS

Our daughters have all established a synchronized practice in which, every other year, they spend Christmas with their husbands' families. This past Christmas was such, so we planned a week-long Thanksgiving celebration in a beach house in Baja California about 2 hours south of San Diego. The trip was inspired by another milestone birthday of Ann's (which always falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas) and was magical. (see family picture at end of this letter)

We began with a friend taking us and Hopi's family throughout San Diego bay on a 35 foot sailboat for a day and a night. The U S S Reagan came into the bay while we were there, and seeing it and other US Navy ships from our little boat was a completely overwhelming experience. We saw Navy Seals in their "stealth" boats that purportedly can go 100 mph without making a sound; we saw real seals on various buoys; we pulled into a restaurant for dinner with accommodations for passing sail boats to dock, and we generally had the kind of adventure that send Colorado landlubbers to heaven.

At the beach house, the beach was so flat that the tide must have moved at least a hundred yard when it came in and went out. As a consequence, our grandchildren could frolic in very shallow gentle waters while we older children rented sea kayaks and spent hours challenging, cresting and being tipped over by the surf.

One day, Ann and I returned from beachcombing to find the house festooned to celebrate her birthday. The front doorbell rang as we walked in from the beach, and Ann opened it to a mariachi band that stayed and played for an hour. We danced, and sang, and wept for joy.

Ann is still celebrating her 35th birthday.

BAROQUE FOLKE

We've been playing in a baroque ensemble for thirty years. We gather every September to plan a repertoire, rehearse like crazy until Thanksgiving, and then perform at various holiday gatherings from then until New Years. Somehow everything came together this season as never before. We had 250 people come to our little theatre that only seats 160 and had them sitting in the aisles, the orchestra pit, and at least 50 around us on stage. The Evergreen Chorale owns the theatre and presents our concert every year as a Holiday gift to the community on Sunday evening before Christmas.

BEHRHORST RETURN TO COLORADO

Gray and Nicole moved to Kansas City 3 years ago when Gray graduated from Michigan business school, and Gray entered an executive intern program at Sprint. Their eyes were on Colorado, Denver was a major hub of the national telecommunications industry, and Sprint had a reputation for one of the better executive intern programs in the industry. At Christmas 2003, we learned that Gray was becoming disenchanted with Sprint, telecommunications and Corporate culture.

We proposed that they move to Evergreen and he come to work in Air Lift. Take as much time as he wanted to get the feel for the entrepreneurial swing, the Air Lift business and the home health care industry and, if all felt right, explore a transition into leadership and ownership of Air Lift.

They came in June. There were two choices of houses in our market: those with prices that fit their pocket book and were so skuzzy they couldn't bear even to go back for a second look; and those with style that fit their palate and were so expensive they didn't dare go back. Since our house had once been a home for 5 adults, we figured their boys at 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 would be the equivalent of one adult . . . the house could easily accommodate them all . . . and so they moved in.

We can't recall ever having so much fun and being so exhausted for an extended period of time. They lived with us for 6 months, and found a terrific home just before Christmes that resonated with both their pocket book and their palate. Gray gave us a thumbs up signal at Christmas, and the transition is now underway.

CHINA

Mike went on the regional advisory board of the Institute for International Education (IIE)/World Affairs Council. Shortly before Christmas, IIE sent a message from the University of Denver that they had 20 teachers from China in a program at the University, and they were looking for families to host some of them over the holidays. We signed up, and 4 came to visit us during the day on New Years Eve, The exchange was fabulous. They must have taken easily 50 or more photos of every imaginable aspect of our home. They shared with us several photos of their families (they all had children around the age of 2) from which we began to realize that their homes and their neighborhoods were remarkably middle class. We shared with them pictures of Weego, and learned that Chinese consumers would not hesitate to purchase a Weego for $50 - $60. They all had soft baby carriers for their children that probably cost $15-$20 and were not particularly satisfactory. We began to understand first hand the buzz about China emerging not only as a source for manufacturing, but as a huge market. Though Weego currently costs $90 in the U.S. and Europe we know if it were made in China for that market, it could fly.

So we're going to explore.

We love hearing from you during the holiday season, and hope that this finds you in a good place with family, friends and life activities. 

 

ANN & MIKE MOORE
1150 Kerr Gulch Road
Evergreen CO 80439
ann@airlift.com
mike@airlift.com

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