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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.