December 2000                                                            PHOTO LINK

  Aloha dear friends and family,

As temps dip lower and darkness lasts a bit longer each night, we yearn for the freedom of summer’s long, warm days.  In keeping with this theme, a family highlight this year was vacationing for a week on the Kohala coast of the big island of Hawaii during spring break in March.  Snorkeling beside beautiful fish and friendly sea turtles, slamming down a 30-foot slide into the pool, and celebrating the daily sunset were our local resort activities.  We also explored the rest of the island’s sights – rainforest flora, black beaches, and lava formations.  Sonia and Ari particularly liked lounging around the town of Kona, eating syrup-laden shave ices and shopping for trinkets.  It was a much-needed break for the whole family.  Remember, we now have two teens…

Sonia continued to improve her sound on alto sax, playing many jazz classics in Jazz Band this year as an eighth grader.  She still plays flute in the Symphonic Band and has started to play clarinet.  She participated for a second year in track (miler), field (high jumper), and in cross-country as a solid distance runner.  Sonia had a blast during her now traditional two-week stay at Mountain Camp in the Sierras – her third time there as a camper.  She attended a one-week session at Stanford Jazz Workshop (SJW) as an alto sax player, and was hired for her first real job as a Jazz Camp office assistant for three weeks in July and August.  And certainly not the least important, her academic record is an amazing 4.0!

High school seems to suit Ari, now a sophomore at Palo Alto High.  He’s deep in the heavy subjects of Chemistry, Trigonometry, Spanish II, and the very apropos US Government.  At the end of the summer he received his Learner’s Permit to drive and has been getting practice time behind the wheel with Ronda in the passenger seat.  They’ve been extremely creative in locating all the parking lots, frontage roads, and, in general, the lesser-traveled streets in the area.  Ari honed his sales skills by continuing his part-time job at the same local music store all year, with a nearly full-time commitment last summer.  He also attended a one-week session at SJW for the third year, again on clarinet, but focused on the Dixieland style this time.

Jeff’s work continues at Agilent Labs, AND he still has all his teeth.  This fall he joined the Foothill Big Band as an alto and soprano sax player, and enjoys the weekly practice with several talented musicians and a gifted director.  His Trio broke up, but he’s been jamming regularly with some players on the local scene, many that were co-campers at the SJW adult week last summer.

Ronda looks back at the year and can’t believe it’s just about gone.  Some memories:  ringing in 2000 by dancing with friends and listening to the family band jamming together ‘til 3 AM; staying twice at Hiker’s Hut in the Santa Cruz mountains with the scouts to hang out, play games, and eat popcorn; rafting 14 miles down the south fork of the American River whooping and hollering with the scouts; catching up with favorite high school friends at my 30-year reunion in August; the whole family riding home on bikes from great jazz shows at Stanford on warm summer evenings… which brings me back to… oh, just enjoy the pictures.

Enjoy health, peace, and love during the coming year.

Much Love,    Ronda, Jeff, Ari, and Sonia Rosner

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