In 2020, Julie Arnold lost her father and 2 of her dogs. Her son moved in after his divorce and they stayed home to avoid exposure to Covid19 for most of 2020. Finally, she has ventured out some. In July she drove to Connecticut to visit her daughter and get in a little beach time as well as re-visiting the Bronx Zoo. Julie has resumed showing her remaining standard poodle in Rally classes. They’re working towards a Rally championship and learning agility, obedience, and barn hunt. Julie’s also volunteering at a therapeutic riding program, and wishes all a healthy end to 2021 and new year. Looking forward to our reunion!
Class Secretary Stefanie Solnick Cargill …”has so enjoyed doing this job for our class. I have gotten to know many classmates through your great letters. Your “class news” messages, allowed me to follow the ups and downs of your lives. What a fascinating group of women! Thank you very much.
Diane St. Cyr Francis finally…” had my 2 Covid Virus shots March 2021, and also got my Booster last week. Unfortunately, I had flu-like symptoms to contend with afterward. I also got my regular flu shot with no symptoms last week. I am retired but my husband is still working as curator at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, Maine.
Olivia Henry is grateful to be healthy in this pandemic. “I have healed pretty well from my August 2019 broken femur. After 6 months, I was able to travel to Mazatlán, able to hike, snorkel. I’ve made annual trips to California, to be with close relatives. I am now strong enough to hike to two Appalachian Mountain Club huts recently. i joined a weekly vigil after George Floyd’s killing, calling for justice and peace. This fall, I had a great time volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, the largest “No Kill” rescue in the country. My husband and I recently adopted two rescue cats, a 15 lb. Maine Coon mix and a feisty 3 lb. grey tabby – quite a playful mix!”
Linda Kramer Jenning is finally a grandmother! “Our first grandchild arrived in August. Now I fully appreciate all the wonderful grandmother stories many of you have shared. I am lucky to live on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride over to Seattle where I can go to hold my grandson.”
Robin Wilson Rainie-Lobacz writes: “My husband Kenzie and I have had trouble figuring out where to live in our retirement. We left Southern California to return to New Hampshire once I retired (2019), hoping we could split our time 6 and 6. We loved being back in New Hampshire, so bought a slightly bigger home back where we started in New London, NH. We sold the smaller New Hampshire home and will be here full time; we’re also planning to sell our California home. This is a project home with lots of potential.”
Stephanie Shafran notes: With reunion just seven months away, I couldn’t be happier that Northampton is my home. I look forward to savoring moments spent with friends and classmates who come to campus that weekend. The transition to a virtual lifestyle mandated by the pandemic continues to shape my activities. In spite of its prolonged, forced isolation, the pandemic initiated a heightened focus on my creative writing that continues to date. I published my first chapbook “Awakening” just as the pandemic wreaked havoc on life as we knew it, in the spring of 2020. I doubled my participation in weekly writing groups, took a more active role in Straw Dog Writers Guild, and attended more poetry workshops, programs and readings online than I’d ever done before. Extending my departure last year from my summer cottage beyond the traditional Labor Day exit offered a retreat from the forced separation from my grandchildren and their parents. A year later, stretching the delights of my seaside “happy place” named Hull is a routine I hope to continue indefinitely.