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MY THUOGHTS ON TWENTY TWENTY...  At 70, I left behind the work world, first by choice and second by the virus. With my loving wife and nearby daughter and grandkids our "Covid bubble" only includes my closest friends here in beautiful Bonney Lake Washington.

I meditate before a full exercise routine daily. Graditude and living in the now ( Eckhart Tolle) I have found more contentment as each sun rises.

New Year class of '68!

Lon LaFlamme





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W E     A R E     A L L     I N    T H I S     T O G E T H E R

You've probably spent the majority of the last few months finding ways to get by: Maybe you've whipped up new recipes, redecorated or reorganized, hosted virtual happy hours, and assembled more jigsaw puzzles than you care to admit. 

Let's TAKE STOCK OF THE MOMENT to remind ourselves that this difficult time will come to an end one day, and find motivation to continue to be the best people we can be.

Over the next few months we will be sharing experiences and inspiration from your HH68 classmates who have also survived 2020. 


PLEASE take a few minutes to share & connect!


(here are some talking points to get you started...)

What have you learned from 2020?

How have you changed?

What was your motivation to power through this difficult time?

What was the best part of 2020?

What are you looking forward to (or your direction) in 2021?

***send your comments to HH68Utah@gmail.com, or click on "Contact Us" in the left margin***




MY THUOGHTS ON TWENTY TWENTY...  Fortunately, because of our age group, many of us were not affected as severely as others through 2020. I maintained very well and still did my RV camping, visiting with family and friends. I went about life quite normally, but my exercising diminished. During the last 12 years, my wife and I did social and ballroom dancing twice a week. As a result of closures it's been essentially eliminated. So I bought some electric bikes and that opened up an expansive world of trails!

Oh, and I pretty much just don't listen to the news ever. That helps keep my life more positive and satisfying. (smiley face)

Happy New Year class of '68!

Dennis Frandsen

MY THUOGHTS ON TWENTY TWENTY...  I'm not sure if our COVID experience was charmed, lucky, or viewed through rose-colored glasses, but it seemed we had a better time than others. Jeff and I live in a bubble. Jeff and his workmates were "ordered" to work from home - a command from on high that was met with absolutely no argument. Working from home is better than pounding out computer code in a musty, moldy government building.

With Jeff at home, we were able to work our acre by adding new gardens or resurrecting old ones. After a few years not "farming," we wanted resume growing at least some of our own food, including eggs. Apparently, many others had the same idea about chickens and sources had problems keeping chicks in stock. We finally scored six Golden Comets which have been laying an egg a day each since they reached maturity. I never thought it would be a burden to have productive hens, but I've frozen several dozen and am so sick of eating eggs, it's ridiculous.

Between our daughter and her husband's gardens and ours, we have more food than we can eat. It a good thing, to some extent, because going to the grocery stores has become a pain in the neck. Jeff and I have resorted to shopping late in the evening when the crowds have subsided. Clerks are not has hassled and we can manage some friendly, upbeat banter. Joking any other time sees to have disappeared. People are too stressed or pissed off to even look at each other, much less smile. I hate the directional aisle nonsense. I guess when the store is jammed, it's functional, but otherwise it just adds to the stress. We also have a lot of people who can't seem to wear their masks properly, and that drives me nuts. While some have donned fashionable or imaginative coverings, such as gold lame and sequined masks, silk buckaroo bandannas, or cowls worn by ATV drivers, there are those who claim they can't breathe and allow the masks to droop under their noses. This includes food servers sometimes. Then there are those who are adamant about their Constitutional rights and refuse outright, then wonder why they're not admitted to the stores. We have a lot of those in this rural right-wing neck of the woods. They bully others and make things every worse. I especially rankle at the MAGA masks.

Another phenomenon is the influx of California refugees into Nevada. Houses have been snatched up at ridiculous prices and the DMV paper plates are common sight while driving around the region. Long-time residents are scared to death they're bringing their CA politics with them, but if they loved those politics, why would they bother moving to Nevada? Things in CA have become so untenable that these frantic people will pay anything to be away from all that's going on there. It's hard to believe some of the stories that come out of there.

Meanwhile, Jeff and I keep our contacts with townsfolk at a minimum. We are ham radio operators and chat on our local frequencies. We hold SIERA club meetings on our club repeater 147.330mh, as well as the usual weekly nets. The daily chats on the radio make up for the fact that our favorite events have been cancelled. One ham in Tahoe created a ZOOM Christmas Gathering to substitute for the yearly holiday event that brought two radio clubs together for a special evening. While not the same as in-person, it was a worthy attempt.

One of our favorite "voices" on the radio, Brad WT6B, would call out to chat several times a day until he became ill with sepsis. He was taken to our local hospital but was sent home because there wasn't a bed available because of COVID. Within hours, though, one opened and he returned for a two-week stay. We're glad he's back on the air and recovering slowly, but the implications of that experience were frightening. Who died so he could have a bed? Or was that person one of the few recoveries? The numbers bounce up and down with frustrating and mind-boggling regularity. No wonder people rebel or think COVID's a hoax, that is, until the nurse covers their face with the respirator. Their last words: "I didn't think COVID was real."

It's real all right. Jeff and I both had it in July. While we felt like hell, with aches, fever/chills, sore throats, lung congestion, fatigue and general malaise, it was mild compared to a bout with another strain of flu that hit the Valley two years ago. I was in the hospital with that and Jeff should've been. But COVID and the absurd waiting period to get our results from the Health Dept. was maddening. We both quanantined for two weeks after he was tested. He was told that if he didn't hear anything after a week, he was off quarantine. Then two weeks after testing, Jeff received his results. He was rather miffed. He was also suffering from excruciating abdominal pain and wondering if that was COVID-related. I took him to the hospital and waited in the car for a couple of hours, thinking I was about to become a widow. A nurse finally called and told me he had appendicitis. I laughed and said, "Is that all? That's great news." She must've thought I was nuts.

The best part of our COVID experience was our daughter's wedding. Bit by bit, she had to juggle her logistical plans, cutting this and that as the world shut down. Finally, we were able to hold a garden wedding at the venue, which had closed interior usage of the facility. The wedding dinner gave way to a BBQ in the bridal couple's back yard. Instead of the 500-plus bacchanal, they were able to scale down to just the people they really wanted to include. All the grands and extendeds and far-away guests were scratched from the list. Valerie told me "Mom, we actually got to have the wedding we really wanted all along." Thank you, COVID.

We've been rather cavalier when visiting Valerie and her husband, Andy. They've been helping us remodel our Truckee house to put on the market. So we work together without masks unless the work is dusty. We visit without masks and with lots of hugs since COVID arrived in our lives. We all know that Jeff and I have had it. Andy suspects he caught it while en route home from a business junket to Eastern Europe last winter. He managed to squeak back into the States an hour before San Francisco airport closed down. Andy's an introvert and loves working from home, but Valerie NEEDS her regular meetings in the rural counties with all her stakeholders. Her social life went to hell and she's peeved at having to resort to ZOOM; that is until she realized she could hide behind an avatar while dressed in jammies and bedhead. Now she's also pregnant, and that's the biggest and most wonderful miracle of all. At 37, she wondered if she would be able to conceive at all. To her surprise and great joy for all of us, she's carrying a healthy boy - Robert Andrew Haskin, due in June 2021. Gratefully, my favorite yarn store continues to survive the shutdowns with creative marketing and the baby knitting can continue unabated.

I can't for the life of me say 2020 has been a bad year. We've watched the world around us plummet into political and environmental disaster. A friend of ours lost his house in a wildfire a month ago. My nephew just told me he's lost friends to COVID. But our little bubble is charmed. I tell my friends we're being inconvenienced rather than devastated, and they agree. Things could be a whole lot worse. We are lucky to live where we do and in the circumstances we have. As we watch or hear about how the cities are imploding, we country folk will survive.

Happy New Year class of '68!

Sue Fraiser Cauhape

MY THUOGHTS ON TWENTY TWENTY...  Being ill, the quarantine experience isn't much different from my regular life.  But I still look forward to getting one of the vaccines.

I will say that I am appalled by the irresponsibility shown by so many of my fellow countrymen regarding masking and social distancing..  It is easy to go political on this and I know that politics is banned from the class comments section of the website.  I will say I voted against Trump by voting for Biden.  Going beyond the fact that he is a Republican, Trump has failed miserably as our leader during the pandemic and his conduct since the election is deplorable.

I hope you can all go back to the life you had when things return to normal.

Happy New Year class of '68!

Bill Hunter


MY THUOGHTS ON TWENTY TWENTY...  I think we have all learned how fragile our democracy is.  It is troubling to see our nation so divided.  It seems like every issue is loved by some, hated by some with few in the middle. Our leaders have forgotten what it is to compromise and work together to get things done. It seems like the message are young people get every day is that it is all about the individual and the truth does not matter.

I completed the sale of our company's to my son's and daughter in June. For over 50 years my life has revolved around work. It now revolves around family, volunteering, exercise, golf, and flying.

I spent three years as chairman of the board for the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. I developed a huge amount of respect for healthcare workers. As broken as the healthcare system is, it still works. I had confidence in our scientists and trusted they would find a vaccine.

The pandemic has been a nightmare for all of us but the bright spot for me was that it allowed my transition from being the boss to being a visitor much easier. As a senior citizen it is not weird for me to not be in the dealerships everyday which made it easier for our children/partners to take over.

Starting in 1975 we have kept the dealerships open on New year's Eve to close the books. I've not had a New Year's Eve celebration for a long time. I was looking forward to the great party but Kathy and I will have a special dinner together. Now we are looking forward to spending more time with our family, especially the grandkids.

Hope everyone is well. Happy New Year Class of '68!

Mark Miller






MY THOUGHTS ON TWENTY TWENTY...  Finding mysef at age 70 in the middle of a pandemic has been an eye opener for sure.

This time last year, I was in a vacation rental in La Jolla, California, when news of a dangerous new virus started to dominate the airwaves. it never dawned on me at the time that our country would still be dealing with that virus one year later and beyond. My experience has been one of initial disbelief, the realization that I was in a high risk group because of my age (!), gradual acceptance that this would be no short-term deal, and finally the quiet determination to come out of this alive. Throughout the shutdowns and stay at home orders, I found confidence I didn't know I had and realized that I enjoy my time alone.

At the same time, I hosted a tiny coffee group of very special friends, which started as monthly and evolved into an every other Friday get-together that keeps us all sane. And I'm pretty excited to be under contract for a new small home in Mesquite, Nevada, where I can get away from Salt Lake's cold winters and the inversions which I resent every single year.

There are so many ways that being retired has spared me from the stresses, uncertainty, and financial loss that young working families are suffering today. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones and is full of gratitude that I am, so far, safe and sane.

So here I am again, alone in a VRBO in la Jolla for the holidays, none the worse for wear and maybe even stronger for the pandemic experience.

Happy New Year to the class of '68!

Jannie Hill Spader



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