I’ve been told that it is a bad thing to “bury the lede,” so here’s what you can look forward to if you read our annual letter: Read about how within a 3 week period this year, the Rosens celebrated two graduations, two 50th birthdays, one 25th anniversary, and one grant renewal. Plus, we throw in the kitchen sink.
When we last left Alena she was recovering from a nasty bout of mononucleosis and a damaged shoulder that combined to make the first term of her senior year of high school “challenging.” We are happy to report that things turned around pretty well for her, as she is now an official high school graduate. This summer she traveled with 3 of her close friends for 2 weeks in Spain, which turned out to be the perfect blend of excitement (navigating back to the hostel after enjoying the nightlife in Madrid), education (“there is no longer any reason to have bullfights”), and well-earned fun (sharing hostels with charming Aussies and other international travelers). We are more that a little proud that Alena deferred her admission to Scripps College (one of the 5 Claremont colleges) to spend 10 months as an Americorps volunteer. She is based in Charleston, SC and has been involved in activities such as construction, disaster relief, invasive species (non-vertebrate) eradication, maintenance, and all around do-goodidness. For those of you not on her distribution list, you can see some of her narratives on Alena's AmeriDiary page.
Dan graduated from Vassar College last May with a degree in psychology and a minor in music composition. Glenn was mildly disappointed that he was not invited to give the commencement address, but that honor went to another father of a graduate, Tom Hanks. We hear he’s in the entertainment business. Dan has since moved to the upper east side of Manhattan with designs on becoming a performer. This fall he filled in on bass for a 10-city-in-10-day tour with a singer-songwriter. Their penultimate venue was in Cambridge, which allowed us to see him in action. He has done a couple of short comedy stand-up routines (they made us laugh!), is taking some improv and comedy writing courses, and is looking to start auditioning soon. For actual money, he has worked part-time for his uncle Matt’s promotion company, and has found that going into bars dressed a hockey goalie has it’s upsides (being hit on by drunk women) and downsides (being cup checked by drunk men).
The more observant of you will have done the math by now and surmised that we are now empty nesters. To tell the truth, we don’t like that term very much because it makes the assumption that we are somehow less whole with the children out pursuing their own lives. We prefer “bereft-at-the-loss-of-the-only-thing-keeping-our-shell-of-a-marriage-from-imploding-and-if-I-have-to-look-at-his/her-aging-face-across-the-echoing-emptiness-of-our-dining-room-I-think-I’ll-have-an-aneurysm.” To tell the truth, although we look forward to those times when the entire family is together, we are still amazed that we adults still enjoy one-another’s company after 25 years of marriage.
Speaking of 25 years (most obvious segue ever), we had a wonderful celebration this spring. Over Memorial Day weekend, Glenn was able to flaunt his Pitmeister skills when we hosted a BBQ for both sides of the family and a bunch of local friends. Later that weekend, the extended family went out to dinner at a local restaurant, the highlight of which was either the wine or the reenactment of our first date by Dan and Alena. Let me just say for the record that “Might I squire you about campus?” is not a verbatim quote, but the kids did a masterful job given that we’re pretty sure they weren’t actually present at the original event.
Both of us are proud to admit that we have officially entered our decade of “The New 30’s.” At the end of June, Anndy and Glenn’s brother Stuart arranged a surprise golf outing for the boys. They had a blast tearing up some of the finer courses in the metropolitan Boston area. For Anndy’s New 30th, Glenn arranged for Anndy and number of her friends to head off for three days of relaxation at a spa in Berkshires. I think it is safe to say that that was not something Anndy would ever do for herself, but I don’t think she objected too much. On a slightly less self-indulgent vein, Glenn got Anndy a Toyota Prius, which, as you all know, actually doesn’t use any gas and, in fact, cleans the air the more you drive it.
In another milestone our house turned 120 this year, so we gave it the gift of a major kitchen renovation. In addition almost double the area, of particular note is a dedicated Wok burner, which gives out 28,000 BTU, thank you very much. We are thrilled with the new space, and if you haven’t been over to see it, what’s stopping you? We may even cook you something. For those interested in the renovation process, we have a pictorial narrative.
Work continues apace for both of us. Despite the evisceration of the NIH budget by an administration still looking for Osama and weapons of mass destruction, Glenn was able to get a grant renewed this year, albeit for less money than what he had previously. There is another renewal being submitted this year, so he’ll have his work cut out for him. Anndy is still working way too hard, and is experiencing the joys of teaching biology to “less than motivated” students this year. After attending biology AP boot camp last summer, she is hopeful that she’ll be able to enjoy teaching at the opposite end of the spectrum next year.
Sorry for the length of the letter, but we know that you’d be disappointed if we left anything out of the narrative of our ever-so-interesting lives. If you feel it necessary to reciprocate (knowing, of course, that your own lives can’t be nearly as fascinating as ours), please free to share at our email addresses.
Wishing all of you the best for the new year.