A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Susie and Rob Easterling
Other than the fact that Rob won a Noble Prize in statistics and Susie was named Most Congenial Co-Pilot in the Allegro Bus category, it’s been a pretty routine year in the Easterling/Hinkle clan.
We did a couple of extended Tuzigoot trips this year: spring trip to Kentucky, summer trip to Vancouver, with lots of interesting and scenic stops going and coming. If you missed any of our exciting reports, or would just like to read them again, you can backtrack through our Tuzigoot blog.
Our biggest trip of the year was going to China in September with Jeff, Valerie, and Malia Easterling as they adopted another granddaughter for us, 1-yr. old Macy. They seem rather busy now, successfully juggling jobs and child-raising and -nurturing.
Heidi Hinkle has a new job: national account manager for Pernod Ricard Spirits. She’s handling the transition from supervising 500 employees as the Beverage Director at the Aria Resort to working out of her Las Vegas home-office quite well, thank you. The big story is that she and sweetheart, Joseph Vargas, will be married in June here in NM.
Jeff and Valerie Hinkle are now settled in their semi-rural home in Sioux City, IA, where Jeff manages the Shopko store and Valerie works as rehabilitation therapist. The highlight of Jeff’s year (other than Black Friday when he opens the store at 3am) was when he and Valerie and his siblings and other family members all came to Cedar Crest in September to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Mike, Karen, and Jason Easterling continue their active lives in Cary, NC, doing their biomathematics, statistical analysis, and fifth grade work. We went to NC for some of Jason’s spring and fall soccer games, thank you Southwest Airlines.
Mandi Venable, our favorite Southwest Airlines employee, and her husband, Paul, are now both in Denver working for our favorite airline. They’ve rented and furnished a charming apartment in the Lowry section of Denver. Paul wrote a Christmas song last year and recently posted a great youtube video.
Matt and Suzy Hinkle live in nearby Rio Rancho, NM and continue their management jobs (Supply One packaging company and a first grade classroom) in Albuquerque. Tony is now in Iraq; he’s an Army Cavalry Scout. We’re all nervous and very proud of him. Kaci will be completing her degree in music theatre at Baldwin-Wallace College this spring. We attended her senior recital in early December. Wow! Andrew, a senior in HS, has continued his soccer exploits and is now pursuing collegiate opportunities. Can Matt and Suzy say Empty Nest?
All of our wonderful children and grandchildren surprised us with an early Christmas gift of a paving block outside the renovated UNM basketball arena, known as the Pit. Here's a picture (Rob overshadowing Susie for the first time ever).
On a serious note, Rob’s Mom, Bonnie, died in October after enduring a long decline with Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve had some wonderful family reunions centered on her birthday the last couple of decades and hope to continue those reunions in her memory.
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
SUSIE AND ROB