6760 Hinsdale Street

Hiram, Ohio 44234-0194


December 1999


Alas the time has once again arrived, I have procrastinated to the point where this letter is likely to be late, though there remains just the slightest chance it may arrive prior to the actual Christmas date - if I do it right now!  The older I get the two dominating factors of my personality, (Jim Walsh - researcher and procrastinator at large  & Mary Walsh have it done yesterday and take no prisoners) gain strength and make me more bi-polar.  At least it is the excuse I use for my growing neuroticism, I am after all of the generation that is to blame my parents for all my faults.  The older I grow, I find that they have generally left me little of substance to complain about, so work with me!


For those of you that only hear from us sporadically, this has been a year of great change and growth.  In January I began to have severe pain in my legs and arms, followed with numbness and tremors.  As a result, I got the opportunity to refine my descriptive writing skills with Kaisers customer relations department, provided Christopher with the opportunity to see the way MRI machines (and several other high tech gadgets his company and their competition produce) up close and personal, and taught my children that Kaiser is a bad word.  The end result is I don’t have a brain tumor, MS, cancer, Parkinson disease, ect.  They have given me a diagnosis of Fibromyalga - a.k.a. they have no clue what is wrong with me or how to fix it.  On the bright side, it has given me a wonderful opportunity to have my faith grow, a chance to reevaluate what is important in my life, and let us know with in days of conception that we were expecting our third child.  As a result of health complications, I quit my job and have taken a year off from graduate school.  My third full month into full time motherhood, has left me wondering how I ever found time to work.  I think it was easier when I did!  However the joys to have grown exponentially.


Talia turned six this month, and is in the full swing of kindergarten.  As a result, her previously acute parental hearing disability has developed into full blown deafness to the majority of our utterances!  We have also begun the rapid downward spiral of intelligence all parents experience when their children enter public education.  However, her excitement about school is infectious.  She delights in spelling anything she can, and is able to read simple words.  Her art work and craft skills are phenomenal for her age.  She won the Christmas stamp contest for the local post office and has her work displayed in a glass case.  She also loves music, and can often be heard singing songs of her own making as she plays.  She continues in dance, and I am happy to report has not inherited either of her parents lack of rhythm.


Olivia is three going on 63.  She is a very serious soul, and currently is very concerned about her parents manners and behavior lapses.  She has taken to verbally correcting us (pleasantly I might add), and with that fails she rolls her eyes leaving only the whites!  She is in preschool and has learned to ride a two wheeler (with training wheels).  She has become quite the dare devil, riding with no hands and standing up on the middle bar.  She is currently contemplating a job as a circus princess - I have many gray hairs attesting to her budding courage.  She is taking gymnastics, and is doing quite well.  She has been moved up a class beyond her chronological age group.  She also was in speech this fall.  She took it very seriously and worked hard.  As a result, we have to do exercises at home, but her teachers do not feel she needs to return for additional sessions.


Sophia Egon Cobb arrived 2 days early, and has reaffirmed that I have genetically recessive genes.  She was 8 pounds 2 ounces at birth and has gained weight rapidly.  She is a prodigious consumer and producer.  Her  gas expulsion capacity and the delight she takes in it, leaves her father jealous!  In the words of her sisters, “She’s a poop machine!”  (These type of comments are always saved for elderly strangers in crowded places when the children are with me!)  Sophia  is a very cool baby, and tolerant of her sisters love. 


My health severely restricted my normal traveling plans.  The girls and I did  fly to Oregon to spend time with my Aunt Patty and family.  My cousin graduated and we were there for the celebration and spent 2 weeks on their mountain.  It was a wonderful way to spend time.  My parents were there when we arrived and we took a short jaunt to Northern California to visit the redwoods and the ocean.  My aunt was able to take time off and we took a trip to Crater Lake, and played in snow several feet high in June.  The girls recorded their trip with disposable cameras from their Uncle Bruce.  The results are hilarious, we have a  multitude of people with no heads or additional fingers.  They were limited to 2 pictures a day, and by the time they were on the last 2 they had gotten quite good, the fruit bowl and newspaper in the lobby of the hotel we were in were not only in focus, but perfectly centered.


Upon our return, two of my cousins, Chelsea (10) and Caity (8) came and spent 3 weeks with us.  We took several short jaunts around here and spent some time at my mom’s house.  It was fun to have a gaggle of girls about.  We finished our summer with an extended family camping trip to Burr Oak, outside OU.  Christopher, Biz, Todd, Jimmy, and I spent a night strolling/shuffling down Court Street, reminiscing about college days and visits.


Christopher is still working at Picker, though he threatens to leave regularly.  In reality they have become Marconi Medical Systems.  He is currently studying for his finial exam for MCSE certification .  I might add that I never saw him work this hard  when we were in school!   He has successfully completed several certifications, and his next will be cisco certification. We have not done much in the home improvement arena this year, but cold weather and procrastination has lead to the rebuilding and painting of several windows.  He is currently (with a minim of swearing) installing a new central vacuuming system.  I’ve taken very little interest in the process, as he is chief vacuum person due to his connection to the untimely and needless violent demise of the vacuum I liked and his subsequent purchase of one I did not like! 


Cars have also been an interesting and active part of 1999 for us.  After many months of visiting and haggling Christopher purchased an early 1980’s BMW.  He brought it home and worked on it all weekend.  However, there was a sound/feel that just wasn’t right.  So he took it to the local BMW dealer for an inspection.  Due to its’  abundant rust and lack of frame, they were unable to lift it for an inspection.  He returned the car and so in addition to adding the .4 plus to our required 2.4 children, we have also added a 1989 minivan.  As soon as we add the white picket fence we will have achieved complete yuppie suburban middle class.  We also parted with the Tempo, the car from hell.  With up coming house projects (including less than 30 cubic yards of mulch - ask Christopher and he’ll explain) we also felt the need for a pick-up truck.  So we are the proud new owners of a 1968 Ford Pick-up truck that currently boasts reverse and second, and a nice rust patina.  UGH!  On a positive note, the Marauder is still with us and has been dubbed, “The fast Marauder” by the girls and has been their weekly chariot to library time with their daddy.


Having moved to the other side of 30 this year, I am excited to be about the process of enjoying living life.  I am feeling blessed and happy with my family, friends, and home.  I hope the new year finds you happy and well.


The Cobb Family