Holiday Greetings! We hope you've had a great year! We did. You may have heard this all before but please be patient. We tell a good story, if we do say so ourselves. Trust us, you'll enjoy this.

As the year began, we were deep in final wedding plans. We had been planning our event for over a year. Being obsessive about the whole thing really paid off.

The big day finally arrived but the bride did not. She was late. Meanwhile at the rendezvous point, Steve was getting nervous. He didn't really think that Mary had changed her mind but the possibility was there. Mary and her entourage arrived and when Steve saw Mary in her bridal dress, he was heard to say "It was worth the wait". Mary had a million excuses for being late (but she did not know yet that it was Steve's fault -- see below).

Everyone raved about the ceremony and many tears were shed. It was a combined Catholic / Jewish wedding. In the Catholic tradition, we gave many people a part in it. Deacon Ralph and Rabbi Dworkin quickly clicked and though it was their first time with each other, it seemed as though they had been doing this kind of ceremony together for years. They made everyone feel welcome. According to Steve, the only downside was when the Rabbi explained that from now and forever after, when things go wrong, Steve would have to say "It's my fault". And in the past eight months, Mary has reminded Steve of the Rabbi's words several times a week.

We honeymooned in Hawaii for three weeks!! The highlight of the trip was on the Big~Island. We flew over the active volcano in a helicopter and Steve later walked to the lava flows. On Maui we enjoyed the road to Hana by van trip and were glad we didn't try to drive it ourselves. This road has over 600 hairpin turns! We didn't see much on Molokai but on Kuaui, Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) was spectacular. We drove up along side of it the first day and flew over it in a helicopter the next day. You get just a small glimpse of its grandeur from our picture (but you get a clear view of just how well we ate on the trip!). Finally we spent two days in Oahu where we were showed a good time by Mary's friends Becky and Kathy. Steve swam with the fishes in Hannama Bay.

We returned home to relax but there was much to do. Top on the agenda was combining households. As the movers moved Mary's many pieces of furniture into the house in Toms River, Steve wondered where it would all fit. He tried to talk her into leaving some of the pieces out on the curb, but every last stick of wood had "sentimental value". When an old dented ugly green lamp arrived, Steve finally put his foot down. In the end we are both very comfortable in our home:

It May, Mary finally gave in to Steve's begging for a new family member. We already had two cats and three fish tanks but Steve wanted a kitten. Mary kept her eye on the bulletin boards at work and we adopted a cute little innocent calico kitten. Then our house was turned upside down! While one of the cats (Little Fuzzy) accepted the new family member (Tribble), the neurotic cat (Kzinti) had a lot of apprehension. Have you ever seen a one pound kitten chase a seven pound grown cat all around the house?

1994 quieted down to our usual busy schedule. On many summer weekends we had pool parties that were always a big hit, if we do say so ourselves. As fall began, we found ourselves starting more big projects. After living there a few months, Mary decided that we had to tackle the work that Steve had let slide for eight years. (Hey! I was buying furniture all that time!). Our outside trim is painted, our driveway paved, the deck is being redone, and in February we'll be getting a new kitchen. A woman around the house does wonders for its appearance!

Other plans for 1995 include a new right hip for Mary. She'll be having surgery in January at Beth Israel North hospital in NYC. Visitors are most welcome. On the bright side, we're exploring a Mediterranean cruise for the fall -- but more about that in Issue~#3.

We wish you a happy, healthy and safe Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. Koplau (the Klingon word for good bye). Issue #2 puzzle: who insisted on ending this newsletter that way and who would rather delete that last sentence?

We hope that 1995 brings you all the love, laughter and happiness that you are looking for.


Steve & Mary