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Frank & Betsy Christmas Letter 1995

                                              

Merry Christmas!

       It is that time again to write all our friends and family on the events of the last year.  And 1995 brought many changes to the Fenti household. 

       January started out the new year with a bang.  After spending the summer of 1994 looking for a house, Frank & I had given up all hope of ever finding anything that would meet our needs (and our budget).  Then someone sent us some listings of houses in our price range.  One of them sounded perfect, but we didn't dare get our hopes up again.  We drove by it and from the outside it looked great.  Nervously, we made an appointment to go see it.  The minute we walked in, we fell in love with the house.  The man that owned it had been widowed and suffered a heart attack all within the last month.  He seemed to really like us and after only 2 weeks, we had signed the papers.  We were excited and terrified at the same time.  It was such a large step for us. 

      The house was perfect in many ways.  Its location was the first plus.  It was only two blocks from where we were living and also my mother's house.  It was only a short walk to Frank's job.  And only a few houses away from McDonalds!  (Always good to be near food!)  It is a white one-story ranch with a long driveway.  It has a small sun porch that leads into a wood paneled living room.  Off the living is the dining room which also serves as Frank's computer room.  One wall is lined with 4 wooden shelves that display our collection of gem trees, Frank's rocks and my favorite knick-knacks.  From one side of the dining room is the way to our bedroom, bathroom and extra room that will eventually be turned in an office for all of our extra computers.  The dining room also leads into our kitchen.  The kitchen is wonderful compared to the one at the apartment.  It has 5 drawers!  Our old kitchen had one.  The washer & dryer that came with the house are along one wall.  Off the kitchen is a sizable enclosed back room.  I have dreams of someday installing a hot tub out there, but right it holds a freezer and serves as a temporary greenhouse.  Our back yard is just the right size with two beautiful lilac bushes and room for a large vegetable garden for Frank.  There is a shed there to hold all of Frank's tools.

       It took about two months to close the deal on the house.  When it came time to move, we found out exactly how wonderful our friends and family are.  The week before we moved, several of our friends and family members came over to house and scrubbed it from top to bottom.  Frank's aunt and one of our friends came over and painted the dining room and bedroom while Frank was at work.  He was so busy at work at that time, he hardly had time to do anything.  My mother and my care giver helped me pack everything in boxes.  We moved on April Fool's Day (hopefully not a bad omen).  There were 22 people that came to help us.  We had 3 cars & 3 trucks and it only took 2 hours.  By the end of the day, the house was almost completely set up and livable.  Everyone remarked on how we filled up the whole house from just what we had crammed into that tiny 2-room apartment.  I don't know where we kept it all.

       The one that has adapted the quickest to our new home was Myau, our cat.  The first two nights, he sat outside our bedroom and howled.  After that, he quickly found his favorite spots.  The previous owner had built shelves on some of the windows for his own cat, Buster.  Myau found them immediately and sits and watches the cars drive by.  He never could see traffic from our old apartment.  Myau also loves to race full speed through the house.  I guess he loves the extra room as much as Frank & I do.

       Since we settled into the house, we found out what it's like to be a home owner.  Our washer broke this summer and leaked into the next room, ruining some of our belongings.  Our insurance didn't cover all of the expenses.  We still haven't had the two rooms redone yet.  Then in the fall, our back roof started leaking.  Frank is having to learn home repair very quickly.

       The very same week that we moved, we had another big change in our life.  Frank's job changed at the bank.  They put him in charge of all the personal computers at the bank.  He does all the ordering of hardware and software.  He also sets up new computers and trouble shoots problems.  He is still in charge of doing the night time computer operator's job.  With all the new responsibilities, came an all new schedule.  His hours changed from 5pm-2am to 1pm-10pm.  At first, we thought we would like the change in hours.  But the hours have been very difficult to get used to.  All we seem to do anymore is sleep, eat and work. 

       While Frank has been putting in more and more hours at work, I have been spending much of my time on the Internet.  I have met some wonderful people from all over the world.  I met one man who works for NASA that is in charge of processing all the images from the space shuttle.  One young man that I communicate with is from Oklahoma City.  I talked with him a lot during the time of the bombing.  I also sent some books to a friends in Sweden.  In return, he sent me 2 music CDs of two of his favorite bands.  He is teaching me Swedish phrases too. 

      So as you can see, our life has been filled with many new things that has kept us busy.  I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.  We are busy getting the house ready for the holidays.  We have our Christmas tree up and decorated.  Some friends came over last week and decorated our house with lights as a surprise for us.  We were really touched by such a kind gesture of friendship.  We are really looking forward to spending the holidays in our new home with our family & friends.  Take care & God bless.

 Love,

Betsy, Frank & Myau