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This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Merry Christmas 2004/Happy New Year 2005


First let me say that we are trying to move to a web-based annual letter, with just a few copies surface mailed. So PLEASE, if you have an email that we do not have, send it to me at jandris@siue.edu or jandris@swbell.net. The trees, the environment, and your mail person thank you.

This has been my first full year of retirement, and Stephen and I are learning to enjoy it. The highlight of our year was a wonderful Grand Circle Tour to Athens, the Greek Islands and Beyond. We had a wonderful time, much of which is recorded in various ways—on a DVD, and as a website. http://homepage.mac.com/jandris/PhotoAlbum23.html

Much of our life hasn't changed, with the exception that I no longer go to work. I did teach one class last summer and enjoyed it. In June, one of my rags was premiered at the International Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, MO, by St. Louis ragtimer Patsy Madinger. The Friends of Scott Joplin produced a folio of my ragtime music which is reviewed on Jack Rummel’s website.

I'm sure you've heard about our work with Trinity Episcopal Church, our bridge and theatre groups, free concerts in the summer and the St. Louis opera and theatre seasons. So, life pretty much continues to purr along here at 2852 Accomac St. My .mac online photo treasure trove celebrates and records several significant memories from 2004.

We enjoyed several nice weekend trips, especially to visit Will in Sarasota, Tom and Mary Alice for their 40th Wedding Anniversary, as well as Kathy, Doug and Nathan in Wisconsin; a delightfully memorable weekend on the lake in Michigan with Charlie and Annie; with Jan and Dorie at the Memphis Wonders Exhibit, “The Masters of Florence,” commemorating the extensive contributions of the Medici Family to the economic, cultural and religious life of Florence during the Renaissance.

Moreover, we enjoyed friends and family as guests. Stephanie and Dawn flew from Boston to visit and shop resale shops and estate sales over the Labor Day Weekend. Visiting from her Wisconsin dairy farm, Kathy presented at a workshop in St. Louis. Other visitors were Fred and Mary from New Mexico, Merrill and Tamaji from New York, Rick from Natchitoches, LA and Marji from Carbondale, IL. Rick and Marji stayed with us again this year on their annual opera weekend.

I guess my biggest achievement this year is reestablishing a new health equilibrium. I lost 30 pounds over 9 months, tried various forms of exercise, including Tai Chi, Yoga, walking and just deciding I could clean my own house. After a couple of medication readjustments, I seem to be able to do what I need to do to enjoy life. That includes a lot of web and camera work and now more than a little counted cross stitch.

I also have been studying the Education for Ministry (EFM)—a 4 year course in Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, Church History and Theological Issues endorsed by many denominations, including the Episcopal Church. 2004 was the year for studying the Hebrew Scriptures. I learned a lot and have a deeper appreciation for the history and just the story of the Jews.

Stephen's greatest achievement this year was performing several times a month with the River City Pops, a truly enjoyable group of singers headed by our friend and Stephen’s voice teacher, Jeanette Myers. He really loves these performances as well as his biannual student vocal recitals. He continues to make significant progress with Jeanette helping to restore his voice and acupuncture treatments to restore the use of his right arm and hand after suffering partial paralysis from a stroke in the spring of 1999.

Our daughter, Stephanie quit her seven-year stint with State Street Bank in Boston to begin a new online vintage clothing business. It was a move she really needed to make, but one, of course, that was challenging.

We stepped up our visits to Marietta a bit since my Mom at 91 has a lot of pain to deal with due to her spine continuing to deteriorate. She still consistently beats us at Scrabble. She has such a great memory and I have helped her to uncover and preserve family history. Her six great grandchildren—Heidi's two girls, Ariana and Annastaja, Jeff's two girls, Audrey and Ellie, and Joe's two boys, Henry and Jason--are a joy to her.

My nephew Adam is in his second year of marriage to Jessica. They have moved out near Wentzville, closer to her work at a bank, and Adam is now selling pianos. He was able to buy one for himself. He is still working towards a final recital in the fall that will give him a masters degree in piano performance from Webster University.

We wish you a belated Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year.

Jim and Stephen