Year-end 2005

Hello from Brooklyn where in 2006 we’re hoping to finally finish most of our renovation. No longer a part-time building contractor, my time has been filled running an additional ER since September and a recent increase in responsibilities for information technology at Maimonides. This past May, I was elected a fellow of the American College of Physician Executives, one of fewer than 400 physicians nationally to have gained that recognition.

Zoey’s growing expertise at Texas Hold’em, a popular version of poker, has regularly humbled me, though I’m learning it, at the expense of a few dollars and the unabashed looks of triumph on Zoey’s face at the kitchen table on late weekend evenings. Zoey will be skiing with Stacy and Melissa this winter and following up on his sailing interests by bare-boat chartering with Steve through a sailing school at the end of March 2006. He was accepted at University of Pennsylvania early decision, so he’ll join the Class of 2010 there starting in September 2006.

Masha, a junior, is very focused on her schoolwork these days. This past summer, she propelled our family adventure in Russia where we all met Masha’s biological family: the Kalinkins. The trip was arduous at times and an emotional experience for all of us. Simone and I jointly blogged about the trip here and my photos of the trip are on a linked flickr photo site. We met many wonderful people, among them Galina Estefeeva, Executive Director of Friends of Russian Orphans who was so helpful on our trip. Their calendar project supports children who must grow up in orphanages in Yaroslavl, Russia, the town Masha came from. As we were leaving Yaroslavl, the regional weekly newspaper featured our story–that paper’s front page is our holiday card. Ending the trip in Nice with the family was a treat and my first ever visit to the French Riviera.

Simone still works with the Cobble Hill Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) program that supports local farmers and supplies us with fresh produce. Find a nearby CSA here or here. She continues the Brooklyn branch of the German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Southeastern Pennsylavania that she helped establish when we were in Philadelphia. We have brought still more German Shepherds into the house as foster dogs and Simone has placed these foster dogs and other dogs throughout the region.

We’re fortunate that our mothers remain active and mostly well though not without some of the challenges of great age. In June, Simone’s brother, Stacy, married Melissa. These family tidings remind me of friends who are struggling with their health and life itself. I hope you are taking care of yourselves and enjoying the world around you. We would love to host your visit to New York in 2006.

Imgp0870Our visit to the regional maternity hospital where Masha lived the first 3-3/4 years of her life was particularly moving. Simone, Masha and some staff of the Yaroslavl Regional Maternity Hospital who had cared for Masha.

We wish you all the best for a joyous 2006. Think globally. Act locally.