Sharene and Harrison’s 2019 Christmas Update
Here we are at the beginning of 2020. Seems like just yesterday it was the turn of the century; now we are already two decades into the new one. Life moves fast but we always take a moment to recognize how lucky we are to be living in a place we love with those we love.
The year’s highlights:
- We’re healthy! We’re still biking and walking and going to the gym regularly. (Yay!) But our hearts go out to those close to us who are struggling with declining health every day.
- We went to Florida again last winter. We got a break from gray, cold Amsterdam and had lots of sunshine. We saw friends and family (one relative for the last time before she passed away). We saw lots of Florida, including Key West, which had a real Hawaii kind of vibe.
- For the fourth year in a row, Amelia joined us in late May to celebrate Harrison’s birthday. We started in Venice and took the train to Trieste, where we began a wonderful bike trip down the Coast of Istria in Croatia. Mostly good weather, beautiful scenery, interesting cities and towns, and of course great company.
- Harrison traveled to Iowa in June to join his cousins and other family for a melancholy but ultimately joyful celebration of life, and Sharene went to California in October to see family and friends, a visit that included her annual Girls’ Trip.
- We were honored to host two home concerts. The first was in January with Ralph Rousseau playing the rare viola da gamba in a unique program of meditative music. In December we returned to the piano jazz repertoire with Stephanie Trick & Paolo Alderighi. Stephanie, from St. Louis, and Paolo, from Milan, play four-hand piano arrangements of material ranging from ragtime and other early American jazz, to swing, and all the way to Broadway musicals and even the Beatles.
- We had lots of company of course—it’s what we do! Dear friends Rick & Maggie, who have been part of Harrison’s life for nearly 50 years, finally made it to Amsterdam, followed by their daughter Laurel two weeks later. Dave & Dorothy, also friends since Harrison’s years in Seattle, visited as well. Later in the year we hosted a fascinating group that included two of Harrison’s Stanford Business School classmates.
We saw lots of movies, both in theaters and on Netflix. Some of our favorites that might have escaped your attention (in no particular order):
- Resistance Banker (Netflix): amazing and moving true story about Dutch resistance during World War II.
- The Game Changers (Netflix): fascinating and compelling look at the benefits of a plant-based diet.
- Yesterday: a must for anyone who loves the Beatles.
- The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé (Netflix): whether or not you love the Stones you’ll gain new respect for them.
- Two films about the extraordinary Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: RBG and On the Basis of Sex.
- Mary Poppins Returns: best musical we’ve seen in years.
- Hustlers: phenomenal performance by Jennifer Lopez and a different take on sex workers.
- Downton Abbey (the movie): a must for fans of the TV series.
- The Crown (Netflix series): the sets and costumes of Downton Abbey but history instead of fiction.
- The Professor and the Madman: surprisingly gripping story about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.
- The Great Hack (Netflix): how data is weaponized to wage cultural and political wars and change election results.
- Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution (Netflix): disturbing look at current attitudes and behaviors of young people regarding sexuality.
- Ask Dr. Ruth: the incredible life of sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, still going strong at 90.
Sharene is the photographer in the family and takes lots of photos every month. At the end of the year we choose which of those photos best reflect our year, and Harrison reformats and captions them for this WordPress website. The following photos are arranged in galleries and almost all photos have both a caption and a longer description. Depending on whether you are reading this on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you may see all the captions immediately, or you might have to roll your mouse over a photo to see the caption and/or description. Clicking or tapping on any photo should bring up a full-size photo or a slide show with arrows to move between photos. Enjoy!
February Trip to Florida
May Bike Trip
Joan’s Memorial in June
Life in the Netherlands
Amsterdam is the “City of Bikes”. Now and then we come across some great examples of “bike art”.
Sharene’s Fall Trip to California
Throughout our lives, we seem to have reinvented ourselves every 10 years or so. After seven years in Hawaii, we could see another reinvention coming and were already preparing to sell our business and home. We have now lived in Amsterdam for over seven years, but we don’t see ourselves leaving. It remains the perfect place for us at this stage of our lives.
In December we celebrated the 33rd anniversary of our first date in San Francisco. As we look back on our 33 years together, on 28 years of marriage, and on the year 2019, we are grateful to live in a home we love, surrounded by friends and beauty, and to continue our journey in a place that is right for us.
We wish all those in our circle of family and friends much love and good health in the coming year. And for the United States of America, where we were born and spent most of our lives, we wish and hope for a change in leadership, and we encourage our American family, friends, and other readers to do whatever you can (at the minimum, vote in the next election) to make that happen.
Harrison and Sharene