Holiday Letter 2006

Aloha Dear Friends,

Coqui Spraying

One of our trials this year: arrival at our property of the invasive coqui tree frog, so new we have to spray ourselves since commercial services don’t exist. One more surprising aspect of living in Paradise!

So many tell us throughout the year how much they enjoy our annual Christmas letter, and we know how much we enjoy hearing from all of you during the holidays. We sincerely treasure reading all your updates and following the interesting news—the twists and turns and ups and downs we all go through.

For us, 2006 was one year we could have lived without, with loved ones passing, a demanding business growing, and a few assorted gut-wrenching problems. We will spare you the details, but for those of you who held our hands and supported us through this ride, thank you for being such great friends! We are sincerely grateful. We have had such a wonderful life in our 20 years together that we guess it was our time to be thrown a few curve balls or, as we say in Hawaii, to get caught by a few falling coconuts! The great news is that we are healthy and looking forward to a brand new year.

We did have some nice visits from friends and a few special occasions in 2006, as well as two especially memorable events:

Bickels and Kleins 1991

Bickels and Kleins 1991

Bickels and Kleins 2006

Bickels and Kleins 2006

The first was the 80th birthday celebration of our dear friend, Phil Bickel. Phil and his beautiful wife, Pat, stood up for us 15 years ago when we got married on their lanai. His celebration was an elegant affair on Kauai. Many photos of his life were on display, including our wedding photo with the two of them at our side. We took another photo of the four of us at the event and we all decided we don’t look too much older 15 years later!


The other wonderful event was a fabulous three-week vacation in September. We had four reunions on Harrison’s side in Sandwich, Illinois, and in the Twin Cities and International Falls, Minnesota.

In Sandwich, the nine Lindner cousins (Harrison’s cousins on his mother’s side) assembled for perhaps the first time ever, together with Aunts Alice and Violet.

Soboleskis 2006

With Sue and Tom

Harrison’s father’s side of the family got equal billing in Minnesota. In the Twin Cities, we had good times with the Soboleski cousins including a paddleboat trip along the Mississippi. Then it was up north to International Falls and a visit to Aunt Sue and her lovable husband, Tom.

We drove around the north shore of Lake Superior, rode bikes on Mackinac Island, and drove through northwestern Michigan, which awed us with its lakes, white sand beaches, charming towns, and scenic beauty. (And this from people who live in Hawaii!) We stayed in a cottage that has been in Harrison’s family for over 60 years! Sharene was ready to move but people kept bringing up the subject of winter so we decided to stay put for now.

We got our big city fix in Chicago and the Twin Cities: saw plays, went to museums, dined at nice restaurants, walked everywhere. Our dear friends Dick and Lynne Harris treated us to an incredible evening at Chicago’s Union League Club, one of the most elegant buildings we have ever been in! Thank you Dick and Lynne, it was a fabulous end to an extraordinary vacation. Little did you know it was a highlight of our year!

We are so hoping for an earthquake-free, lava-free, hurricane-free, tsunami-free, illness-free, lawyer-free, death-free and stress-free 2007. Maybe we’ll get a few of those. And for all of you, we hope your year is one of love, laughter and good health. Trust us, it’s more fun than the alternative.

With our Aloha,
Harrison & Sharene