December 7, 2003

Dear Family and Friends,

2003 is about to ring out and we are again taking the holiday season to communicate our love for you all and our sincere desire to stay a part of your lives, hopes, activities, joys, and sorrows.

This year was an especially important year as we added another branch to our family, the Slatons. The pre-wedding activities started in March with a wonderful bridal shower for Steph given by her sister and my surrogate sister Becky Robinson who came all the way from Idaho to create a culinary and floral delight. Martha Stewart would have been proud of their efforts. In April I traveled to Southern California for another shower hosted by Danny's aunts and mom. It was fabulous to meet the Slaton family and have all the Freedberg girls come for the shower.

Steph's wedding was a beautiful weekend affair. Danny's parents Alice and Stan put on a beautiful rehearsal dinner and threw a fantastic picnic for all the guests on Saturday. It became a joint party for Merlin's cousin Judith got to celebrate her 50th birthday with us all.

Presiding over Steph's wedding the next day was Merlin's cousin Leon, our rabbi from New York. The ceremony was set in a beautiful Napa Valley winery. It was truly a fairy tale wedding. Thanks again to all the Dorfmans, Freedbergs, Hoffmans, Nobles, Villanos, Slatons, and friends who came so very far to make a special day spectacular. Best of all I know Merlin's mom Edith and my parents were looking down seeing us with our sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews, knowing they passed on to us the importance of family.

After a honeymoon in Greece, Steph moved to Southern California to start her new career as a veterinarian. She and Danny have bought a starter house in Santa Ana.

In March Jennafer and Mark moved back from New Jersey to our area so we are not as lonely without Steph.

We celebrated July 4th in Massachusetts on the Cape. It was Merlin's Dad's 90th birthday and his three children and two stepchildren threw him an old-fashioned New England clambake. Julie was surrounded by family and friends. Merlin's stepsister Linda deserves a lot of credit for the on-site arrangements. To our daughters she has been a really special aunt.

In September I traveled to Denver for my aunt Cleo's 98th birthday. They moved the party up a week so I could be included. There were Villanos and Provos all over. It was a very great joy; thanks to all again. I also got to spend special time with Gene, Lindsay, and Mike.

In October I traveled to Palm Springs with my cousin Marilyn for Uncle Ben's 99th birthday. After these, being 63 doesn't seem so very old.

In November a 17-year tradition ended--the Robinson-Dorfman Thanksgiving. Becky's family all went to her new home in Idaho. A new Dorfman-Slaton tradition started. Our daughters, their husbands, and Danny's parents came here. Next year hopefully we will go to Southern California.

Well, that's our year in a nutshell. From coast to coast and all the way to Africa I wish you all a year of good health, love, and joy.


Sandy and Merlin