December 18, 2007


Well, you got away without having to read our 2006 letter, but I insist on boring you in 2007.This letter is a bit late because I caught pneumonia at the end of November and am still recovering, and just completed jury duty.

By now most of you know that the Hoffman trio, Gene, Marsha, and Sandy, have all finally joined the ranks of grandparents.Hannah was born to Wendy and Tino in July 2006, Nick to Michael and Mandy in February 2007, and Emily Grace born to Jennafer and Mark in May 2007.

For me the most special event in 2006 was having Gene and Marsha with my girls for Thanksgiving, and now in 2007 Emily Grace and parents, and Bob Villano and daughters, were with us for Thanksgiving.During the visit, Jenn and Mark gave us the wonderful news that they are expecting another baby, due next July 4 (Merlin’s dad’s birthday).So though we were the last to have our first grandchild, we will be the first to have a second!

Our daughter Stephanie got engaged to a wonderful man this year, Ryan Sur, a student at UC-Davis with Stephanie over ten years ago.They are planning a small, intimate wedding in Mexico on March 1.We had a party the Sunday before Thanksgiving to introduce Ryan and Baby Emily to family and friends.

This was also the year the holdout bachelors were wed.In March we went to South Africa for my nephew Frank’s wedding and had a great time.I fell in love with Baby Hannah.In June we went to Portland for Merlin’s cousin Joel’s wedding.

In September I was in Denver for four days to celebrate cousin Ron & Aggie’s 50th anniversary and to take Aunt Cleo out for an early 102nd birthday lunch.

I made three trips to Milwaukee: in April to help set up baby’s room; in May with Merlin for her birth; and in August with Merlin for my birthday.

In October Merlin and I traveled to Montclair, New Jersey, for his 50th high school reunion.His friend Pat Ferdinandi gave us a wonderful guided tour of the area (including the restaurant where the baffling last scene of “The Sopranos” was filmed).We went to a football game (Montclair beat a previously undefeated team), a lovely dinner-dance, and a brunch and tour of the high school.On our last day in New Jersey we visited Merlin’s cousins Myra and Leon (Sir Leon now, a Papal Knight of St. Gregory) at their new home in Monroe Township.

After returning from South Africa, Merlin became “semi-retired” and is working three days a week.He is a member of the Doctoral Committee for a Computer Science PhD student at DePaul University, and is working on another book (an electronic book this time) with Dick Thayer.In December he traveled to Seattle—during the record rainfall—for an accreditation visit to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington.Although these visits are very intense, he was able to make time to see cousins Joe Schrank and Paul and Margaret Brown.

Somehow my family always gets such long distances to visit family.If I were 20 years younger I would get a mobile home and just keep going to visit all of you.

I hope your year will be filled with health and love.Look forward to hearing about your year.

Love, Sandy & Merlin