The Year in Review: 1998


To all of our friends and family!

1998 – Another Year to begin fresh and new. I take this opportunity to drop you a line – just to keep in touch. AND NOW FOR THE NEWS! – Shlomo continues his work, with the occasional casino break. He visited Sicily (for a conference in Erice) and Israel with Daniel last summer (which he enjoyed) and spent some days in China in October (which he didn’t). Another quick trip to Chicago – where I joined him for a few days, was quite pleasant. We joined a neighborhood health/country club in September, and he and Daniel have been very good about going regularly. They are beating each other up on the racquetball courts several times a week, and enjoying it. He is studying and learning and writing out lots and lots of equations on pieces of paper all over the house. Things are pretty normal there.

Daniel’s year included lots of travel. With me, he went on trip to New Orleans, where he was taken out on the town by a friend – they painted it a bright shade of crimson. With Shlomo, he went to Sicily and Israel, where he saw his grandfather for the first time since he was 11, and visited lots of family and friends, which he quite enjoyed. I think it was a good experience for the two of them, and seemed to bring them somewhat closer. At Thanksgiving we went to Los Angeles, which even he (the critic) enjoyed…a lot. Several “professional” (paying) gigs in jazz clubs, junior prom, the long and arduous process of college applications (we will know more in May, when replies are due) and a lot of physical and mental growth. On our annual ski trip over winter break, he managed to take a number of ski lessons…up to level 7, carving…I think at level 8 they hire you. He loves to ski, and now tells me he feels a lot more in control. Considering how fast he goes, that is somewhat reassuring. Not to be forgotten…braces finally came off, to reveal a wonderful smile (we forgot it existed). He is filling out and losing that skinny look he had last summer. I think he’s adorable. He thinks that’s just because I’m his mother. Oh well, I wish I only knew half as much as he does ( maybe I once did. – Hmmmmm )

Sara had a good year…she made a lot of progress in many areas…she made honor roll and lots of great friends. She took a fashion design class at California College of Arts and Crafts in the summer and took three weeks of Life Drawing, where she revealed a beautiful talent. She and I took a car trip while Shlomo and Daniel were in Israel, and visited with some friends and family. We had a good time and made some nice memories. The next item on her agenda is Drivers Ed and Drivers Training. It’s a good thing Shlomo has a strong heart. I HATE this phase…scares me half to death. Sara has grown into a poised young woman who ss full of energy, loves to dance and is a caring friend. On our ski trip she decided she wanted to learn how to snowboard, and pestered us day and night until finally Shlomo relented and got her lessons. Through the bruises and the bumps, she worked for three solid days until she was pretty well able to make it down green runs without falling. Although no one could touch her anywhere for several days thereafter (I think a pillow strapped to the butt might have been a useful piece of equipment) she never complained. Shlomo feels that she should work on skiing black diamonds, because she is ready. But she thinks boarder guys are cuter, so naturally… She took a break from gymnastics, but returned to her Tuesday/Friday schedule and is now trying to fit a Saturday ballet class into her schedule. It isn’t easy. Mondays are the only day she doesn’t have extra activities, but she still has plenty of homework. She still works Sunday mornings doing childcare at the Greek Orthodox Church, so all she needs is another day in the weekend – and then maybe one more so she can kick back and take a day off. All in all she has been doing well and working hard. This past Saturday she attended the Winter Ball with her first blind date. Preparations for the mammoth event nearly wore me out.

As for me, I wound up Caspi Kids for good, liquidating all inventory and dissolving the corporation, while doing some travel sales on the side, which has been fun and interesting. To occupy my mind I have been working on developing my artistic and creative side. I have been taking a realism class with Sara on Thursday nites, as well as trying to make a habit of writing. Maybe if I have incredible good fortune I will get something published this year. Wouldn’t that be a gas! I passed the one year mark for quitting smoking, and am now one of those obnoxious people who waves their hands around in the air when they get near smokers. What has this world come to? I have managed to beat the asthma that I got after quitting, and am now off all inhalers and other drugs especially those awful steroids they love to prescribe for asthma. I am working on removing the deposit the combination of steroids and smoking cessation left on my behind as well. All this in between lots and lots of laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. Got to pamper everyone or they wouldn’t know how precious they really are. I have also spent a lot of time pondering the essence of the universe. I have experienced a number of epiphanies, which have left me feeling awestruck and yet somewhat depressed, as I am able to see with crystal clarity all the things that I needed to know twenty some years ago. Doesn’t mean it can’t be better now, though…infinite possibilities. An exciting event may be upcoming soon…as I think I will be participating in an FDA second stage study of ocular implants. This might mean I could see without glasses, as contact lenses will be implanted within my cornea. This will occur, if it does, in LA, and will require follow-up visits as well, so I will let the Los Angelinos know what develops. However, the possibility that it could possibly be true has buoyed my spirit more than I can say. The children are the greatest treasures one could hope for. I am grateful for the many gifts I have been given. So I begin this year with lots of hope for the surprises that await me.

As Joan Baez once sang “who knows where the time goes?” I sure don’t. It was a good year. This coming year promises to be full of new and exciting milestones as well….February will bring Daniel’s 18th birthday, April and May will be full of college replies and that decision…, June will be graduation, August will bring our 25th wedding anniversary ( it really is hard to imagine, isn’t it?) and Sara’s Sweet Sixteen, September will mean that Daniel leaves for college. And that’s how it looks from here. God willing, all these events will come to pass, and many more interesting ones as well. I imagine we’re just about to enter the wild and wooly world of young love too…we shall see. That is about it for now.

All our love to you

Susan, Shlomo, Daniel and Sara Caspi