The 2011 Christmas newsletter of the Wilks Family
Duane is still living in a share-house in Watsonia. After a rocky time earlier in the year, life has settled somewhat. Duane is so much more alert since starting to use his CPAP equipment for sleep apnoea. We are really pleased we could address this problem last year. Duane had another busy year with work (at VATMI), drama, dancing, social activities and plenty of other things happening in his life. Shaa is still his romantic interest.
Amy and Craig are still in Vancouver, Canada but we are looking forward to their return on March 1, 2012. They’ve had a great experience living and working in Canada and have grabbed every opportunity with open arms, taking trips out of Vancouver to various parts of Canada and USA. One of their tasks on their return is planning their wedding for October 2012. Something we are all anticipating with much pleasure. What would we do without Facebook and Skype? They allow us to see all Amy and Craig’s photos and chat with them from time to time. But it’s never the same as a close up hug and kiss. At Easter Amy flew home for the weekend to be a bridesmaid at the wedding of her long-term best girlfriend, Michelle. It was a flying visit in every sense of the word.
Roy and I enjoyed a whole month in Canada in May this year with trips across the Rockies and a weeklong cruise to Alaska, on which Amy and Craig joined us. We came home gushing with wonder at the sights we’d seen (The mountains are so beautiful!), the places we’d gone (that glacier was something we’ll not forget), the people we met (especially on the cruise – Hi Sarah-Ann, Dennis, Danny and Debbie!) and the wildlife we’d seen (deer, elk, bears, bald headed eagles, whales, otters, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.) but it’s always good to get home to OZ - our family and friends – and the Aussie ways.
To see the photos of our Alaskan cruise go to …
Miles still enjoys multiple Steam Rail train rides to various destinations. He is still competing in Athletics and Ten-Pin Bowling with the Special Olympics and enjoying some success. He is still painting, exhibiting and selling his artwork. Oh yes, he is still an avid follower of the successes and failures of Collingwood FC, and many teams in other sports ensuring he has at least one winner per weekend, and hopefully more. Miles still loves his monthly therapeutic massage and we love the fact that it smooths off some of his tension.
Roy again enjoyed a day at the Australian Open in January. He took his annual trip to Mildura for their Country Music Festival in September and in November he went for the end-of-year camp in Bendigo for the class of students he is with this year. Roy is still working at Croydon SDS and plans to work 4 days next year. He still mows lawns most weekends and loves his music and line dancing, with regular activities in those areas.
I am still working three days a week at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, which still continues to expand, and at the Bulleen basketball stadium. I stay young keeping up with the younger people at both places.
I had the sad experience this year of having my sister, Annabelle, pass away due to cancer. It was a very difficult time as she had only 103 days from diagnosis till her final farewell. In her last days she expressed her wishes and died with dignity and grace. Her partner Lachlan handled everything magnificently, and I was able to share many hours with her also. Vale Annabelle.
Toffee is a ripe old age. He’s probably older than Santa by now! I don’t know what would he do without Glucosamine and anti-inflams. He still enjoys his morning walk and takes an interest in our comings and goings, especially at breakfast time when he coaxes the odd piece of toast from us. He spends more and more time snoozing through his day.
Jeanette (Roy’s sister) is leading a full life. Her days are so busy we almost have to make an appointment to see her. (I’ll probably get in trouble for saying that!) She is a great backstop for our family and always available to help out when needed.
Season’s Greetings to everyone.