“It’s Getting To Look A Lot Like Christmas” as the Van Schaack family in Laguna Niguel, CA enjoys their house glowing with Christmas lights, lovely decorations and good cheer.
What a busy year! Their families are fine, daughter Dana visited for several months, caring for Mom (with pneumonia) after Dad and Mom returned from a vacationing trip to Pennsylvania, where they visited friends. They loved the new National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and of course, Independence Hall. They traversed very old graveyards (haunting genealogy research) where thousands of our American Revolutionary soldiers were buried in mass. They walked the cobblestone streets with friends, visiting their 200 year old home in the neighborhood of Society Hall.
Next, they traveled and stayed in Kutztown (relatives were Kutzes and they are buried in every cemetery.) Their genealogy friend, Stanley Adams took them to many old historic sites and numerous museums. They pushed on to Mt. Vernon to see the new buildings and museums, all fabulous additions to the stately mansion. The trip made their fight for freedom come alive. Jim took so many wonderful photos and would love to share them with all of you.
On to Washington, D.C, they visited the beautiful Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) headquarters near the White House. There Joyce found information on another Patriot (American Revolution Major Frederick Hummel) her great, great great, great grandfather. As Jim and Joyce left the building they noticed many police on the narrow street, and watched as the Presidential motorcade, with the President, V.P. and their ladies drove by. They waved as they realized the motorcade was returning from the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Pentagon.
Joyce’s Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation meeting lasted 4 hours. Later that evening they attended their 6th Annual Homeland Security Award Reception at the U.S. Senate with winner Dr. James Jones. He is leading efforts to develop a long-range, nonintrusive, nuclear materials detection technology. Quite amazing! The Reception was attended by many U.S. Senators and Congressmen. It was wonderful to have their support for the foundation.
After the reception, they were invited to go to the evening 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Pentagon. It was a balmy evening and there were thousands of Americans, some seated listening to the military music, some wondering around, taking everything in. Hundreds of beautifully lit memorial benches, shaped like wings of airplanes, were inscribed with the names of those who had died. Water flowed beneath each bench and loved ones had placed roses, and sometimes a teddy bear at the base of the benches. A magnificent American flag hung over the area where planes had pierced the Pentagon. Servicemen and women, in full dress uniform, walked through the crowds of people talking with those attending.
Upon returning to California they were pleased to congratulate Dana on her induction into The Masters Hall of Fame and the Academy of Masters in Anaheim, CA. She was inducted for her contributions to the martial arts. This year, she also received a Black Belt in her newest martial art IsshinRyu Karate-do from Kyusho-Jitsu Kenkyukai. Dana’s Nevada family, Adam, Natalie and Nick are doing well. Adam continues working in his computer business and Nick continues working on motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft at Michael’s Reno Power Sports. Natalie has an adorable home and hosted her family and friends this Thanksgiving with an incredible meal.
Their California son Lee and wife Linda are fine and active in the church, remodeling homes, and surfing. They vacationed in Telluride and San Cruz. Grandson Nathan has a large route for his pool cleaning business, and traveled to visit friends in Cleveland for Thanksgiving.