Dear friends and family,
2011 has been a difficult year for our family, mainly due to the sudden loss of my Mom, Jane Churchill, in October. She was still working at the Durham, Connecticut public library when she died, and we were fortunate to gather as an extended family to celebrate her 80th birthday in June. However, her full life and quick, peaceful passing simply do not fill the void left by her loss. I thought about whether my traditional holiday letter would be appropriate given the circumstances, but I decided that since my Mom enjoyed the letters so much (or at least pretended she did), that I’d subject you to another installment – The Churchill Family 2011 Year in Pictures.
2011 kicked off with a couple of celebrations, including my law firm’s 50th anniversary gala and an Autism Speaks charity event that we attended with Davidson friends. While Suzanne and I looked quite presentable at the start of the charity event, the bad influences in our South Street neighborhood contributed to late night debauchery on the dance floor. (It’s strange that our neighbor, Charlotte Neal, appears in both photos, don’t you think?)
After reviewing these pictures, Suzanne fled the country to serve as resident director of Davidson’s summer program in Cambridge, England. We met her for a week in England and a travel week in Provence, France, where we were joined by Uncles Bruce and Scott (see below with Thomas – that’s Bruce saying “Call me!”). Before we arrived, Suzanne hiked the Lake Country (way to crawl up that mountain, Suzanne!) and sampled the fashions of Bath (that’s not exactly what I envisioned when I asked her to model a corset for me).
When the boys arrived, they also felt the need to model the fashions of medieval France.
While visiting the seaside, Suzanne got the latest French coiffure, and I stuck a couple of French baguettes (and a chocolate croissant) up my shirt. Very attractive, I know.
Thomas and Luke, both 15, are now sophomores in high school, obsessed with athletics (soccer; winter track), music (guitar for Thomas; piano for Luke; awful attempts at freestyle rap for both) and, of course, technology (many of you probably Facebook and play “words with friends” with them). Here’s a typical picture of them (left). That’s Luke hiding his face with an iPod Touch, while Thomas simultaneously texts on his phone, surfs the net on the laptop and gives the camera a gorgeous smile.
Zac is 10 years old, in 5th grade and similarly obsessed with soccer and technology (see his “obsessed” self-portrait, left). He was on his school’s “Odyssey of the Mind” competition team, where he designed a striking costume (right), and he is a proud member of his school’s safety patrol, which is teaching him responsibility and self-sufficiency. For example, after repeated requests to take down written phone messages, Zac finally succeeded in leaving me the following note earlier this year: “Dad, Somebody called. Love, Zac.”
So, as you move into the New Year, rest assured that “Somebody wrote.” Write back soon!
Happy New Year, with love from,
Matt, Suzanne, Thomas, Luke, and Zachary Churchill