And yes we are all friends here.

I thought I would try something different this year, and presto this web site.

Christmas 2003 open letter.

Elena and I have had a terrific year, we were in Mexico last year at this time and spent Christmas in Acapulco at a great hotel called Hotel Lago Mar, (Hotel Lagoon Sea) The hotel is on a spit of land with a lagoon that empties into the sea on one side and open Pacific Ocean on the other. In our four weeks in Mexico we met at least 200 people that are either friends or relatives. In one bash we had a reunion with about 70 people.

However great Mexico was we came back to Cold Snowbound Barrie Ontario and settled in for the winter, moving in February into our new old house (built in the late 1800s) and since renovated a few times..

Daniel spent the winter in Smithers, British Columbia working at a ski hill and returned to Barrie to continue his studies at Georgian College in May. Then the fun began with lots of visitors through the warmer months. Lety Shephard came form Leon in Mexico for most of the summer. Francis and Johanne came from Montreal, Emory and Gabby from Berlin Germany, and Roberto from the Canary Islands.

I went to the Madawaska Canoe Centre and took a solo canoeing course.

This was followed by an extended week white water canoeing on the Gens de Terre in Quebec. Emory Gabi and Daniel also went on a canoeing trip. See the pictures here: Canoe trip pictures

So where are we at now?

Emory and Gabby are back in Berlin going to university and living in a flat they just moved into.

Francis and Johanne are some where between Vancouver and Tierra del Fuego on a bicycle trip, see Cylo America for more information.

Daniel has just moved to his Internship, South of Rochester NY, where he is working for a manufacturer of snow-making equipment.

Alex and Elena are at home for Christmas and we are planning a three week trip to Mexico in the new year. We hope to meet up with Fancis and Johanne if they are in Mexico while we are there.

From the desk of Alex


And now from the desk of Elena

The year is about to end, one day left of 2003, a good year for the Murchison Clan.

Alex and I started the year by coming back from Mexico (January 12th) from our magnificent vacation . It was an especially great vacation for me because I got to see my brother Arnoldo who I have not seen for eighteen years!!!! how did that happened? The Saucedo Duenas family had the first family reunion ever, it was a great success, we were only missing Daniel who was working in Smithers B.C. and Conny and Arnoldo Jr. son and daughter of Arnoldo and Nene.

We came back to a bitterly cold winter (steady -20 C) and we were lucky to find a very nice house for rent in Barrie.

On our returned we saw Emory just for two days and then we said good-by to him as he returned to Berlin.

On February 15th Alex and I moved in to our little house and I moved out of Camphill, it was a bitter sweet experience. I still work at Camphill but I don't live there anymore I go in to work everyday.

March we celebrated Alex's 52 birthday, we had a few friends over from Richmond Hill, thank you Mark, Debbie, Beth and Robert for coming all the way to celebrate with us!

April 9th our oldest son Emory turned a quarter of a century!!!!

Easter came in April and we had the pleasure to have Vanessa our god-daughter and her boy-friend Pavel for supper, we had a lovely evening with them.

In April we welcome back Daniel from British Columbia, it was nice to see him after five months, he looked very mature!

In May we had the very pleasant surprise of Lety's visit from Mexico. It was such a gift for me to have Lety around, I even took her in to work with me when I had to do a long weekend in Camphill, we had a terrific time together, we made a trip to Montreal to visit Francis.

It was a pretty cool June but Lety and I managed to plant lots of flowers in the garden, we had soo much fun!

Lety left and the house felt very empty but by this time Daniel was dating Jessica, great addition to the house hold!

July 23rd Alex and I celebrated our 26 anniversary!

In August Alex went on a great canoeing trip, came back a bit bruised but very happy.

We welcomed Emory and Gabi who came to visit us from Berlin, and Roberto a friend of Francis from the Canary Islands was here for a visit. We had the three boys together for the first time in about three years!!! The little house was full, and one Saturday evening Roberto decided to teach everyone how to dance salsa!!!! Francis you are definitely the best dancer of the Murchison clan!


September came along, Francis and Johanne were in full swing preparing for their bicycle trip. Sept. 14th Alex, Daniel, and I went to Montreal to help Francis and Johanne with their fun raising dinner. What fun! we cooked a Mexican meal of tostadas, gazpacho, guacamole etc. etc. for eighty people, we worked like slaves, it was a great success. Francis came back to Barrie with us just for two days to say good-by as he was leaving on his bicycle trip on the 25th of September; By-By Francis.

On October 13th Daniel turned 21 years old!!!!!

We had a very nice thanksgiving dinner with Alex's sisters in London Ont.

November came with cold winds and the earth shaking news that Daniel had become a Daddy!!!!!.We are now grandparents of a little boy named Jayden in Smithers B.C. We wish the circumstances were different! Jayden is soooo far and Daniel and Jayden's mom have no wish to become a couple. Daniel is planning to visit the baby in Smithers after he finishes his winter internship.

December has been pretty mild. Francis celebrated his 24th birthday in Pacifica California, thank you Francis for calling us on your special day. Daniel went to Rochester N.Y. to do his work practice at a place where they make equipment for snow making. He came back to celebrate Christmas with us but decided to go to Jessica's on the 25th.And for the first time Alex and I had a quiet Christmas dinner just the two of us, it was very nice! We went to Kitchener for the traditional gathering with Alex's sisters, the only ones missing were Emory and Francis.

Right now I am very much looking forward to our trip to Mexico. I also feel full of gratitude for the wonderful year that is about to end. May God grant his blessings to us and all of our dear friends and family and bless you who are reading this.