1 December 1999 Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Christmas greetings at the conclusion of a great year. The Lord has really
blessed us this year. At the beginning of the year, Linda's brother announced
his engagement to Norma Jean. In July they tied the knot and settled into a new
home. Robert's cousin, Beth, announced her engagement also. She and Les were
also married in July. We will say more about the weddings later. We spent over
1/4 of the year away from home (99 nights). We put 11,084 miles on our new
Safari Trek motor coach, and visited several major National Parks - Grand Teton,
Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Crater Lake, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion.
We sent out our July 4th Newsletter just after we got home from a trip to
Idaho. Then we had to start getting ready for Beth's wedding.
Beth and her fiancée, Les Araki, were getting married in Hawaii, so we decided
that it was time to go back there. We had gone for our honeymoon 20 years ago.
While we were there in 1979 we saw Robert's cousin Bill Erler and his wife Mary
and their three children, Suzanne, Beth, and Steven. Since then, we have seen
Beth twice since she moved to the mainland to teach in Tucson and then later in
Jacksonville, FL. We were excited about returning to Hawaii and seeing everyone
Robert, Jan, and Bill in Hawaii.
We flew out on 13 July and stayed in Waikiki. Robert's cousin, Jan
Sorensen (Bill's sister) also went. It was the first time since the 1950's that
Robert, Bill, and Jan had been together. (Robert and Bill each spent a career in
the Air Force.) We had fun visiting with each other as well as seeing things we
missed 20 years earlier.
Linda cruising off Diamond Head.
We went to the Waikiki Aquarium, Maritime Museum, Aloha
Tower, Orchid Nursery, Diamond Head Crater, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Army
Museum, Hickham Harbor, USS Missouri, Magic of Polynesia show, the Honolulu Star
dinner cruise, and took a drive around the island. We enjoyed seeing Bill &
Mary's "new" home in the heights overlooking Pearl Harbor. Robert
helped Bill set up his new computer. Suzanne, Beth's sister, has also moved to
the mainland to Redmond, Washington. We told Suzanne we would be seeing her in
September as we had a motor home trip planned to the Seattle area. Beth and Les
were married on the 16th.
Beth & Les Araki.
We returned home on the 22nd.
Now it was time to prepare for James and Norma Jean's wedding. The big day was
30 July. Linda and Stacy were Matron of Honor and Junior Bridesmaid. Rick Haire
(Stacy's uncle - her mother's brother) was Best Man, and Norma Jean's two sons,
Matt and Chris gave her away.
James and Norma Jean.
Randall Stotts performed the ceremony. He is
associate pastor of Hoffmantown West. That is the mission church we (Hoffmantown)
established in January and was meeting in Petroglyph Elementary School on the
West side of the Rio Grande. Not long after the wedding, Randall heard that
there was an opening for a third grade teacher at Petroglyph, so he called
James. James got the job. Now he can teach in Albuquerque instead of over 30
miles away in Belen. He was also able to sell his home in Los Chaves. They are
now all settled into their new home in Albuquerque, and we are very happy for
With Chris, Stacy & Mat.
TREK TO SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO
While James and Norma Jean headed off to Colorado for their honeymoon, we took
care of Stacy, and went on a trip in our Trek to southern New Mexico from 4 to
10 August. Stacy had never been down there. We camped first at The Valley of
Fires, one of the youngest volcanic areas in our state. The lava flow is about
1,500 years old. The next day we visited Smokey Bear State Park in Capitan.
Smokey was found near there in the Lincoln National Forest after a fire in May
1950. He is now buried at the park. A short distance east of Capitan is the town
of Lincoln. We stopped there next. It was the scene of the famous Lincoln County
War in 1878, and is well known for Billy the Kid's escape from the county
courthouse on 28 Apr 1881.
Linda & Stacy escape from the courthouse.
We saw the old courthouse and many of the other
historic buildings in town. The courthouse did not have the front stairs in
1881. The next night we stayed in Bottomless Lakes State Park just south of
Roswell. In the morning, we did some swimming and boating on the lake by the
That afternoon we drove south to White's City just outside of Carlsbad Caverns
National Park. The following day, we went down into the caverns and spent most
of the day. We returned to the cave entrance at sunset and watched the bats fly
out as they do each evening. It seemed as if there were more bats than when we
were there in 1983.
Ready to enter Carlsbad Caverns.
From Carlsbad, we headed over the Sacramento Mountains and
camped at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park south of Alamogordo. We took Stacy on a
tour of Holloman Air Force Base, where Robert was stationed from 1969 to 1972.
Robert's cousin Bill Erler was also stationed there with his family most of that
time. Just west of Holloman is White Sands National Monument. We went there just
before sunset, and enjoyed hiking over the pure white dunes of "sand".
(It is really gypsum crystals.) As usual, Pico really enjoyed running over the
white sand dunes.
Linda, Stacy, and Pico enjoy White Sands.
The following day, we drove up into the mountains and visited
Apache Point Observatory, and the Solar Observatory at Sunspot. We spent some
time in the town of Cloudcroft, and then returned to Alamogordo for a quick look
at the Space Center there. The next day we returned to Albuquerque.
SAFARI HOMECOMING 1999
We wanted to go to the Safari Motorcoach Homecoming Rally at the factory in
Oregon, so we made a wonderful trek to the Northwest. We left Albuquerque on 2
September and saw a couple brief rain showers that day as we drove to Dolores,
CO. However, we saw no rain for the remainder of our 30-day, 4,198-mile, trip.
In Dolores we participated in a Labor Day weekend rally with the Chaparral
Chapter of FMCA. Thirty-five families were there. We got together for breakfast
and supper and various other activities. We left Dolores on Labor Day, spent one
night at Salt Lake City, and continued on to Twin Falls, Idaho, to see the
impressive Shoshone Falls on the Snake River.
Shoshone Falls on the Snake River.
Later that afternoon we continued
on to Mountain Home AFB, ID. We spent two nights in the campground there and
visited with our friends, Steve and Angelika Hurley and their three boys. We
also went out to look at Bruneau Canyon, just south of the Snake River, and were
entertained by a large Golden Eagle. Next stop was a campground on the Columbia
River in Umatilla, Oregon. The next day we crossed the river into Washington and
reached the Salish Lodge by Snoqualmie Falls. Robert's cousin, Suzanne Erler,
works there as director of sales and marketing. We hiked to the bottom of the
falls and back, and then met with Suzanne and followed her home to her place in
Redmond. We spent a weekend there. Suzanne took us into the mountains to visit
the town of Leavenworth, an American replica of a Bavarian town. It was a lot of
Suzanne enjoys ice cream at Leavenworth.
We also took a look at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, and went to the
waterfront in Kirkland on Sunday after church. Sunday evening we all went to
Linda's cousin's home in Kirkland. Steve and Patsy Gremminger live there with
their two children, Merissa and Shawn.
Linda with Shawn, Merissa, Patsy, and Steve.
When we left Suzanne's on Monday, we went
to visit Missy and Will Thomas, Linda's friends in Beaverton, OR. After
departing there the next day, we made a stop at Tillamook to see the famous
cheese factory and then went on to Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast. The next day
we went to the Safari Rally at Harrisburg, OR. It was a lot of fun. There were
about 550 coaches present.
Over 550 Safari coaches gather at the factory.
We even met the parents of the pastor (Dale Coffing)
whom Robert had worked for at Hoffmantown Church. We knew they also had a Safari
Trek, but didn't know that they would be at the Homecoming. There were a lot of
seminars to attend and good food to eat at the rally. We were also given tours
of the factory and met several people who built our coach. They came out and
adjusted our bed for us to give Linda a little more walking headroom while the
bed is in the ceiling, and fixed a couple of minor problems we had. After the
rally we spent 4 nights along the Oregon coast. From Carl Washburne State Park
we visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Cape Perpetua, Heceta Head Lighthouse, and
Sea Lion Cave.
Heceta Head Lighthouse.
At Coos Bay we visited the Historical Museum and the myrtle wood
factory. Then we went down to Cape Arago State Park where we observed a herd of
Sea Lions swimming and sitting on the rocks and barking in the fog. Nearby Shore
Acres State Park had lovely gardens that we toured. We also enjoyed watching the
activity in Coos Bay harbor. The RV park was right on the bay where a dredge was
deepening the ship channel. The only disappointment of our trip was the fact
that the Oregon coast was foggy each day. We headed inland from Coos Bay so that
we could visit Crater Lake. Along the way we stopped at Toketee Falls, one of
many waterfalls in the mountains north of the lake. It was a lovely waterfall
tumbling over a cliff of columnar basalt.
We stayed two nights at Crater Lake
National Park. It was gorgeous. At an altitude of about 6,000 feet, and with a
depth up to 1,932 feet, the water was so deep blue in color.
Crater Lake showing "Phantom Ship".
Crater Lake showing Wizard Island.
Our next stop was
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California. With all those giant trees, it
is a wonderful place also, and was a return trip for us as we had spent a night
there in 1980. However, try as we might, we could not recognize any campsite as
the one we occupied 19 years ago. Our next stop was a night at Clear Lake S.P.
Then we moved south to spend 2 nights at Yosemite N.P. That was also a return
trip for us, but the town site just outside the park where we had stayed (and
celebrated our first anniversary) in 1980 apparently had been wiped out by a
flood. The park is beautiful and extremely popular. The campgrounds were full,
but we had made reservations before leaving on the trip. We had a very nice
campsite, and spent a day visiting some parts of the park we missed 19 years
ago. We even got to see a bear.
Half Dome viewed from Glacier Point.
Then we went down to Bakersfield. As we went
through a construction zone on highway 41, a pebble hit our left windshield, and
later a crack developed. (The windshield has now been replaced.) We finally saw
some hot weather in Bakersfield. That morning Robert noticed that our fresh
water tank drain valve was dripping, so we called Safari and they had it
replaced as soon as we got back home. Our next stop was Needles. Then we stopped
at Cholla Lake County Park in Arizona for our last night before arriving back
home. We arrived in time for Linda's brother's 50th birthday party. (The
birthday was really on 28 Sep, but they waited until Saturday, 2 Oct, to have a
SWEET AND SOUR
The last weekend in October was a happy one for us as Linda's cousin, Mary
Helen, came from Alexandria, VA, with her husband Tommy Fitzgerald. They were
here for UNM homecoming and Tommy's 50-year reunion. They were happy to meet
Linda's mother again and to see James' new family. (Linda's mom and Mary Helen
are first cousins.) It was an enjoyable and all-too-short four days. They flew
back home on Monday, and unfortunately about an hour after arriving home, Mary
Helen fell ill. She had a stroke. On the next afternoon she had a cerebral
hemorrhage, and she passed away on Thursday morning. We were all shocked and
saddened. Linda's mother would have loved to go to Alexandria for the memorial
service, but was not physically up to it. We went, however, and flew out on
Sunday. The service was on Monday. Several other family members had flown there
including Linda's cousins Steve, Patsy, Merissa, and Shawn from Kirkland, WA,
Tim and Carol Fitzgerald from Austin, TX, and Naomi and Wilmer Fast from
Hennessey, OK. We also spent Tuesday there and visited the DAR library in
Washington, DC, to do a little more family history research.
Large family gathering.
Tommy and Linda with Tim and Patsy.
On Wednesday, we
moved over to stay with Robert's cousin, Jan Sorensen, in Towson, Maryland. We
stayed there until Sunday, and had the opportunity to visit with Jan's children
and grandchildren and Robert's nephews John and Jim Abell and Fred Senkel.
Robert with Fred and Jim.
Robert & Linda with Maria & JohnAbell and Fred.
Robert with cousin Bill, Jane, and Rachel.
also saw uncle Robert Sichard and cousin Bill Malseed. It was good to see them
all, as we had not been back there since 1995. We also discovered some old
Sichard family photos.
With Eleanor, uncle Robert, and cousin Jan.
William Sichard 20 Dec 1897. Robert's maternal grandfather.
George C. E. Malseed Sr. This is the only old Malseed family photo that we
In September, Robert received e-mail from a Robert Malseed in California. From
the information he gave, we believe he is Robert's 3rd cousin - a descendant of
Robert's great-grandfather's brother.
Robert has also corresponded with James Malseed of Shankill, Ireland. James
teaches Computers, Science, and PE at a small Church of Ireland elementary
school south of Dublin. We found especially interesting the fact that his family
believes that the Malseeds were originally French Huguenots who migrated to
Ulster. Ulster is the northern of the four provinces of Ireland. Most of it
makes up the Northern Ireland of today. Beginning about 1610, lowland Scots
crossed over to settle in the Ulster Plantation that the English had
established. That introduced Presbyterianism into the area. Late in the 1600's,
after the revocation of the Edit of Nantes, many Protestant Huguenots left
France and some of them went to Ulster where they joined the Presbyterians.
Robert has verified that his 3rd great grandfather who came from Ulster was
Presbyterian. Robert's dad used to speak of the family as being Scotch-Irish,
which is a term used primarily in the United States to refer to the Scots who
moved to Ireland and, for the most part, maintained a culture separate from the
Irish. Since Huguenots mixed in with them, a French origin is also possible.
Edward MacLysaght, in his book of Irish Surnames, says that Malseed is probably
of Dutch origin. We don't know where that theory came from unless he felt they
were among Dutch troops who fought with William of Orange. Well, wherever
Malseeds came from when they moved to Ulster, they didn't seem to have left
anyone behind. Today, Malseeds are found primarily in Great Britain, Ireland,
the U.S., and the state of Victoria in Australia.
Linda has been busy with various craft activities. She is working on quilting
projects. She will also be teaching a silk ribbon embroidery class in our
church's women's ministry this winter as she did last year.
We also remain active in various other adult ministries at church.
On 7 December, Robert is scheduled to visit a rural school in Mosquero, NM, -
about 250 miles east of Albuquerque. He will be taking his telescope and giving
the students a look at the sun and the many sunspots that are currently visible.
He is doing this through the Visiting Scientist program of the New Mexico
Academy of Sciences. Later, he has visits scheduled to schools in Hondo Valley,
Tatum, and Rio Rancho.
Robert continues to serve as treasurer of the Albuquerque Section of the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Robert is not working on the staff at our church now, since a full-time computer
system administrator was hired to replace Robert and Dale. He has a resume on
file at Excel Staffing in hopes of finding some short-time work opportunities.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We continue to be thankful for the Lord's providing for us in all ways. We trust
in Him, and pray that you will do likewise and enjoy a blessed Christmas season
and New Year as well.
Robert & Linda
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Page last updated:
14 March 2007