The Patriarchs, Ken and Judy
We met when Kenny was a young medical student at the University of Rochester and married soon after. Almost 40 years have passed since then and we have raised six children who are busy now with their own families. Today Kenny spends his days at Family Allergy Center, a medical practice specializing in the treatment of asthma, allergies and related diseases. This family business has employed most of our children at one time or another so we feel that the name, Family Allergy Center, is truly fitting. As for me, I recently retired from work as an office manager for 2 lady pediatricians and now spend most of my days at the barn where I board my beautiful horse, Ruben. In my spare time I like to hone my skills as an aviatrix, dancing the skies in Miss Chief, an A36 Bonanza. I guess you could say we don't suffer from "empty nest syndrome"!
Current Events 2007
January - Some months should be left off of the calendar, and January is one of them! On the 12th I celebrated my "###" birthday and became an official member of the geriatric Medicare club. This means I have to go to a doctor who accepts Medicare if I want insurance to pay for my visit. The only thing is, many doctors won't accept Medicare patients because the government pays so little that it isn't worth their time to be bothered with the old farts! And Kenny is one of these doctors! How embarrassing! There, I'm finished with the complaints and can get on to more pleasant subjects. First of all, on January 13 Debby, Cathy and JP took Kenny and I out to P F Changs for a great birthday dinner. The next day Dave and Lee had us over for a home cooked meal of eggplant parmesan. Then on January 21 Becky and Rob hosted us and ended my week long feeding frenzy with a delicious veggie fajita feast. So now I'm 1 year older, 5 lbs fatter and eagerly looking forward to 2007 and many more great times with my family!
January 22 - Kenny and I just returned from a vacation to one of the most beautiful winter wonderlands of Europe, Switzerland. We went with the McGlassons, our long time friends and traveling companions. Our trip began on the eve of December 26 when we left Dulles airport for Zurich. Once in Switzerland we made good use of our Euro rail passes to tour the countryside while enjoying breathtaking views of the Swiss alps. Of course we did all the touristy things like riding cable cars up the mountains to dine in a restaurant that revolved 360 degrees about every hour. We also took in the Matterhorn but in Switzerland no one mountain is that much prettier than any other. They're all spectacular! I think the high point of the trip was a sleigh ride around Aros, a lovely, quaint mountain village. I'd anticipated this ride for weeks prior to our departure and was worried that no snow would be on the ground due to a record warm winter in Europe. But I stressed for nothing, there's always snow in the mountains. The only thing I would do differently if I were to take a vacation that depended on train travel is to pack much lighter. Dragging 50 lbs of luggage on and off trains is quite a struggle!
February 26 - As I've complained before, February in Virginia should be stricken from the calendar! Lots of cold, wind, ice and clouds. So Kenny and I, along with the McGlassons, decided to cash in some of our frequent flier miles and enjoy a mini vacation in a warmer climate. The only problem was that we were very last minute with our plans so we had to settle for any location that was an American Airlines destination and any plane with seat availability. That pretty much ruled out everywhere but Dallas. We booked the tickets, packed our bags and set out for 4 days of warmth and relaxation in the home city of the Cowboys. Dallas really doesn't offer much but it does have a nice zoo and aquarium. And when we weren't viewing wildlife we ate in some fabulous restaurants! I can honestly say that we generously supported the food and beverage industry of the great state of Texas. Sunday rolled around too soon and we again boarded an AA plane, returning home to find Virginia in the grips of the biggest snow fall of the season. Thanks American Airlines, next year I plan to book my tickets earlier and visit sunny Miami!
March 4 - On Friday Kenny and I, along with our 4 best friends, Dan, RJ, Leo and Marge, left Northern Virginia for a road trip to the Tide's Inn in Irvington. This resort is located on the Northern Neck of Virginia, a piece of land bounded north and south by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and east by the Chesapeake Bay. The weather was ideal, over 60 degrees in the afternoon, when our van arrived at our destination. By 4PM we were settled on our back patio enjoying great water views and sipping wine from the local vineyard. It doesn't get much better that that. Dinner on Friday night was at the Backdraft Restaurant, a nice little place owned and operated by a former fireman. The food was wonderful and after dinner some of us danced to the music of a DJ. Saturday dawned with crystal clear skies, warm but a little windy. No problem for us, we took a driving tour of the area stopping in Urbana for ice cream at Moo's. There's a story behind the name but it's too long to include here. Lunch was at the Tavern Restaurant in Heathville and dinner at the Tide's Inn concluded our mini vacation. On Sunday we headed back to our respective homes in Northern Virginia but managed to save enough time for a final meal at Tim's River Shore 2. I now smell spring in the air!
Current Events 2006
Well, 2005 came and went without me updating so much as 1 page of my web site. I got discouraged when everybody told me they hadn't had a chance to check it out in many weeks. But Rachel loves the site so this year's news is dedicated to her. As long as Rachel wants to keep up to date with the family business then I'll publish it.
January - Our winter vacation this year was a trip down memory lane when Kenny and I and 4 friends toured Panama. It's been over 30 years since we were stationed at Ft Clayton, CZ and believe me, a great deal has changed since then! The canal now belongs to Panama and this includes all housing on the various bases. We took an afternoon to visit our old home on the former base and it's been modified by it's current owner to the point that it's unrecognizable. The Panamanians are so creative. Probable the most enjoyable part of the vacation was the 4 days we spent in Boquete, a town up near the Cost Rican border. The weather there is idyllic, warm during the days but delightfully crisp at night with cool mountain breezes. The 6 of us kept busy from 9-5 touring the area and sampling Panamian cuisine, but after dark we spiced up the night life at the local watering holes. I fear Boquete will remember the "gringos" for years to come! Bocas del Toro was the last leg of our travels. This group of islands in the Caribbean is known for it's clear water and great snorkeling. While the men donned bathing suits and braved the fish we women sat in the tiki hut "lounge" and sampled local wine. 2006 is off to a great start!
Current Events 2004
After a 3 year break from my duties as a web mistress I've decided to get busy and once again publish the family business. Lots of info on the site is old but there is also much updated material. My plan is to put current news on each person's individual web page so let me know if you have some occasion you'd like the world to read about. And pictures are certainly welcome. If you check the table of contents page first each time you visit the site you'll be able to tell just which pages have been updated and when. I hope you all enjoy my effort.
January 31 - My Christmas gift from Lee was a ticket to see Mamma Mia at the National Theatre and Sunday was the day of the show. While the men babysat Lee took her mom and me downtown where we passed a relaxing afternoon enjoying this fun musical. Anybody who loves ABBA and prefers feel-good entertainment should put this delightful show on their must-see list. Afterwards we returned to Lee's house and ordered dinner from Outback. Thanks for a great day Lee!
March 19 - Kenny and I just returned from a great 5 day trip to beautiful coastal California. The official purpose of this journey was to expand Kenny's knowledge in his chosen career field since the annual convention of the AAAAI (something to do with allergy and asthma) was being held in San Francisco this year and Family Allergy staff wanted to put in an appearance. Kenny, Cathy and Tammy planned to attend medical education lectures or seminars during the day but to keep the evenings free for fine dining, shopping and other forms of recreation. This schedule worked well and the trip turned out to be a great vacation for the four of us with abundant opportunity to explore the city's culture and still have time left to do some serious family bonding. In fact, the true attraction of this experience as far as I'm concerned was the chance to spend quality time with two of my daughters. It's rare to be alone with your children once they have babies of their own and I sincerely treasured each minute I shared with my girls. Kenny admitted he feels the same way..
April 20 - Well, the weekend is over and all our spouses survived Kenny's annual Men's Weekend at Lake Anna. This event began as a male bonding experience for family members about 8 years ago but has grown to include close friends as well. Between Friday, the 16th and Sunday, the 18th our motley mates gathered for fishing, eating, drinking, poker and, of course, cigars. I hear the Saturday night meal was delicious and Kenny won at the poker table, but beyond this very sketchy account of the gathering I have no desire for further knowledge. In attendance were David and college roommate Greg Moritz, Neil, JP and his dog Bogie, Huffy and his father Rae, Dan McGlasson, Leo Smith, Dick Hartzell and son Jack, and the host, Kenny.
July 4 - Sometimes life sucks!! On the 4th of July I managed to fall off the roof of our boat house at Lake Anna and break my calcaneus (aka heel bone). OK, I probably shouldn't have been trying to get on the roof to jump into the water in the first place but people aren't always rational and now I'm paying the price for my impetuosity. As of today I have a soft cast on my right leg (how can I drive or fly, much less ride my horse) and need to see an orthopod next week to evaluate my situation and determine my fate for the next 3 months. It won't be good!
November 25 - Once again the Bergman family gathered at the senior Bergmans' house to celebrate Thanksgiving and some of us think this was one of the best feasts ever. The guests brought all the food and Kenny and I provided the roof over everyone's head. Although the meal was traditional, turkey, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, green beans and pies, it was distinctive since each person brought one of their specialty dishes. All 26 of us ate much too much but cleanup was easy, we simply dumped the plates, cups and flatware into the trash! Thank goodness for paper products and dinner guests who prefer a relaxed, informal environment. And thank God for all of you, the lights of my life!