Dennis “Denny” Dionne writes, “I’m currently deployed with the Red Cross to New Jersey to help feed the people suffering from Hurricane Sandy. I drove a Red Cross ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) from Sarasota, Fla., to New Jersey to work this particular disaster. The work day is long, but the thanks you get sustain you.” * Sandy Nolet Quinlan reports from Labastide Esparbairenque, France, where she and husband Dean are unexpectedly staying two months: “My daughter needed a surgical procedure with a long postoperative period. Thankfully, her recovery is going well. Directing a writers’ and artists’ retreat with twin 8-year-old boys and a 3-year-old girl who thinks she is 13 meant the family needed serious help! We’ve only been here a week and I’m praying for the fortitude to continue seven more weeks! There is a reason why we have children when we are young, right? Being here is a step back in time, when life was far simpler: kids go outside to play by themselves, read books for entertainment, and enjoy family walks almost daily. I must admit that this forced ‘unplugging’ of our ‘connected’ selves takes a little getting used to but, once achieved, it’s good for one’s hurried soul. Hurricane Sandy (I claim NO similarity to that force, though Dean might disagree!) waged its destruction on the East Coast, but since we are in southern Maine, it only affected us in terms of wondering if our Iberia flight would fly on schedule! We said our appropriate thanks to the weather gods when we learned that the day we left Boston was their first day of flight post-storm! Life requires lots of flexibility! Looking forward to the new experience of celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Montagne Noire with our Fabulous French FANNINGS (www.lamuseinn.com). We are thankful for our health, our families, and our ability to help when we are needed. Bonne Journée!” * Here’s the word from Jan Haskins Mandaville: “A really nice day in New York City with Penny Dean Robb in August, wandering the New York Public Library, seeing an exhibit of the terra cotta soldiers from China, and eating at Bryant Park. Penny came through Hurricane Sandy just fine. In September I drove 7,000 miles round trip from Oregon to Massachusetts, sightseeing all along the way—Palouse Falls, Old Faithful, Wall’s Drug, Dakota Badlands, Corn Palace, Niagara Falls, Berkshires, Abilene’s Eisenhower Campus, and much more! So often I just fly over our great country and had not driven it since 1996. I definitely wanted to do it again before I become TOO decrepit and incompetent! Just recently pored over and organized (sort of!) photos from the 50th reunion; I was saddened to hear of Judy Parker Millen’s death.” * Bob Burke sends best wishes to all. In September—before Hurricane Sandy—he e-mailed, “Donna and I are just leaving JFK for Barcelona and 10 days in Spain. I hope I recall some of my three years of Spanish at Colby! We are on a Tauck Tour, the same tour group we used for trips to Australia and New Zealand last January. Also, I had a very interesting trip to Kiawah for the PGA Championship in August with my 16-year-old grandson Brendan, who has an interest in flying. I gave him flying lessons for a Christmas present; we flew to Charleston, S.C., in my Cessna 210 for a week there before going to the tournament for five days. It was a great opportunity to spend quality time together! His mom is daughter Kelly Burke Corwen ’83. It’s been a busy 2012: I’m involved with my 55th reunion from Brockton High School before we head to Naples, Fla.” * Your correspondent plans a Honolulu flight to attend the 2013 Colby bicentennial celebration; let us know if you join a local celebration! Aloha and warm wishes for a healthy, happy 2013.