I know, I know—you want warm thoughts to break the cold of winter. So let’s start with an update from last summer, courtesy of Carol Haffenreffer Abrahams. She enjoyed two reunions of Colby friends. Carol, Cathy Goff Fitch, Betsy Wood Bigler, and Kit Cunningham Beaudouin gathered in Boston for “two days of laughter, tears, sharing, wondering, and resolving the problems of the world.” She writes they were “all present and accounted for, bewildered by the passing of time, bemused by their stories, besotted by their children’s journeys (17 among the four of them), and oh so grateful to still enjoy each other’s friendship.” Later in the summer, Carol, Kit, and Betsy joined Paul Boghossian, Barry Cohen, and Jenny Frutchy Ford for a beautiful day in Jamestown and Newport, R.I., touring the tall ships and trying unsuccessfully to match Barry’s body surfing prowess and endurance! * Mike Harris and his wife, Wendy, attended the Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival, which was featured on the Property Brothers show on HGTV on Halloween. Their tour guide was old friend Dean Eaton ’73. Mike continues to coach and train people in the art of public speaking through his company Speak Up, Speak Well. He and Wendy look forward to retiring someplace warmer in the next few years. * Peter Leschner writes from Tenafly, N.J., noting that he mostly lucked out during Hurricane Sandy—he didn’t lose power, although many neighbors, schools, stores, and restaurants did. School was closed for a full week and then went part time for a couple of more days. Meanwhile, Peter has a new children’s e-book, The Sapphire Prism Cave (Book One of A Journey Through the Space Vortex), now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. * Like many of us, Paul Kueffner faced power outages from fallen trees caused by Hurricane Sandy. In the spirit of the Colby woodsmen’s teams, Paul and his neighbors took to the trees with everything from bucksaws and axes to gasoline-powered chainsaws to gather up firewood for the winter. Paul notes that he was lucky relative to the homes closer to the shore, many of which will be uninhabitable for months. * Martha and Rob Bell were in Vienna during the hurricane, so they missed the immediate excitement. Fortunately they only faced one day of power outage when they returned and their home was fine. * Another Sandy update: Doug McMurrey’s boat, near Baltimore, survived the storm; he was just south of Sandy’s path. Doug sailed in Maine last summer, mostly around Boothbay, and is wintering in the Chesapeake. He notes that lobster was “wicked cheap” this year and hopes you were all able to take good advantage of it! * Like others, Caren Starr Schwartz considers herself fortunate that she had “only” five days of no power and no significant damage from Sandy. Caren runs her own business, Time & Cents Consultants (www.timeandcents.com) and also became an associate of 35*45 Consulting—Global to expand her market and work more closely with other consultants. She provides consulting, training, and support on a range of software products like QuickBooks and Peachtree. At this year’s LexisNexis CIC annual conference, Caren received the 2012 Community Commitment Award. She was also a presenter at other professional conferences last year. * As for me, I too was fortunate. I live in Monmouth County, N.J., which took a direct wallop from Sandy. But other than a power outage, I was okay; towns just a few miles from me were devastated, especially Union Beach and Sea Bright. Several friends lost homes permanently, and recovery is a long-term investment. Trust me—I’m counting my blessings. Among them has been this opportunity to be in touch with so many Colby friends. Please write any time with news; see the e-mail contact at the top of this column. Don’t forget to help celebrate Colby’s bicentennial with a gift to the Colby Fund.