December 2012

Jumbo marshmallows roasted on an open fire are much better than chestnuts of any stripe. Caralyn and I roasted some of these new huge 'mallows under the warm evening sky at a cabin outside Chattanooga. About 4 times as big as normal ones, they were gloriously decadent. Madelyn avoided the smoke (and the calories) by retreating indoors; it was a good little trip. The three of us also visited Louisville, KY, zip-lining in their Mega Caverns last winter, and then in the summer, the Sky High Aerial Park at Holiday Valley in New York. Both were adventures!

Nathaniel was busy finishing up his BS degree at Auburn, graduating in May with an Economics major and minors in Spanish and Math. He currently works at an Apple specialist store in Auburn and is considering other opportunities.

Caralyn continues with soccer, her club team took second at their state tournament. She gets a lot of mail from colleges. She's also driving; it's scary, but she's doing well with it.

Madelyn started working 2 days a week in a local doctor's office. It has her engaged in nursing again. She can also still be found behind the counter at Bruegger's Bagels on Tuesday mornings, and occasionally in the school nurse's office. She was slated to run the NY City Marathon, but pulled out with a "hammie" before hurricane Sandy shut the rest of the runners down.

I continue writing public safety software at Intergraph, now as a Scrum Master in an Agile environment. I'm also writing a bit of fiction and had one short story published that paid a "professional rate", 8 cents a word. At just over 1,000 words, or $80.00, I'm not exactly going to quit my day job. Still, as Norton Hall once said: "Art Alone Endures", so I find a certain satisfaction there. Should you be interested, you can find the story here: "A Measure of You" (, search for "C. Richard Patton", ignore the picture, it doesn't go with the story).

As for Christmas this year, well, it's practically here. The tree is up, the lights are on the house, but I can't seem to get my commercial spirit going, maybe because I boycotted Black Friday this year, because it started on Thanksgiving Thursday, mostly. Whether you get your buying sleigh sledding or not, I do hope that you find what you love to roast, and who you love to roast it with, and cook some up and gobble some down.

Merry Christmas and Peace throughout the New Year,

- Chip, Madelyn, Caralyn and Nathaniel, crpatton "at"