Sunday, December 21, 2014

                                                                                                            December 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

            Greetings from Washington, D.C., where two of the home teams faltered as their seasons ended. The Washington Nationals, with the best record in the National League, didn’t make it past the first round of the October playoffs. And Team Democrats were beaten worse than expected in November by Team Republicans. With that said, the Jost Family also won’t list 2014 as our favorite year ever. But we’re all in good health and reasonably good spirits in this holiday season.

            Ken continues to write The Supreme Court Yearbook and occasional reports for CQ Researcher as a contributor after his full-time position was terminated in summer 2013; the severance pay ran out this summer, so some belt-tightening is in order. But, along with Ken’s blog Jost on Justice, there’s still enough work to keep busy and enough money to pay the mortgage. James continues at Total Resource Management, the IT consulting company he’s been with now for nearly 20 years. But James was put into service this fall as caregiver to his elderly father after serious but non-life threatening surgery in November. James was in Alabama for more than a month helping his father get better; his family duties forced the postponement of the customary exotic vacation in November. We are making up for it by taking a post-Christmas Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona, embarking on what the Brits call Boxing Day. We’ll celebrate the New Year at sea.

            The 20-something kids, Nicole and Andrew (AJ), are both working and in good health, as are their significant others: Nicole’s wife Lily Rea and AJ’s girlfriend Robbie Rogart. AJ and Robbie moved in together in late September in an apartment in the Clarendon neighborhood across the river in Northern Virginia. Nicole and Lily continue to live in their second-floor condo in DC’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood, with their adopted cat Molly.

            Nicole continues as artistic director at Young Playwrights Theater; Lily, the theater techie in the family, has been promoted to associate director of technical services at George Washington University. Nicole has continued to work on her coming out-themed play The Terror Fantastic and wrote another, The Creature, as part of a Halloween-themed festival performed at an up-and-coming venue in DC’s H Street Corridor.

            AJ continues at Guggenheim Investments in its Rockville, Md., office, now as senior client representative. He and Robbie have been together for a little over a year. Robbie is a third-year associate at a Washington, D.C., law firm. AJ had a minor setback this summer when he failed to pass Level 2 of the Chartered Financial Analyst in June; he’s studying to take it again next June. AJ also does some investing and trading on his own, along with Fantasy Football and Baseball.

            Despite the aborted November vacation, Ken and James had separate family trips this summer with the so-called kids. Ken and James traveled separately from Nicole and Lily to California to celebrate a milestone birthday for Lily’s father over the Fourth of July weekend. The party was a great success; Ken and James left Chico by way of a one-day tour of Napa Valley wineries. Ken and AJ continued their baseball road trips with visits to Coors Field, home of the Denver Rockies, and Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We have now visited 24 of the 30 Major League ball parks. James joined in Arizona for three days at the Grand Canyon.

            As so often happens, the holiday season arrives against the backdrop of disheartening events, in this country and abroad. We regret the continuing racial divide in this country, especially as seen in the criminal justice system, and the casualties from conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. But we are thankful for our blessings, and we wish for you and yours a new year of health, happiness, and success wherever it may take you.

Ken & James, Nicole & Lily, AJ & Robbie