"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bragging Rights

One of the coolest things about being an aunt with three nieces and two nephews is that I get bragging rights to all their accomplishments, even if they all live far, far away and I don’t get to see them very often.

And, if you want my opinion, I think I have a lot of worthwhile things to brag about.

I’ll start with the youngest, Jennifer. This little imp is now full grown. Last year she graduated nurse’s training, is employed as such, and recently married.

Her elder sister Alison completed nurse’s training at the same time, and also works as a nurse. She and her husband now have a four month old son.

I’m not quite sure where Marissa fits age-wise in here. It’s so-o-o-o hard to keep track ‘cause they change every year, you know. Anyway, Marissa works as a dental assistant and has a young daughter who’s just about the age that Marissa was when this picture was taken. And, in addition to being a mommy, she is continuing working towards her Masters in Psychology.

Then we have Jason, the one who used to put strange critters in my freezer when he stayed in our guest house while working on his masters degree. Just this month Jason completed, and had accepted, all the requirements of a Doctorate in Marine Biology AND at the same time, a Master of Science in Statistics, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Add that to his Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from Texas A&M, and his Bachelor in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech., and WOW!

Jason is in the process of moving to Juneau where he will be working for the University of Alaska Juneau and a federal agency. He will no longer be SCUBA diving the depths of the ocean, scooping up sea lion poop to see what’s they’ve been eating. Instead, he will have others scoop the poop for him.

Lots of reason for celebration amongst all these nieces and nephews, and to raise a glass of the finest in their honor.

That’s where Joel, the eldest, comes in. Already an accomplished chef and totally in charge of menus and cooking for family holidays, he graduated from the Center for Enology and Viticulture in Walla Walla, Washington. Now he is the chief winemaker for his own winery—CAVU Cellars in the same city.

CAVU Cellars, with its first wine releases a year and a half ago, is collecting awards and accolades all over the Pacific Northwest. Joel spends a lot of time on the road marketing his wines. CAVU is an aeronautical weather acronym that means “ceiling and visibility unlimited.”

“Ceiling and visibility unlimited.” Rather describes these amazing nieces and nephews of mine, doesn’t it?

Good on ya, kiddos, good on ya. Love you all.


  1. Absolutely wonderful! Miss you! Hopefully we can come visit you someday!

  2. They grow up without even asking if it's okay with us. You've got lots to brag about!!

  3. You have a lot to be proud of! I'd brag too if they were my relatives ;)