November/December 2000

Hi, everyone!

It seems like yesterday that I was whining and moaning about how long the renovation of our house in Newport was taking, but--how about that?--it was a year ago. Yikes. I know that time flies when you're having fun, but this is downright scary.

Newport Harbor View(17K)

Well, the renovation story has a happy ending. We absolutely love the house, and lots of our family were able to vacation here this August,and no one fought, and--in contrast to last year--there was electricity in every room and a door on every bathroom, and as much hot water as we could possibly want. The beach was super, with surf feisty enough to claim from us a wedding ring, a dolphin bracelet, a bunch of barrettes and somebody's swimsuit bottoms. (We found the bottoms but had no luck with the jewelry.) Here's a shot of John and me and one of my twin sisters, up on our roof deck after the beach and before our showers. (It's a brave author who can post something like this on her website, don't you think?)

Emmanual tower at sunset (19K)

But now the boogie boards are stacked against a basement wall, and the sailing dinghy has been flipped upside down on its trailer. One last touchup of the yard with a rake should about do it for the winter, which is fast approaching. There's a silver lining in winter, I think: breathtaking sunsets and gentle sunrises. The view in this shot is from our loft, which John has taken over as his media center. (If I were up there, I'd never get a lick of work done but would simply stare out the window all day.)

Cats? Did someone ask about cats? They are, shall we say, as ever. Tommy still hasn't got over his shyness and spent most of August under the bed. My eight-year-old niece has vowed to "work even harder on her relationship" with him this coming summer. Tiki still throws up like clockwork every fourth day. If I'm lucky, it hits the hardwood floor. If the stars aren't in alignment for me, she spews all over a radiator. This is Tommy, coming out of hiding after the company has gone.

Tommy Hiding(19K)

Tiki whining(12K)

This is Tiki, demanding to be groomed. Again.

The new book? Did someone ask about the new book? Ah, this one's special. TIDEWATER is set of course in New England, in a small town on an ocean inlet in Massachusetts. It features twelve-year old Abigail, a character that I just love, raised by a working-class mom with guts. Sarann considers herself lucky to marry a man of class and privilege who is willing to be the father her daughter has never had.

And that's where their troubles begin.

Although I had a miserable time writing this book (the subject matter was very difficult), I absolutely love TIDEWATER, and I'm just as positive that you will, too. Sarann and her daughter Abigail are people that you will want to root for.

Xmas tree on deck(19K)

The season: Last but very definitely not least, here's a shot of John up on the roof deck (where else?), where he insisted we rig a Christmas tree that--trust me--can be seen across the bay because it has two thousand six hundred and forty-two big colored lights on it (he hit every Wal-Mart in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to find them). Have I written that John has the body of a linebacker and the soul of a child?

This is the perfect time to wish you a wonderful, warm, and loving Christmas and a New Year filled with good health and bright moments.

My very best to you in 2001,

Antoinette Stockenberg

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