2007 Holiday Greetings from the Bickerdikes

    • Another busy year!   We took a 2006 pre-Christmas jaunt to Las Vegas for a few days including cheering for the jousting at the Excalibur show.  Katie’s parents joined us for Christmas at our house. We took Kaitlyn to see the Rose Parade floats being made (ask us how she managed to get her head stuck in the perimeter fencing). We took her Pony riding at Griffith Park as well as several times to the LA Zoo.
    • Katie was feeling really sick starting at the end of February. Finally in late May, she felt better (after three hospital stays and several gallstones as well as her gallbladder were removed).  We could tell when she was really well, she started booking cruises.

      Pete had a “guy’s night out” five day trip to Dayton, Ohio in May for the largest amateur radio gathering in the world. Joined by friends, Dave D’Alfonso, Pete Lawn, and John Sorensen (he rode his motorcycle from Oregon, IL), all had a great time and we even managed to spend some time at the nearby Air Force museum.

      Over Memorial weekend, we joined daughters Liberty and Jennifer, their husbands, Hugo and Kevin, and grandson, Trevor for a three-day Sea Doo trip to San Diego.  They were all camped at Camperland on Mission Bay and we launched there to join them on their Sea Doos (we “camped” in a motel). Even with boat engine problems, we had a good time.

      We have lost several good friends and relatives this year: Neighbor, ham, and friend, Walt Tarvin, who involved Pete in the LA County Sheriff’s department and LA County Disaster Communications Service, died in June.  Katie’s uncle, Allie Ordung, died in October, and Pete’s friend, Jim Shepherd, died in November.

      A five-day Laughlin trip in June was great fun, especially because Jennifer and Liberty were able to join us.  We each had our own Sea Doo.  Jennifer even did something that we have not done in our many river trips. She won $100 on the slots.   We hope to make a Laughlin Sea Doo trip a father’s day tradition (plans are already started for a 2008 trip).

      July 1st we had a real treat, front row center tickets for the start of the Moody Blues US tour. They performed in a classic theatre in Bakersfield. It was a super show.

      In August, we drove to Santa Barbara for the Fiesta celebration. On the way, we stopped to see Mary, who worked with Pete at Vector Graphic and Cordata many years ago. It was great to see her after more than 12 years (last time was at our wedding).  The Fiesta Parade was great, we took Katie’s parents and they enjoyed it too. We also enjoyed dinners with friends, Gary and Louise Matz, Joe Sayovitz and Linda and Ned Oakley.

      Also in August, we had the pleasure of some visitors from Missouri.  Elnora Houghton, her daughter, Shirleen, and Shirleen’s husband, Jason, flew out to see part of California for the first time.  We had a great time showing them some of the sights. They enjoyed playing with Beau, swimming, Downtown Disney, and meeting Jennifer, Liberty, and Trevor. Jason even survived his freeway driving experience.  We hope that they are able to visit again soon.  Pete lived with the Houghtons while attending the University of Colorado in Boulder some 46 years ago.

      Katie discovered that Kaitlyn had a week off from her pre-school duties in late August, so of course, a cruise was booked.  We took her on a four-day Mexican cruise out of Long Beach. Kaitlyn really enjoyed it since she was old enough to join the onboard activity “camp” for three-year-olds.  We had a pleasant surprise when Bobbi (an old friend that we had seen in Chico last year) came up to us at breakfast and said “hi”, we were sorry that we had not seen her earlier in the cruise.

      In September, we took Kaitlyn out for her first Sea Doo trip off Long Beach. She loved it and says “I rode on that boat” every time she sees them in the garage. We took Karen too, her first time in many years. Perfect weather with the water at 77!  Also in September, we had a week in a great Newport Beach condo, joined by Jennifer, Liberty, Kevin, Trevor, Karen, Kaitlyn and John (not all at the same time) we had fun, especially the grandchildren playing in the shallow kid’s pool.

      During the Newport visit, Kaitlyn had her first Disneyland trip with her parents and us. With an annual pass she will be visiting a lot.  The next week, we took another Laughlin trip. The weather was cooling off, but the water was still 79 degrees and we had fun.

      In October, we took our first trip to New York in years (last time we had dinner at the top of the World Trade Center).   We stayed in a super Marriott Hotel with a view of Times Square from our room.  We saw the Broadway play, “Wicked”, and also the “Drowsy Chaperone”.  We then took a 12-day fall color cruise stopping at Boston (with a “Duck” tour in the water), Bar Harbor, Halifax, Quebec City, Cornerbrook, and Sydney.  It was a great cruise.  At many ports, we were the last ship for the season with special bagpipe farewells.

      For Thanksgiving we were joined by Katie’s parents from Santa Barbara and Karen, John and, of course, Kaitlyn!   We received calls from both Jennifer and Liberty.  Liberty reminded us that two years ago she called to tell us she was expecting Trevor, well, history repeated itself, she is expecting baby number two on July 4th!

      We took Kaitlyn to Disneyland (her third time) in early December to see all the Christmas decorations, she had a great time especially at the parade.

      Kevin is still living in Odessa, Ukraine and is teaching English.  Karen is a junior at Cal-Poly Pomona. She and John will be getting married in August.  Jennifer is a middle manager with an HR company and Liberty is working at cosmetic company, Jafra, in addition to her own graphic design business.

      We expect to have a super Christmas with Katie’s sister, Chris, and her daughter, Lisa flying out from Minnesota to join the rest of us. 

      We wish you and your families a happy, healthy 2008!

      Our website is (Check the Christmas letter page for the pictures in full color, check out the contact and links pages).


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