Sue-On's 2015 Hillman Family Chronicle
The Annual Massive Missive from 41 Kensington Crescent
Adapted from the Hillman Adventure 2015 site:
Click for larger image
It's 6 Degrees Celsius and the ground is brown. How was I
supposed to know that it’s December and time to get my Annual Massive Missive
in the mail?! Hearing all the Christmas music in the stores on our recent
shopping trip to Minot, North Dakota told me it REALLY was time to get
my thoughts together.
Most important thought: We wish you and yours love,
joy, and good health for Christmas, in the New Year, and every day!
This is becoming a cliché, but yeah, it was "a
With the growing demand at his Reactive Massage Therapy
business, Ja-On renovated his building and added more treatment
rooms. His studies and monthly trips to Winnipeg for classes are completed
and now for the final step - his thesis and dissertation. When he’s
not at work, he’s busy training his little princesses to be more like Princess
Leia of Star Wars ;-)
Angela is getting ready to go back to work - nursing
at Rideau Personal Care facility. She’ll miss her time with Inara and Tayla.
Ja and Angela will coordinate their work schedules to avoid daycare. The
two grandmas will gladly fill in any gaps! Angela is also busy developing
her own line of lotions for massage therapy.
Soulin has experienced quite a change this year!
For a seventeen year old, he is becoming quite the sharp dresser - think
suits, coordinates, shoes - the whole package. In line with this new maturity,
he’s also discovered JAZZ! He is enjoying his part-time job at Tip Top
Tailors, and his sales often top the more experienced sales reps.
Inara, our three-year-old “ginger” is so much fun
to be with! She sings, dances, draws, everything a little princess enjoys.
She is taking ballet and can usually be found in a tutu ;-) Their home
is a Toyland, but she still loves to come up to the big house to play with
the 40-year-old Fisher Price castle!
Tayla is one-year-old, and what an energizer bunny,
or should I say monkey! She started walking this week, so there’s no stopping
her now. It’s funny to watch her “get at her older sister” already.
It’s never a dull moment, and we grandmas are usually ready for bed when
Tayla is! Of course, Ja has started Inara and Tayla on Star Wars movies
Robin and family just bought a Mazda SUV, so it’s
not so crowded now with 4 people and Keifer the Great Pyr/ Akita. Robin
continues with his work as Business Analyst at Tactica Interactive Communications
in Winnipeg. He’s been taking some business courses at Red River
Jen is back to work at Dasch full time, but she
still makes time for her creative sewing and crocheting. She made
her little niece Inara VERY happy by making her the special Tinkerbelle
hat for Halloween!
Oriyen is ten-years-old and loves playing Minecraft
and the piano. Girl Guide cookies continue to show up at our house;-) She’s
growing up and is a great “big sister” for her little cousins as well as
younger sister River. She’s not interested in dance lessons but definitely
interested in acting lessons!
Two-year-old River, as her name may suggest, is
constantly on the move! As you can imagine when all three little girls
are here, the floors are covered with toys! Luckily, no little pieces of
Lego yet. They all play well together. She does enjoy sitting on Grandpa
Bill’s lap when he’s working on his computer. I wonder if she’s taking
in all the information on Edgar Rice Burroughs;-)
China is half-way through her Doctor of Radiology
fellowship at Harvard-affiliated hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She
works hard but is getting lots of experience. With our visit down to see
her in Boston in August, her trip home for Canadian Thanksgiving and Christmas,
her time away is going by quickly. We are all looking forward to her return
to her position at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre.
Ryan, China’s fiancé, continues to be busy
with his own web-design company: PEBKAC.ca, Technology Solutions. We are
happy that he continues to “come home” to Brandon while China is away.
We enjoy his cooking, and he doesn’t mind “Honey-do” lists that I always
have for him!
Bill continues to build, add to, and maintain the
thousands of websites in his areas of interests: Edgar Rice Burroughs,
Commonwealth Air Museum, the Dragoons, John
Tyman, music tributes, travel, etc. His longest running projects are
(a weekly e-zine since 1996) and the on-going book - Bill
& Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey. In July, he had
the “flight of a lifetime” in a B-17 WWII bomber from Winnipeg to Brandon
before being MC at the WWII History Takes Flight Air Show. Bill’s great
store of knowledge on all topics makes him a much-in-demand interview subject
for talk shows, newspapers, and university research projects. He
has been spending the last few months processing thousands of pictures
from our trips this year. These will be completed before we take our next
Sue-On is still teaching with the English for Academic
Purposes program at Brandon University. This fall term was a hectic
one with full classes in all four levels. Gardening interest was given
a boost with a bus tour of five garden centres. At the end, I wondered
HOW did I end up with so many plants! For exercise, I look to the grandkids!
They keep me moving but not always at their speed ;-) I did have a turn
on the acting stage this November. Local drama club MECCA Productions invited
me for a role -- as the Chinese restaurateur in A Christmas Story -
The Musical. It was great fun as our family loves this traditional
Christmas movie with the infamous Leg Lamp! They even used Bill’s leg lamp
in the show.
2015 was a year of major travels for us. In April,
we went on a 28-day tour with GAdventures to Indochina:
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It was a month of sensory
extravaganza - the sights, the sounds, the food, the PEOPLE! Transportation
took the form of planes, sleeper trains, junks, long boats, motorcycles,
cyclos, ATVs and private and public busses. We stayed in hotels in city
centres, ones over-looking the Mekong River, a homestay, on a junk - all
incredible new experiences.
In August, we drove to Boston to visit China. It’s
a beautiful city full of history. Bill had a couple of “hiccups” while
there - a kidney stone attack and losing his wallet! After the dust settled,
China took us on a tour of the city, which included dim sum lunch in Chinatown,
a tour to the top of the Prudential Building, and a Duck Tour to the major
historical sites and the Charles River. There was a happy ending to Bill’s
wallet incident. A gentleman who lives in China’s neighborhood found it
close to China’s apt. He tried to call the number in the wallet, but of
course, we were on the road. China brought it home at Thanksgiving.
From Boston, we drove the short distance to Clinton, Connecticut
for the annual Edgar Rice Burroughs gathering - the Dum-Dum, hosted
by Peggy Adler. It was a great opportunity to visit a part of New England
we’ve never been. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with old friends and
make new ones. On the way home we stopped at Gillette Castle, built as
a private home by William Gillette, an American actor who is most famous
for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on stage. Mark Twain house and museum
in Hartford was also an interesting stop.
This part of our travels was not far from our friends
and Faye Daniels, who live in Niagara-on-the Lake. We got to check
out their beautiful new outdoor kitchen and entertainment area. From there,
we stopped in to visit Bill’s sister Bonnie. Our niece Noelle
was able to join us for supper on the waterfront.
We arrived home in time for a short rest before I headed
back to work at BU. Soon we’ll be heading off again, on April 10th,
on a 28-day tour of northern and southern India. Maybe by then,
you’ll have plowed through the myriad of webpages from our Indochina trip
and ready to view our new adventures!
Until next time, have a wonderful Christmas and Happy
New Year with those you love!
Bill & Sue-On
Our Main Website
Onlilne Family Xmas Greetings