By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 12/11/2017
Occurred: 12/25/1998
Topics/Keywords: #YearInReview #Autobiography Page Views: 874
A brief look at my doings in 1998.

I started sending out Christmas/end-of-year letters in the 1970s. This was one of them, originally sent by what we now call "snail mail". It was, I believe, my first use of a database of contact information to generate custom copies to everyone in my contact list. The web addresses mentioned are no longer valid.

Christmas 1998

Dear «GreetingNames»,

It is once again that time of year when we wax nostalgic for all our friends and relatives and wish we could have shared more of our year with them

We hope that your year has been pleasantly eventful, and that your challenges haven’t been too stressful!

Our year was certainly interesting enough…

It was just a year ago that Michael and I packed for the East Coast to spend Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends. We had made an extremely ambitious "hit list" of people to see, beginning with taking my kids and ex-wife on a ski trip to North Carolina, at Grandfather Mountain where we also rendezvoused with our friends, the Griffiths. This was to be an overnight trip, followed by a run to central New Jersey for a Christmas dinner with our friend, Ray Warren. Unfortunately for our plans, we got trapped on the mountaintop by a blizzard, in the two campers we had rented. The phone lines were out, and the roads were completely impassible. It was very Christmasy!

In any case, even though the blizzard threw us completely off our schedule, we were able to visit Michael’s sisters, beginning with Surya, with whom we sang Handel’s Messiah at a gathering in New York, and then with Dorothy Ann and her husband Bob, and his family.

Back in Arizona, we continued to try and live in the mobile home the former owner had left on our property. But it was just too cold. Have you ever had to go outside at four in the morning, when the temperature is well below freezing, to gather more wood for the stove? If so, you’ll appreciate why Michael and I decided to rent a house instead, to live in until we can get the home of our dreams built on the property.

The rental house is only about ten minutes’ drive from the property; it sits on ten acres of land and does have electricity and telephone lines (though the lines are very noisy and we sometimes have trouble connecting to the Internet). It is a three-bedroom, two-bath house, complete with satellite TV, and Michael’s decorating efforts have made it a real home.

In late January my daughter Jennifer came to spend a few months with us; in March, her mother (my ex-wife), Mary drove my Mom out to be with us and also stayed for awhile. So, our little home was pretty full! And, that’s not including the three puppies that Jennifer brought home one day and Michael and I adopted. We have named them Astro, Cirrus, and Shay-La, which means "sound of the Moon;" so, they all have sky-names.

In May, my other daughters Dorothy and Karen came to visit; we met them in Las Vegas and proceeded on a tour of California, sight-seeing from Los Angeles to San Francisco, to Yosemite to Death Valley, and dropping the girls off at Las Vegas before continuing on to the East Coast ourselves, by car, so I could do a whole month’s worth of classes in New York and Illinois and bring back the last of our stuff from New Hampshire.

Think that was enough traveling? Not at all! In September, Michael and I hiked the eight miles to the Havasupai village in Havasu Canyon, part of the Grand Canyon geological formation (but not part of the national park). We spent three nights there, amidst the most awesome natural beauty imaginable.

I was so inspired, in fact, that I finally got around to creating a Web site just so I could share the story and photos! The URL, if you have access to the internet, is

www.mindspring.com\~paulcilwa

Michael and I continue, with our associate Celeste Moutahba, to work on The ONA Foundation, the non-profit corporation the three of us created. While we haven’t made quite the progress we’d hoped, we have made great strides in developing this study of subtle energies and ways to work with them. We have built a Web site for ONA, as well; the URL is

www.mindspring.com\~paulcilwa\ONA

And that brings us up to the present time. Mary and Jennifer still live in Snowflake, and will be joining Michael and me for Thanksgiving; the remaining kids are scheduled to come out for a late Christmas on January 1st.

We wish you and yours the best Christmas ever, and send our brightest energies to you for the New Year.