Christmas Letter

Twelve Months of Durbergs
Two thousand twelve has been a brilliant year for lesbians in general, and an exceptionally fine year for The Durbergs in particular.  We close these 12 months in better shape, emotionally and physically, than we’ve been in many years (if ever).  Both Pam and Nancy continued on their fitness quests and kicked off the New Year with a half-half marathon, pretty much the longest six miles ever.   Both of us are incredibly grateful for our good health, happy relationship, and loving family and friends. Life is indeed good.
            Taylor turned 18 in May—and if that weren’t enough to celebrate, in June she graduated from high school.  She spent part of the summer in Philly with her birth family and returned in the fall to start classes at Whatcom Community College.  Taylor plans to pursue a career in law.  We wholeheartedly encourage this endeavor and couldn’t be more proud. We so enjoyed taking her to the school where Pam used to work and showing her around.  She is a strong and smart and beautiful young woman. I pity her opponents in the courtroom.
            And if that’s not enough to make us feel old, Anna graduated from Washington State University with a BS in psychology in May and a double minor in French and sociology.  She promptly left the country to celebrate her academic successes, touring Europe with her good pals Karen and Emily.  Upon her return, she buckled right down and started applying for jobs.  We are proud to say she landed a good one, in the field she wanted.  She works for Outsource as a recruiter and lives in Ballard with two friends.  Anna turned 22 in June. Unbelievable.
Pam continued on in her memoir writing class, finishing up in May with a reading at Village Books.  But the certificate was not enough—she and her writing buddies continue to meet twice a month to encourage one another and provide excellent and constructive feedback. Pam had an essay accepted for publication in an anthology coming out in April—Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religion, published by Seal Press. Currently Pam is working on building her platform—she can be found on Twitter @PamHelberg, on the Interwebs at www.PamelaHelberg.com, and on Facebook.  She really needs to boost her numbers, so send your friends and acquaintances to her sites.
The highlight of her summer had to be the three weeks she spent serving as a juror on a local Whatcom County murder trial.  Fascinating.  Everyone should spend some time as a juror.
Nancy continued with her running class through The Fit School, burning up the track as well as the calories.  She is becoming somewhat renowned in these parts, writing her story for The Fit School website and modeling for a Fit School promotional video.  The Little Woman started blogging this year, and you can find her erudite commentary at www.runrambleon.blogspot.com
In June, right before Nancy left for AK, she went in for a routine colonoscopy.  The procedure revealed a pre-cancerous polyp, which the doctor removed, and resulted in an appointment for another colonoscopy in December.  Something to look forward to!  We tried to put that out of our minds with an impromptu visit to Mexico to see Dad and Marilyn. We so enjoyed the family time, the beach, the sun, and the lovely rhythm of life in the slow lane.  
Perhaps the highlight of Nancy’s year was the six weeks she spent cooking at our neighbor’s fishing lodge in Chignik, AK.  Having been laid off from her job at Ryzex, again (stupid economy), she jumped at the chance to see the wild, wild North and use her culinary skills professionally.  She came back ready for a new career. One where she spends less time on her feet.  So in September she decided to enroll at Antioch University to get her Masters as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  She took a prerequisite this fall at WCC, which she aced, of course and starts classes at Antioch on January 7th
Our summer ended in somewhat of a blur.  We managed to cram a lot of activity into three months.  In July, right after Nancy got home, we attended the first of two fabulous family weddings.  Pam’s cousin Caiti married Lou in a ceremony on Whidbey Island, and in September, cousin Patrick married Jenni at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, B.C.
We had the house painted and took the Jeep on its first camping trip.  We headed east to the Methow Valley, over the North Cascades Pass, up to Hart’s Pass for a few freezing hours, into Winthrop, on to Twisp, Okanogan, Omak, and finally Conconnully (a town heretofore completely unknown to us).  Strange little place, that.
August brought an overdue visit from good friends from Canada—one of Pam’s oldest and dearest friends, Pat, and her partner Meghan came for a weekend.  We had our heating vents cleaned, and celebrated the ninth anniversary of our Silly Ceremony.  Nancy’s sisters Dor and Lynn visited for 10 days in September and got to see the PNW at its best, weather-wise.  Nancy entertained them with trips to LaConner, the San Juan Islands, and greater downtown Bellingham.
            In early October, Pam got to travel to rainy and gray Whittier, AK to provide IT support for an oil spill drill, and she did such a fine job, she was appointed to the national spill response team.  She fervently hopes the next drill will be someplace warmer.
November seriously rocked:  Obama won reelection, to our great relief.  Gay marriage and marijuana are both now legal in Washington state, and we ran in our first ever Turkey Trot.  We attended an Antioch University sample class, Family of Origin Theory, met up with the fam at Mom’s new digs in Kingston, and celebrating Thanksgiving at our favorite B&B in Beaverton with Pam’s brother and his family. We left November with a little more spring in our step. 
In December, Nancy got officially accepted to Antioch, and she had a follow-up colonoscopy. That refreshing colon cleanser really makes her grumpy, but so did the actual procedure which revealed more pre-cancerous polyps.  She has to go back next year.  Keep her colon in your thoughts—send happy thoughts its way and let this be your PSA to have those colonoscopies early and often.  
Results be damned, both of us got up to run in the Bellingham Jingle Bell Run the next morning—definitely AMA. 
 As the year draws to a close, we will be celebrating our Christmas with Mother and her dog Chuck, Anna and Taylor and friends. May the holidays find you with loved ones and good friends.
Thank you, all, for being a part of our lives.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A Bit of Memoir

Dear Readers,

I’ve posted a bit of my memoir on my website, www.pamelahelberg.com. I welcome your feedback–I thought I’d give folks a preview of what I’ve been working on this past year.  So far I have nearly 75,000 words.

I’ll be working now on revising what I’ve written and developing a marketing plan.

Enjoy!
Pam