Hillman Massive Missive 2016
Sue-On's 2016 Hillman Family Chronicle
The Annual Massive Missive from 41 Kensington Crescent
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Snow finally arrived on November 28th. What a great fall
it’s been! However, it’s time to get in the Christmas spirit. Along with
the sprinklings of snow, we send Glad Tidings of Great Joy and Good
Health to You and All You Hold Dear!
Eldest offspring Ja-On is wearing many hats these
days. As an osteopathic therapist, it is very hard to get an appointment
with him as he is the only one qualified with this specialty at his business
Massage Therapy and in the city. No, Mom and Dad do not have
priority; we just have to book that calendar ahead of the rest! We know
he is working hard along with trying to complete his Research Thesis in
this field. His two princesses Inara and Tayla also gets to spend much
quality time with him. It’s always fun to see pictures of the three of
them whether at the splash park in the summer, riding the "Cinderella carriage"
at Clear Lake, or goofing around at home with Ja's Star Wars collectibles.
Angela has also donned another hat – studying to
become a massage therapist. She’s doing remarkably well in juggling all
these jobs: being a super-mom to the three kids (altho' Soulin is an independent
18 now), a wife, a nurse at Rideau Personal Care, and studying.
She’s taking the same route as Ja-On did – driving to Wellington College
in Winnipeg for weekend classes and catching on-line classes on Tuesdays.
The family moved into a bigger house in the fall, and now, Angela has an
office in which to do her school work.
Soulin, graduated from Vincent Massey High School
in June. His passion is clothes, so he’s working full time at TipTop
Tailors at Shoppers Mall for some experience in this business field.
It is refreshing to see a young man dressed well and not in tattered or
baggy clothes. His friend Kaytee has rekindled his interest in playing
the guitar as she teaches guitar and drums! He is still working out
at Mix Martial Arts, long board, and most likely snowboarding once there’s
more snow on the hills.
Inara is four years old and her latest passion
is Thor, her pony at riding school. She’s taking lessons every Wednesday
and loves taking care of and riding Thor. Inara has a vivid imagination
and is still fascinated with being a princess, a fairy, a ballerina, or
a mermaid. Other days, she is an animal doctor. Our 40-year-old Fisher
Price castle and all the “people and animals” are perfect for this activity.
The interest in medicine seems to run in this family;-)
Tayla, is a 2-year-old tiny ball of constant action!
It’s funny to watch her “taking care” of big sister Inara when there are
any problems. She’s very independent, but has such a mischievous personality.
Tayla takes toys and uses her imagination in her play that are unusual
for a child her age. That comes from following her elder sister and cousins.
She’s the only child I know who cannot be bribed with desserts – if she
eats her supper;-) She carries the musical genes, and we love listening
to her singing Twinkle Twinkle or Alphabet Song. Most of
all, her sparkling giggle can melt a heart, especially those of her grandparents!
Son Robin continues to take evening business classes
related to his work as software analyst at Tactica
Interactive. His company is sending him for these courses, and
he’s acing them all! It’s wonderful to know that our kids never stop learning
in their careers. We were happily surprised when Robin told us he was recruited
as percussionist for the +50 member Winnipeg
Pops Orchestra. Its quite a different gig for our rock drummer
but he certainly rose to the challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed his first
performance with the orchestra on Dec. 3 – the 60th
Anniversary Gala at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Jen changed jobs this fall and is enjoying her
work as Education Assistant at an elementary school. It’s a good
change as both she and Robin now have similar work schedules (no shift
work as with her previous job). This has allowed them to put in a lot of
hours and “elbow grease” on their house, stripping layers of paint of the
front door, windows, and the floors -- lovely oak flooring that had
been hidden under carpets. We can relate to the challenging work of sanding
floors from our experience at our Strathclair home. It’s always interesting
to see what Jen creates as well, with her talents in sewing, knitting,
and re-purposing of old furniture.
Oriyen is growing up into a lovely young lady of
eleven. Not sure how we will communicate now that she’s enrolled in a French
immersion. She’s a super big sister to River and the cousins whenever
we have a family gathering. We are super proud of Oriyen when she
had her lovely long blond hair cut and is donating the braid to cancer
care. Oriyen has a caring heart and she shows that in everything she does.
River – the perfect name as she is always on the
move. She had her third birthday in June and is speaking so well
for this age. As she’s always in motion, dance classes were the perfect
fit for her. She loves them, and I am sure we’ll be treated to a show when
she gets together with cousins Inara and Tayla. River likes to tease and
her laughter is infectious. Wonder if she will have gotten through her
“Knock Knock Jokes” stage when we next see her?
China-Li is HOME to STAY! She completed her year-long
radiology fellowship at Harvard affiliated Brigham Hospital in Boston,
Mass. in June. It was a rewarding year of working and learning
for her, but she’s happy to be back in Winnipeg. China is part of the Winnipeg
Health Sciences Radiology group, working at HSC and other hospitals
in the area. We love having her close by and coming home more frequently.
China’s partner Ryan is the perfect fit for her
and for our family. Working in his own web design business PEBKAC.ca,
Technology Solutions from his home office allows him more freedom to
pursue some of his other interests: taking care of China, hunting, cooking,
and handling DIY projects whenever he’s in Brandon. He’s always ready and
willing to pitch in and, and we so appreciate his handiwork in whatever
Bill is the ultimate “never-ending story”. There’s
always a project waiting for him, and he must get it done now! The running
joke is that I am always three minutes too early in calling him for meals,
etc. LOL! Not only does he put in gazillion hours on his on-going
project on Edgar Rice Burroughs
and the on-going book - Bill
& Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey. Aside from
these two major projects, he has others on a list
way too long to mention including a multitude of volunteer projects
for the community. A major push was made on completing the webpages
on our 28-day tour to Indo-china
in 2015, then on the 28-day
tour of India this past spring.
For Sue-On, fall term teaching English to international
students at Brandon University has just finished. It was a challenging
year as the enrollment jumped to 75 students. Teaching and marking papers
for my 24 students was time consuming. However, there was still time
for cooking and of course, gardening -- it was another summer of colourful
Besides our travels to India in the spring, we went to a
Burroughs Dum-Dum Convention
in Morris, Illinois, just outside of Chicago in August. It’s always good
times to meet up with old friends with the same interest.
Come April, Bill and I will be taking our second
trip to China along with my brother Kenny Choy and s-i-l Rebecca.
Perhaps the highlight will be the extra days after the organized tour with
Sinorama. We will be in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and taking
a private tour to my birth place and family
home (which we still own) in Toisan. We are also hoping to include
a short trip to Hong Kong, to visit places from my early childhood (1950
– 1958). It will be special for Bill as well as his dad was in Hong
Kong with the Royal
Canadian Navy for the liberation of the prisoners of war in 1945.
China and Ryan will be joining us for the visit to Toisan.
We have just begun preparations for Xmas: picking up the
tree, baking dozens of shortbread cookies, and looking for the perfect
gift. In that spirit, we wish you and your families a Joyous Christmas
and All the Best in 2017!
Love and best wishes,
Bill, Sue-On and Family