2008 Greetings from Colombe, Simcha and Jeremy

The Year We Went Green (and black and blue)

Please let us know you were here!

Please send a note to Simcha or Colombe to let us know you visited here. We are trying to have a more accurate email list for next year to avoid sending as many postcards as possible.

Hi all,

Because of what happened last December 31, Simcha didn't want to chance writing this before the year ended. At least that's his story. We hope you'll excuse the delay in getting this to you.

On New Year's Eve Day of 2007, a simple game of ball with Jeremy's wrestling team put Simcha out of commission for a couple of months. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and went for a month of rehab before having surgery, which was followed by another couple of months of therapy. Colombe got to do a lot of nursing and was the sole driver in the household for two months. Guess who was happy when the physical therapists gave the green light on Simcha being able to go through red lights again? Simcha spent part of his time trying to invent better ways to lie in bed with a laptop.

January and February were also the heart of the wrestling season. Jeremy started the season wrestling at 152 and 160 pounds, but ended the season wrestling at 140 and 145. He didn't get many victories last year, but he learned a lot and had a great team to be on. It's amazing how team-oriented a sport it is. The wrestlers are always there for each other.

Jeremy started taking electric guitar lessons in the spring. He started with playing Pink Floyd, but has branched to Hendrix and others. His ipod switches between listening to podcasts (Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Meet the Press, various gaming sites) and (mostly) rock music.

We went to the second annual Ethel Fair at Symphony Space in NYC. One of our good friends is the cellist in Ethel. They gather a different eclectic group of musicians each year to join them for a few hours of great music.

Simcha celebrated his 25th anniversary at IBM in May by traveling out to Rochester, Minnesota to go out to lunch with his team. It was his first time out there in six years, so it also meant meeting his current and previous managers for the first time. Simcha really appreciated the letters of congratulation sent to him by his friends and colleagues. Colombe will celebrate her 25th in 2009.

Our musical find this year was Jonathan Coulton. Most of his songs are humorous, but they have a way of sticking in your head. The best description of his music is "geek rock". Any gamers in your household may know his work, as he wrote the final song for the video game Portal ("Still Alive"). Computer folks may know him for "Mandelbrot Set". Simcha saw him in concert in Minneapolis, and then the three of us saw him twice.

Colombe is in a transition period as president of the local chapter of National Council of Jewish Women. She is sharing the presidency this year and Simcha will happily be calling her "past president" by the middle of 2009.

During the summer, Jeremy went to the Joe Namath football camp, which is now held in Danbury, and to two wrestling camps, one local and one in Binghamton with his team.

We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on July 30 by reminding each other it was our 20th anniversary.

Jeremy played line on the junior varsity football team this year. He didn't get as much playing time as in years past, but his team did well, going 7-3 for the season. The varsity team had a great year, winning both the conference and state championships.

Change Hope Maverick Change Hope Joe the Plumber - lots of wild parties at the Gralla household in November (okay, just a bit of dancing and screaming).

On November 29, Colombe became a bat mitzvah. She did a wonderful job, as did her compatriots Judy and Will. We were happy to have many of you there, and we know that those who weren't were there in spirit. Simcha is relieved to no longer have to wear earplugs to bed each night, as that was when Colombe would practice her portions. Colombe is relieved to no longer have to beat up Simcha for wearing earplugs to bed.

As of this writing, Simcha has left the synagogue board, and is not looking for another board to join.

The wrestling season is in full swing. Jeremy has already won more varsity matches this year than he did all of last year. We can see a big improvement since last season. Jeremy also spent December in driver's ed (he turned 16 in October) and is eligible to take the test for his license in February. Please stay inside your houses in March.

Colombe's maternal grandmother, Simcha's cousin Bradley and Colombe's cousin Richard passed away this year. They will be missed.

Simcha's cousin Anne added a third boy to her brood. Now Albert and Anne have enough for a full game of bridge (what game of bridge could be considered full without a kibbitzer?)

We're thankful for all our friends, family, teachers, coaches, and everyone else not covered by one of the previous categories.

Here's hoping that you are doing well. We're counting on 2009 being a better year for knees and retirement accounts.

All our love,
Colombe, Simcha and Jeremy

Web pages to visit

Our email addresses

Simcha: Simcha@TheGrallas.com (note change: old ones will still work)
Colombe: Colombe@charter.net
Jeremy: jerbear.jerbear@gmail.com (note change)

Simcha and Jeremy are both available on Facebook; Colombe has a life.

Pictures from 2008

Colombe receiving menorah Jeremy's school picture Jeremy and Valerie

Colombe receiving a menorah for Christmas

Jeremy's school picture

Jeremy with his cousin Valerie

Colombe receiving menorah Motzi at b'nei mitzvah

Jeremy and his cousin Marie-Pier
(don't worry, the drinking age in Canada is 12)

Will, Colombe and Judy saying the blessing over the challah

Jeremy's football team

The Brookfield Varsity football team
(Jeremy is right in the middle of the top row)

Pictures of the camera-shy

The following pictures could have been taken of Simcha if anyone else in the family used a camera (well, probably not):