2015 Annual Letter from Kurt & Marieluise Riegel

January 1, 2016

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Prior years' letters here


  Kurt & Maise, at home  


So here we are in a new year, 2016, yay! Naturally, our best wishes go out to you again.

Here's a brief digest, spiced with a few photographs, to give you an inkling of what happened to us last year. We hope that you'll catch us up on your events also.

In restrospect, this year was kind of "more of the same" with no radical departures from a mode of life that we appear to have happily settled into.

Hmmmm .... maybe it's time to shake things up a bit next year, if only to make these annual letters more interesting? Suggestions are welcome.



  Quentin, Kevin , Alex, Zack, Liz, Katie, Hunt, Ryan,
Jane, Maise, Kurt, Andrew, Jack, Eden, Henry

At Thanksgiving we had a nice little gathering at the family place, Gulchleigh, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

We were with Kurt's mother Jane for Christmas 2015, arriving to find her a bit under the weather. With the good efforts of Susan, Tanya, and Maise she was exercised reluctantly but effectively, and was clearly more full of vim and vigor when we left than when we arrived.

We look forward to celebrating her 106th birthday with her on January 14.

Maise's father Werner continues life in Hannover, Germany. Maise visited him and her sister Stefanie again last summer for family reunion, birthday celebration (Werner's 96th) and the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfest.)


Life in Annapolis

Maise's expanded her Maisestudio operation on Etsy, and is creating ever more marvelous works of fabric art for ladies around the world. The market tells her that women with large proportions are attracted to her wares, perhaps because they so dazzle the eye that one is distracted from avoirdupois that would otherwise be evident? She repeated her participation in an ALS Boutique benefit show, with a nice article in the local newspaper about it. In warm weather her garden is her passion, a marvel to all who pass by. We were given beauty of course, with a bonus of tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, red and green peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, apples, cherries, and more.

Kurt taught his course in Environmental Compliance Management at Johns Hopkins University and will teach it again starting in a few weeks. Civic engagement continued as a member of the Annapolis Environmental Commission, the Severn River Commission, board of the Severn River Association, board of the West Annapolis Civic Association. His 6 cages of oysters hang on neighbor Connie Ramirez's dock, cleansing Weems Creek before they are transplanted each year to an oyster reef on the Severn River. He's been closely involved with several groups encouraging practices to improve marine water quality in Annapolis' four creeks, through formal application for EPA creation of a No Discharge Zone. He represents Ward 2 on the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee.

Activities abound, from a film festival that is getting bigger and better every year, to a nice Art Between the Creeks show that is loads of fun, to Midnight Madness shopping in the historic district, .... etc.


And More

Twin passions of sailing and skiing were ours, with trips all over the Chesapeake Bay. Treats for us are rafting up with friends Ed and Linda and others. At Shaw Bay on the Eastern Shore, we rafted up wit Them Eastport Oyster Boys, for their wonderful music. David and Linda Krantz hosted their annual convening of Rockbridge County musicians and it was a joy to attend. Sam treated us to a fine bluegrass concert in Baltimore's Druid Hill Park.

We had a nice reunion with Heinz Wendlandt, whom Kurt hadn't seen since 1966 at the University of Maryland, on the Nanticoke River which has an amzing narrow offshoot into wetlands that is exceptionally deep for Chesapeake tributaries.

We skied at Park City with Ed and Linda Gray with their daughter Bonny Mitchell. Everybody did well but Kurt, who had a poorly-timed sciatica attack. The Seldom Scene appeared again the Limekiln Theater in Lexington Va, regrettably minus the oldest member Ben Eldridge who had staged his own sciatica attack in sympathy with Kurt.

Kurt's longest voyage, single-handed since Maise was unenthusiastic this time, was October 5-14, just after a hurricane in hopes of having some good wind. There were good and bad wind days: Annapolis-Hoopers Island-Point Lookout-Potomac River-Piankatank River-Wicomoco River-Patuxent River-South River-Annapolis. The southern bay is much more alive than the Annapolis area, much fishing, crabbing, and scores of pelicans everywhere. Adventures and dangers, almost hitting a fish trap before dawn which was seen at the last minute only because I was scanning ahead with a high power laser pointer. Also, I badly misjudged the direction and force of the wind, putting up a gennaker when conditions did not allow, thereby losing over an hour in recovering in a somewhat risky situation. But it was invigorating, a rigorous experience to get the sailing bug out of my system for the winter. The final indignity was taking on about 40 gallons of water, found to come from a leaky engine seawater pump that needs repair.

Family and Our Children ... Wow

  Vero & Tanya  


Tanya Riegel has very nearly concluded on her largest film so far, The Finest Hours, which is to be released in January 2016. The trailers are in the theaters, even though the film is not yet, quite.

During its filming in Quincy MA Kurt visited the set, and was thrilled to see genius, technology, and money at work. Veronique is putting the finishing touches on her Paris apartment, what nicer escape from Hollywood could there be?

This Christmas, we were joined by Tanya and her mom Susan for a nice visit with Jane Riegel at Gulchleigh.


  Maximus, Sam, Kestrel, Quyen  



Sam Riegel and Quyen changed houses in LA's Silverlake with a view toward snagging strong schools for their children Maximus and Kestrel.

Quyen's work as a cinematographer and Sam's as a director of voice talent for Disney cartoons continue, stimulating and productive, in addition to many other interesting and exciting pursuits.

  Eden, Henry, Jack, Andrew  



Eden Riegel and Andrew Miller made two trips east to visit with us. The first trip was difficult because Henry came down with a nasty chest malady that caused way too many visits to emergency rooms from Toronto, to New York, to Maryland. Annapolis was rated highly by our Californians as the go-to place for pediatric care.

The second, at Thanksgiving, was more enjoyable and Jane got to see the California grandkids, and everybody got to tramp the land. It was hunting season, which put many of us in blaze orange in hopes that we would not get shot by careless hunters. All survived.

Eden and Andrew continue with more Hollywood projects than we can keep track of, exciting times!


  Emily, Pasha, Jamie, John  



Pasha and John Marlowe continued life in New Hampshire, but have sold their beautiful barn/house/fitness center in preparation for moving to Maryland this coming summer..

Josh is enrolled in Detroit's College for Creative Studies for car design. Emily is finishing high school and will soon be college bound, and Jamie alone will save them from becoming empty-nesters.

  Tonya and Kevin  



Tonya and Kevin continue to teach at Victoria University in beautiful Wellington, New Zealand and are about to purchase land for a custom home overlooking the ocean..

  Taya and Mark  



Mark and Taya Stewart worked long and hard on their new house in Silver Spring for a most ambitious renovation that is transforming an old and very tired house into a showcase of art and craftsmanship that will long serve this new family.

Mark continues as sustainability manager for the University of Maryland in College Park, and Taya teaches elementary school in Montgomery County.

Pictorial Supplement

(click and be amazed)


May health and happiness be with you during 2016. Enjoy life, create memories, and let the small stuff go. Have a wonderful year, keep in touch with us, come visit or sail with us on Starducks, and we look forward to seeing you soon!


Address   307A Monterey Ave, Annapolis MD  21401
E-mail   Kurt.Riegel@gmail.com       Marieluise.Riegel@gmail.com   
Verizon cell       410.507.2999   410.997.2241
Facebook   facebook.com/kurtriegel   facebook.com/marieluiseriegel
Skype name   kurt.riegel   marieluise.riegel


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