Christmas Card 2002

This is the text I'm sending out with my Christmas cards this year. It's the recap mostly for the offline relatives on what's happened over the year, so for you online types, there's probably not much that's new in here. Then again, I haven't written it all yet, so I don't know.

Season's Greetings! It's time to send out the Christmas cards, which gives me a chance to tell everyone what's been up during this past year. We've had another odd fall, and with no snow on the ground, it's taken me a long time to start thinking about Christmas. I hope I get this done and mailed soon enough that it won't be a New Year's Card.

There haven't been major changes in my personal life. I'm still a single guy, living in rental housing. The price for a house in my neighborhood stabilized after a number of years of huge growth, and I'm hoping that when the market picks up again in the spring, I might be able to find something I can afford. The current market means that a house around here will set me back about a quarter-million, and that's just too much. There have been houses on the market for less, but they've either been in a neighborhood I don't want to live in, or have needed a lot of work, which would require more money right away.

This summer was my 20th reunion at St. John's Prep. It was nice to go up there and see folks I went to high school with, but there were a lot of people who didn't make it that I would've liked to see. The school's made a lot of changes since I've been there, but the campus still feels pretty comfortable. The problems with sexual abuse were a big topic during the reunion, since some of it was happening while we were there, but none of us who showed up were involved in it, so it was mostly idle speculation. I think St. John's Abbey is handling it pretty well now. At least they don't seem to be in denial like the diocese out in Boston is.

This fall, I went on vacation to Winnipeg, Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco. I took the train across Canada and down the west coast. I'm no longer surprised that Amtrak is in such tough financial shape. My words of advice on the subject: if you think you might ever want to take a train across the country, you'd better do it soon. I don't think Amtrak's going to survive for many more years. The trip was a much-needed break from my regular schedule, and I enjoyed wandering around the cities.

On the business side, Polaschek Computing is coming up on its fourth year. I'm up to four employees at the moment (all part-time), and the plan of slow and steady growth is still on-track. The web-hosting business is growing enough that it's almost paying for itself, and the Macintosh programming business provides steady income. I keep hoping that I can make the web stuff a bigger part of the business, but it's tough building a new business from scratch, even the second time around.

Family History update

I haven't made much of progress on the family history work this year. I've hit a roadblock at Jozef Polaszek—I know when he and the family came over from Poland, but I haven't been able to find anything about them from the other side of the ocean. I'm starting to think I may need to make a trip to Poland to find more, but I'd like to have a little more information before I make that trip. It's not that I've lost interest, but my days have been full enough that I don't find the time to go sit and sort through microfilmed records. While there's more information on the internet every year, there's still a lot that you can only get by digging through musty old records, and that takes more time than I've had. I'm hoping that I can pry loose some time next summer to head down to South Dakota and see if there's any more information there. I'm hoping there might be something in the Brule County records (where Jozef naturalized), perhaps under one of the various misspellings of his name (Pollassek and Polasick) or in the Hutchinson County records, where they owned land before moving to Minnesota. There's also the genealogy records that the Mormons have, but I haven't found the time to do that research, either.

Peter Polaschek and Frances Blanchard
Peter Polaschek and Frances Blanchard

I have put together a few booklets listing all the descendents I know of Jozef and Anna Polaszek. If you're interested in one, drop me a note. I'm (very slowly) working on an new version of it with some pictures and copies of original documents, but I'd like to find more pictures and documents before I dive into printing something like that up. To do it the way I'd like looks like it'll cost at least $20 a copy for printing, so I don't want to do a shoddy job.

After spending a fair amount of time scanning in pictures from Grandma Frances' photo albums, I had a hard drive crash, and it's starting to look like I'm going to have to re-scan all those pictures. I think I've got a backup somewhere on CD, but I haven't been able to find it. It feels like one step forward and two back some days.

I've also been working on my mom's side of the family. Everyone there came to America between 1870 and 1900. I'm hoping records from Sweden appear on the net soon so I don't have to make too many trips to Europe to do research. I expect I will have to go to Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary to do some research on that part of the family, but I've been hoping to get back to Austria one of these years anyhow.

Well, that's the highlights for this year. Hope all is well with you and yours.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:07:49.