Holiday Greetings

The Martin Family

It has been a tumultuous year for The Martin Family. After 12 wonderful and always joyous years in Switzerland, Nazy and I have returned to the United States. During our 40 years together, we have lived in many exotic places (including Texas). With this move to California, we continue our consistent path. But, as a result of our discombobulated relocation, many holiday traditions will be held in abeyance:

  • The (vast and colorful) Martin Family Tree ornament collection will spend 2012 unused in a container (on a ship) somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • The Martin Family will not gather at our home for the holiday. We don’t yet have a home for the holiday.

  • There will be no indoor Saturn Five-sized Christmas Tree in 2012. In Southern California, it’s not only the conifers that are evergreen - it’s also the grass, the bushes and the palm trees. More to the point, there are no readily accessible facilities with 5 meter ceilings

However, the important traditions will continue. The (extended) Martin Family will be together for the holidays. We will feast on traditional meals and treats (Christmas Sugar Cookies).

Crisis Notification: The Sugar Cookie recipe was inadvertently packed with Dan’s cowboy boots. We face a disaster ‘beyond your imagination’

Every relocation reveals a human tendency to acquire ‘stuff’ and engenders an equally human tendency to dispose of said ‘stuff’. However, stuff-disposing is not easy in Switzerland. We availed ourselves of the kind offer from a friend with access to a dumpster, took several trips to the various (clothes, electrical, green, office items, paper, cardboard, glass, metal, plastics, ceramics, explosives and radioactive) recycling centers. We sold some things and gave others away. I acquired a collection of stickers for the boxes that we couldn’t discard, but didn’t want. (Then I told the mover that I wouldn’t be upset if the “stickered” boxes ended up at the bottom of the ocean.) Nazy, more sentimental than me (except when it came to the dinning room table) suggested alternatives.

“We can just store the excess, Dan.”

“We stored ‘excess’ in California for 12 years,” I replied. “And most of that was what we stored when we moved to The Netherlands. Remember, my dear, that we are downsizing. As a seasoned corporate executive, I ‘know’ downsizing. We have to ruthlessly expunge those items that don’t cut the mustard. We can’t be swayed by sentiment, past service, or future potential. If its days are past, it cannot last. (Should be abused, if it can’t be used.) We will replace costly permanent furniture with ‘temps’ from China. We don’t need to bring appliances, we can outsource those. If we were a company, we’d be cutting back on the number of family members...”


We have far too much stuff to fit in a smaller
place. We need to discard, dispose, eliminate and simplify.”

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify! Simplify!”
- H.D. Thoreau.

Fortunately our ship will be on the high seas until mid-January, so we can delay the disposal.

During 2012, Dan published his book (
Stumbling Through the Tulips) and updated his website. Ever artistic, Nazy continued her weekly painting. Because they suspected a residential change during 2012, Dan and Nazy did a lot of traveling in areas both near (Dijon, Milan) and far (Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt). Mitra and Stefan continued to shepherd the growth of Oxygen Tango (the world’s greatest Tango School). They created a membership approach and enjoy global recognition for Tango expertise and schooling. Darius took a sabbatical at the University of Cape Town, spent the summer in Santa Barbara (learning Tango), taught a seminar in Germany, toured remote Montana and then returned to the American University of Beirut - where he claims that he ‘never goes anywhere’. Melika continued legally arranging corporate deals. But, more to the point, she also announced her engagement to Tom; together they will become The Adams Family. (One ‘d’ will distinguish them from the TV program.)

bubble family 1 copy

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