Greetings from the Borcherts!

We are finally finishing up loose ends from 2004, as we recover from the last New Year’s Eve party at our house in Golden Valley.  We shared the house with son Mike and 60 of his closest friends at a Masquerade Ball that was an event to remember – but we are getting ahead of ourselves.  Last New Year’s Eve in Golden Valley?  What is that about?  Read on for the details as we take you through the last year or so.

·         Tom, Elizabeth, Mike, Karen, Pat, and Dave attend friend Molly’s wedding in June of 2003.  We have also enjoyed the moving wedding of John Borchert and Amy Melquist in August of 2003 as well as the beautiful Science Museum wedding of Paul Heinecke to Kit Shelton in July of 2004, and again, as spectators at a pirate wedding in August, 2004 (see description below). 

·         Karen with her Nor’Wester group, after returning from a 28 day backpacking trip in July 2003 through the Bitterroot mountains.  They bushwhacked over ridges and rearranged routes to avoid wildfires on this challenging and memorable trip.  They also managed to find time to all knit hats.

·         At least it snows somewhere in the Midwest (just not in Minnesota).  Dave and Pat took a break from a fun murder mystery weekend, “Death by Chocolate”, around Valentine’s Day, 2004, at sister Dianne’s Cherry Hills lodge.  We dusted off the cross country skis, gliding through the forest and along the shore of Lake Michigan, enjoying the bright blue wintery day.

·         Dave visited Jane twice during her winter escape to San Diego in spring of 2004.  On an outing to the Quail Botanical Gardens, Jane enjoyed a walk through tropical flowers.

·         Spooky now owns a complete set of decorations to make her life interesting all year.  Here, we see her decorated for Easter, and appropriately nestled into a box of Easter basket grass.

·         2004 was a year of many milestones for Karen as she made her transition from high school to college.  Karen was pretty as a picture for Prom. 

·         Karen’s creative problem solving team (Destination Imagination) ended their career with a bang.  They were awarded the coveted DaVinci award for their creative solution (see next description).

·         The DI Team in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they competed with their Picasso-style Easter Island heads, their vehicle with square wheels, and a plot that alluded to the demise of a society. One of those heads still graces the entry to our house, joining other props from previous years distributed around the house as part of the décor.

·         Karen graduated from Hopkins High School on a fine evening in June, in the company of her proud parents.

·         Not everyone at Borchert and Associates is as hard-working as Dave – here we see an associate napping at his desk.

·         We took advantage of a coincidence: For a variety of reasons, most members of the Borchert family were traveling to Europe in June so we scheduled a week-long stay in the old Ferry House on the Isle of Mull in the inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland.

o        Sheep were everywhere!  In this picture, Dave is on a hike in the Lakes District. Later in the trip, Karen and Katharina could often be found cooing over the sheep of Mull. 

o        Before getting to Mull, Dave and Pat toured and hiked the Highlands.  We enjoyed spectacular views such as this one, along with an exhilarating sampling of the range of Scottish weather.

o        Kendoll, our Scottish guide, pointed across the Firth of Lorn towards the peak of Ben Nevis on the Scottish mainland.  Karen and Nate met Kendoll in an Edinburgh store and due to Dave’s birthday celebration, he joined us for the duration of the trip.

o        A day at sea yielded two tasty Mackerel caught by Pat, whale sightings, and excursions into storied coves narrated by our local skipper from Iona. Here we see the whole crew:  Elizabeth, Mike, Katharina, Tom, Dave, Pat, Karen and Nate.  If you want a version big enough to identify the faces, point your web browser to

o        We spent a fine afternoon on a “beach walk” along the South Coast of Mull.  The scenery was beautiful but the trail was a difficult scramble over skree and jagged rock along the base of high sea cliff.  As Mike and Tom discovered, the path was tough enough to kill a mountain goat.


o        Our house for the week was on remote Grass Point, on the shores of the Firth of Lorn, where we sighted seals, otters, birds, and birdwatchers.

·         Expecting to complete her dissertation in 2005, Pat started her national search for a position as an Assistant Professor in management.  Knowing we would be moving “soon”, we began the process of cleaning and updating the house and yard.  Removal of the old garden took away the old pet cemetery.  A last photo of the headstones commemorates five fine dwarf Siberian hamsters.  Hopefully they won’t now haunt the house with the squeak of hamster wheels.

·         Katharina, Tom, Mike, Pat, and Dave attended Yishan and Kimberly Algeri-Wong’s pirate wedding in Las Vegas.  Arrrg we having fun yet?  Indeed, we arrrg.  Tom will have less time to do such things in the future, as he now splits his time between his job at Community Viz and pursuing a MS in Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

·         Karen moved into her dorm room at Carleton College, in beautiful Nourse Hall. Quoting from her first email to Pat, “I love college, I really do. I’ve come home.  I still love you and the rest of the family, don’t worry.” 

·         Pat stood in a replica Sound of Music Gazebo as we visited Karen in Northfield to watch the one-act plays she stage-managed.  Karen works for the theater department, giving her an opportunity to continue spending time on a loved activity.  Also, this way, she avoids the dreaded food service campus jobs.  

·         Karen reached another milestone - her 18th birthday, complete with a chocolate amaretto ice cream cake, surrounded by friends and family.

·         Dave temporarily lost the use of the ping pong table as it was turned into the staging area for a “server farm”, hosting the video game being developed by Mike’s fledgling company, Areté Studios.  Mike and Elizabeth made a few transitions this year.  They moved in with us temporarily so that Elizabeth would have a shorter commute as she started a PhD program in Psychology.  Then, three months later, married student housing unexpectedly became available, so they moved again.  Now they live in St. Paul, but the server farm still lives here. 

·         Thanksgiving this year included members of our extended family – Rich Olsen (Elizabeth’s dad) and Carl Sand (Pat’s dad).  We welcome the chance to include many people in our feasts – always let us know if you are “in town” – we would love to see all of you.

·         Last, but not least, there is a picture of Duluth, downloaded from the University of Minnesota, Duluth web page. While intrigued with the idea of moving west (Pat interviewed in California and was invited to interview in January in Utah and Oregon), we were thrilled when Pat was offered a position in the Management department of the UMD business school, starting next fall.  We plan to move to Duluth during the summer of 2005.  But, wait. That’s next year’s story.

Through all the ongoing changes in our lives we hang on to those things we consider dear.   Most precious to us are our family and friends. We are looking forward to 2005, as we forge ahead, adapting to the shifts in all our lives.   

 Peace and Love,

 Dave and Pat