Elizabeth Johnson's family and friends WELCOME you!





"The best gift was found in a manger!  The best gift anyone can receive is Jesus."

Teresa Vasko

Here are Elizabeth and Homer in the early 1980s. Earl and Dixie had just been married and they went to visit all of Earl's siblings (the Original Gang of Ten). The newly married Dixie took this snapshot of the Johnsons.


Will, Cynthia, Teresa, John, JJ


Dear Paul,

The newsletter was great. The plan for the cousins' reunion sounds wonderful. You and Rod are amazing at keeping the cousins close. Thank you for all you do. So glad you were at our 50th party. The write-up in the Gardner Newsletter was very nice. I still and always love the pictures you sent in that lovely frame. You are special.




Click HERE to see some pictures of John and Teresa Vasko's 50th wedding anniversary held in Lyndon, VT on August 4, 2018

Merry Christmas 2017 from John and Teresa Vasko



Dear Paul,

Great to see you twice this past year. Hope you got a lot of good info for the Gardner Newsletter. I enjoyed hearing from cousins who couldn't come. Lois got nearly 50 cards! She did seem to enjoy the party.

Enjoy the holidays.

Love, Teresa

Merry Christmas 2016 from John and Teresa Vasko

Joan Johnson reports about the passing of her husband, Gardner Cousin, Glenn. Glenn was the very first grandchild of Will and Olive Gardner, the parents of the "Original Gang of Ten."

Greetings from Joan Johnson

A lot of changes. I had promised Glenn he would die in Vermont. On May 17th, a friend, Phyliss, and I drove to Vermont without stopping. We stopped at the Pines, but they had no beds as there had been a temporary closing at another nursing home, so off to the Lynburke Motel. They helped us get Glenn into the wheelchair. After we had settled in, we asked two farm workers staying there to help us get him into bed. Then I went to St. Jay Rehab, where our granddaughter works, and she was able to get him a bed, but not for two days. Kat and a friend came up that night and showed us how to move him, change him, etc. Glenn knew Kat right off and got very excited to see her.

I drove back and forth from Florida to be with Glenn and to look for a house to buy on a VA loan. Glenn was having trouble swallowing. On the first of October, the nursing home called to tell me Glenn had lost 12 pounds. I packed up and left that day. I knew it was time. He died on October 19th. I was grateful for both of us, and also very sad and lost, knowing I cannot be with him.

My heart is still acting up, and my hip and back are never pain free. I had put the Florida place up for sale in February. I stopped being a caregiver facilitator and started packing. I sold the house on November 2nd, to be out on December 2nd. I never got a house, but I have a nice apartment in East Burke. I moved via U-Haul December 10th and 11th.

I am happy to to be back in Vermont and had a great Christmas with family. Now Kathryn is expecting a baby in August. (Grammie is very excited about this.) I want to hold my great grandchild.

Burial of Glenn's Ashes:

April 23, 2016 - 10:30 a.m.

Hillside Cemetery, East Charleston, VT


Vasko Christmas - 2015


Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! 2014-2015

Not much has changed. I am just tired and wishing I was in Vermont, snow and all. All I want is a RV so I can come and go as I please. Nice "dream."
Glenn is hanging in there. He is physically healthy but the "Alz" just steals a little bit more of him all the time. Some days he can't see now. He's still eating well. They have to use a standup lift to get him up and down. It is better than a Hoyer lift.
Angela and Jim are still in Waterford. Their youngest, Carrie, is busy and always on the go now that she has her license and a used car and working at a Miini Mart after school. She has dropped sports. I wish she hadn't. Kathryn is still at a local nursing hom working with dementia residents. She is living at home to save money. Samantha and Nate are on the farm with pigs and chickens. She loves to garden and can and freeze. He works away from home during the week. They now have dog. I guess that means no kids for a while.
Adam, my 28 year old grandson, suprised me an e-mail in September to say, "Hi. I am in Gainesville, FL." He is working as a chef for Embers, a supper club, very high-end. He loves being a chef. The rest of the time it's smartphone and any new gadget. I spent three hours with him one Sunday and got caught up with on what he had been doing. He lives with five other boys in a three bedroom home. The house is clean, but cluttered. It surprised me that even the bathroom was clean.
Priscella is still in Seward, Alaska. I don't hear from her. I just send notes and gifts often. It is hard when they don't call you or drop a note.
I didn't travel this year. I missed getting away. I'm trying to get caught up on my work to my mobile home. I put down vinyl in all my rooms. It's easier with pets. I do have a new Green-Cheek Conure. She is turquoise color and I bought her this summer as a baby. Turkey is a companion for Squeaky. It took three weeks to get them to live together. I don't do much on Facebook, but it allows me to see what the family is doing. I still prefer e-mail. I have a smartphone tracphone and I'm still learning to use it. The last thing I bought was an 8 1/2 foot teddy bear blow-up for Christmas decorating. I'm still doing my crafts and cooking.

John and Teresa Vasko Christmas - 2014

Happy 2014 from Joan and Glenn Johnson

Another year – the biggest change is Glenn.  As of July, 2013, he is in a wheelchair.  He can’t talk, feed himself or anything.  He is either in bed or in the chair. It’s very hard on me to see him like this.  I try to go at a time when I can feed him his meal.  He is low-man on the totem pole at the nursing home.

I have dealt with a lot of depression and panic attacks.  I am finally getting a handle on it.  Recently, I’ve been able to go out in crowds a bit.  I feel this is the result of 19 years of watching Glenn go downhill as well as the death of Billy; it will be two years this last December.  I still look for the sunshine in everyday things and the dogs make me laugh and give me lots of kisses.

I still have a white ferret, “Baby,” four finches, 3 parrotlets, and “Squeaky” a parrot.  I lost “Little Bear” to a rattlesnake bite at the end of June.  He saved my life by being ahead of me and the other dogs on the path.  So now there is just “Miss Pepper” and “Whiskers.”

I’m still facilitating at the Alzheimer’s caregivers group.  I help a friend here in the park and her husband as she recovers from a near death experience.  And I support a few others too.

Now the fun stuff.  At the end of May, early for St. Johnsbury Academy, my middle granddaughter, Kathryn, graduated from St. Jay with her LNA and a job.  I am so proud of her.  She had such a struggle with school and look at how she did!  While up north, I had a breakfast reunion with the Class of 1958 of Sheffield Grade School.  Betty Jewel Hale, Geraldine Pacquin Nelson, Geraldine’s sister, Nancy, and I attended.  It was held at the Miss Lyndonville Diner.  We stayed until they asked us what we wanted for lunch.  It is amazing how we all have lead parallel lives.  Yet, we have all made it through.  Geraldine and I both lost a son and we are both breast cancer survivors – not to mention husbands with fatal illnesses.  Sheffield grows a hardy group!

On September 28th, my oldest granddaughter, Samantha, got married to Nathaniel Coutu.  She orchestrated it perfectly.  Her nickname was the “Barbie Doll Bride.”  Her sisters and two friends were the bridesmaids.  The groom is an Afghan vet and his buddy was his best man and his brother and two friends stood by him.  It was a two day event that I will always treasure.

It was cold, though, - temperatures in the sun were in the 60’s.  At night it was in the 40’s.  The fall colors made it worth the trip too.  I wore three layers to the wedding because the heat wasn’t on in the church and the reception was held in a tent.  Carrie filmed a video of the bride and groom for the rehearsal dinner.  She is so talented, - sports, soccer, track, and basketball.  As a sophomore she is on the varsity basketball team.  Priscella is in Alaska and is still an A student.  She enjoys art, science, math and her friends.  I’m not sure if it’s in that order or not; I don’t hear from her much.

I hope this letter finds you and your family and friends well and busy.





Top: Cousin Glenn Johnson relaxing in his room.

Next Center: Nate and Samantha's wedding.

Next Left: Joan Johnson and her friend Geraldine Pacquin Nelson.

Next Right: Samantha and Family.

Next Center: Kathryn and her two grandmothers.

Next Center: Kathryn and her sisters.


Vasko Christmas - 2013

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year

I am late! It seems that is the story of 2012. The highlight of the year was that my youngest granddaughter (Carrie in Vermont) graduated from Waterford Grade School on June 11th. It was held at St. Johnsbury Academy because the class was so big that the school gym was not big enough for all the families to be there. I don't have favorites; they get more beautiful at each graduation.The picture is of me, Carrie and Julie Daniels on June 11, 2012.

Kathryn graduates from high school in June 2013 and the oldest, Samantha, will get married on September 23rd. So I will be in Vermont twice in 2013.

I missed my high school 50th reunion because I just didn't think. I don't plan ahead much because of Glenn.

Now for the rest of the news. Glenn is going downhill again. More signs of the Alzheimers is affecting him physically. He is now stooped over and doesn't show much response to people and things. He can still shuffle around for a short time and then he has to sit down for a long time. He had a cold in November. it seems that's when the whole nursing home gets it.

I had a scare in August when my heart medicine stopped working. They switched me to a new one that that didn't work, so I just doubled my old one. I still tire easily. Otherwise, my dogs and pets keep me busy. I have bingo on Monday and then trips to the nursing home. There is one big change, though, I am now a "facilitator" at the Alzheimers support group I go to. I received training in June and then got my certificate. There was a shake-up of the staff and the facilitators at the church, so I volunteered to help. After seven years, I felt I could be of help. I love doing it!

Priscella is doing well in Alaska. She bounced back from the loss of her father. Her mother, Esther, now has a cleaning business. Priscella still loves her art and is a sraight A student.

Angela has a new job at Days Inn. She's a hostess in the morning and at night she works at Subway. She left Jim in July but is back and they are working on their relationship. I guess she learned that the "grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence."

It is hard to do the holidays this year. It has been a year since Billy died and two years since Carol died. My best friend here at the park has limited time due to congestive heart failure. I did decorate the outside, but not the inside. I got third place for my lights. Friends took me out to see the Christmas lights and we had ice cream and shakes after. That helped.

I have lots of support from friends and from my pets. Miss Pepper, Little Bear and Wiskers get me up and see to it that I get lots of exercise. Baby is my only ferret. Snow (hedgehog) is still here and I have four parrots and four finches.




Teresa Vasko's "eventful" June and July 2012 (from The Gardner Newsletter, Summer, 2012)

The months of June and July 2012 for Cousin Teresa Vasko have been a "mind-blowing" series of happenings.  As you can see from this issue, these events are the topics of several articles.


Let's go back to Rod and Irene Ames' 50th wedding anniversary celebration that was held at the United Church in Derby on June 23rd.


According to Teresa, she decided to attend at the last minute.  Like everyone who attended, she was having a great time applauding the happy couple when she spied Cindy Eggleston of Sanbornville, NH.  Cindy, of course, is an honorary subscriber to the newsletter because of her connection to Will Gardner's Lang side of the family.  In fact, both Teresa and Cindy were bridesmaids at Sandra Baraw's wedding many years ago.  Sandra is Aunt Edith's daughter and is also an honorary subscriber to the newsletter because of her connection to Will Gardner's Lang side of the family.  See "the Lang-Johnson-Eggleston Connection on "www.gardnernews.org."  They quickly got together to discuss old times.  Both ladies found out they had more in common than they ever could have dreamed.  They both had been math teachers for over 30 years!  How is that for serendipity?!


Cindy Eggleston and Teresa Vasko at Rod and Irene Ames' 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration 


On Monday, July 9, 2012, the house across the street from John and Teresa's home caught fire.  John and Teresa rent that house to a couple with several children.  The newspaper article reprinted here is from "The Caledonian-Record" and it records that event and its aftermath.


On July 15, 2012, Teresa made arrangements to take Aunt Lois on a boat cruise that plies the shores of Lake Memphremagog from Newport, VT into Canada.  This usual placid lake can be observed in a great view right from Aunt Lois' deck.  The cruise started off well until a rogue rain squall almost toppled the boat.  Read about it in the article below this one written by Cousin Teresa.


And Teresa has even more to report on what happened to her next in July!


She says, "The Stars and Stripes Parade has taken place in Lyndonville for 32 years.  When asked by the head of the Chamber of Commerce if I would be the Grand Marshal, I said, 'I thought you asked only old people to do that.'"


"Since she is young, she got a good laugh out of that.  I guess I am OLD!  I tried to find out why I was selected.  The theme was 'Community.'  I am a native and have lived here for all but 10 years of my life.  I also taught over 3,000 of the town's students.  It appears that the honor is for the volunteer things I have done since retirement.  I know there are many other well qualified people for the honor, but I had a fun time at the parade."


Cousin Teresa Vasko, Grand Marshal of the 2012 Lyndonville, VT Stars and Stripes Parade


Quick Response Saves Lyndon Home  By James Jardine, Staff Writer, The Caledonian-Record, Mon. July 9, 2012

An alert motorist and fast response from the Lyndonville Fire Department combined to knock down a potentially disastrous structure fire and save a family home.


On Sunday around 12:37 p.m., Tim and Gail Carpenter of Lyndon were driving along Back Center Road when they noticed smoke and flames in the upstairs window of a single-family, two-story home.  At that point, the residents, who were all on the first floor of the home, were unaware of the fire breaking out on the second story.  The Carpenters quickly alerted the Rumrill family, who live in the home, and the emergency was called in.


Even before the first firetruck arrived on scene, neighbors and passers-by had several garden hoses pouring water on the roof of the house and the siding in an effort to keep the house wetted down.  Everyone got out of the house as the Lyndonville Fire Department arrived on he scene minutes later along with an ambulance from Lyndon Rescue.  As firefighters arrived, thick, black smoke was pouring out of the second story window.  Within minutes, the flames had totally burned a hole around the window and the fire was gaining strength quickly.  Smoke began pouring out of a vent in the pitch of the roof on the other end of the house.


According to Lyndonville Fire Chief Greg Hopkins, firefighters extinguished the second story blaze within 10 to 15 minutes of mounting the attack.  After the fire was extinguished, firefighters assisted with the cleanup,.  He estimated most of the smoke and fire damage was confined to the second floor while there was some water damage on both floors.  While there was an electric fan operating in the second story window near the origin of the fire, Chief Hopkins could not conclusively identify the fan as the source of the fire.


The home was owned by Teresa Vasko, who lives across the street from the home, which is rented to Anthony Rumrill and Gidget Goutah-Lyon and their daughter Kyja Lyon-Rmrill, 5, son Skye Boutah, 16, daughter Jade Lyon, 18, and her daughter Xaryia Lyon, 18 months.  None of them suffered any injuries.


Assisting the Lyndonville Fire Department were trucks and crew from the St. Johnsbury Fire Department and the Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department.  The East Burke Fire Department provided station coverage.

Pictures of Teresa's house file from The Caledonian Record, on. July 9, 2012 


"Titanic-like" Event on Serene Lake Memphremagog  By:  Teresa Vasko

In June, I went on a cruise on Lake Memphremagog with Delta Kappa Gamma, a women teachers' organization.  I had first visited Aunt Lois and told her what I was doing.  She often sees this boat go by her home.  So she was watching for us and waved as we waved to her.  It occurred to me that day that she would enjoy going on a boat ride, so I made arrangements to take her out on July 15th.


We had a picnic lunch on her deck.  It was a very warm, sunny day.  We played three games of cribbage while waiting for the time to go to the boat.  I did call the boathouse to see if the cruise was still planned since there was a forecast for thunderstorms.  The owner said that there was only a 20% chance of a storm and the trip was still on.  So we put down our drinks and treat to share in the car and drove less than a mile down the road Lois lives on to the boat access.


We had a choice of being on the first story or on the top open deck.  Lois wanted to go on top, but was a little anxious about the stairs.  The owner allowed us to go on the boat before everyone else and Lois got up just fine.  it was hot and sunny, but on the water was a nice breeze.  We enjoyed the ride and the views. The owner told of the landmarks and sites as we passed.  Lois was able to enjoy the talk since she has new hearing aids.  We were having a lovely time.


Near the Canadian border, it started to rain.  A lady suggested that Lois might be more comfortable in a chair than on the padded benches that were vvery wet.  "Good idea," I thought, and got her the chair.  The workers on the boat were now swabbing the deck since the rain had intensified.  A horrible squall hit us.  The boat tilted and Lois skidded across the deck in the chair.  Now everyone was on the starboard side with a couple of ladies on the floor.  People were getting life jackets out.  Of course Lois and I were on the boat when the life jacket demonstration was given on land.  I did get one on Lois and someone helped me into one.  Now the boat was really tilted, like the Titanic.  We were instructed to move port side; however, that was uphill. There were about 35 people on ther boat,each helping others.  The storm didn't last long, but will long be in our memories.  One lady lost a gold earring while putting on the life jacket.  I found it!


You know the saying, "there are no atheists in a fox hole."  Well, there aren't any on a sinking ship either!  As I was praying for our safety, I remember reading that "Nearer my God to Thee" was played by the band as the Titanic sunk.  God saved us, thankfully.


When we were on dry land, one of the lady passengers came up to Lois and said, "When I grow up, I want to be just like you.  You were smiling he whole time."  Lois is ready to meet her maker!


I told Lois, "The next time I have a 'fun idea,' don't listen to me!"


Aunt Lois and Cousin Teresa on Lake Memphremagog




Season's Greetings

A Blessed New Year

This is the hardest Christmas letter I have ever written.  I pray that your New Year is filled with more joy than pain; more peace than struggles.


Glenn started the end of October by having a sudden downturn.  Of the four weeks in November, I spent almost every day at the nursing home.  He was in bed for days and not eating or being fed.  Then, at the end of the month, I had hospice come in.  He had lost 30 pounds.  He started to come back and walk a little, but fell five times in a week.  Now he has stabilized.  He walks unsteadily in a 10-foot circle and has to be fed.  There is very little response to people around him.


Then the anniversary of my sister Carol's death was on December 14th.  I had a rough time getting into the Christmas spirit.  I did decorate the yard and the house.  I thought I had made it through when on December 27th, Angela called to say, "Sit down!."  Billy was found dead December 2nd in Anchorage Alaska.  He froze to death.  Alcohol and drugs did him in.  Angela did a lot of internet paperwork.  There will be an internment in the spring in Alaska.  Telling Priscella was the hardest part.  I haven't mourned yet; I'm not sure now to feel.


Now the good news.  Recovery from the surgery I had on November 12, 2010 has gone well and I have more energy and can do more.  All four of my granddaughters are honor students.  Samantha is in her second year of college.  Kathryn is a junion in high school.  She plays soccer and works summers at Santa Land in NH.  Carrie play soccer for nine months and the other three months she plays basketball.  This is Jim's last year of coaching her.  Priscella is a straight A student busy with fishing and with her friends in the summer.  She is becoming a talented artist.  Adam is still on Martha's Vineyard cooking and running a pizza place.  Angela is at the same job.  Jim just started at Fairbanks Morse where Glenn's cousin, Dwayne, works.


I still have 3 dogs, 3 ferrets, one parrot, 4 finches, 3 parrotletts (miniature parrots the size of a canary) and a hedgehog.





Billy Joe Johnson

Billy Joe Johnson, 49, died Dec. 2, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Born Feb. 6, 1962, in Lyndonville, VT, he graduated from Lyndon Institute in 1980.  He spent three years in the Air Force and enjoyed the outdoors and people.

He is survived by a daughter, Priscella Stoltz of Seward, Alaska; parents, Glenn and Joan Johnson of Leesburg, Fla; sister, Angela Daniels and family of Waterford, VT; Uncle Harland Thompson of Long Island, NY; Aunt Teresa Vasko of Lyndonville, VT; Great Aunts Lois Cardwell of Newport, VT and Beulah Griffes of East Charleston, VT.

Services will be held in the spring at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Anchorage Alaska.

(All the families and friends of The Gardner Newsletter extend their sympathy to Glenn and Joan Johnson, to Angela Daniels and her family, and to Priscella Stoltz and her family for their loss.)

John and Teresa Vasko's 2011 Christmas Card (Click on the picture to view it full-size.)


Merry Christmas-2010 and a Happy New Year-2011    From:  Joan Johnson

Things are the same.  Things have changed.  That's how the year has gone.  Glenn is still in Arbor Village Nursing Home.  He is healthy and walks around the unit a lot and then sits with his eyes closed.  He mumbles and laughs at wherever he is in his mind.  He doesn't know me or respond to me.  The most response I have had lately was when I put a Hershey sugar-free chocolate in his mouth.

I had a cool winter for Florida; glad there wan't any snow.  Had lots of mornings in the 20's and now in December we are back in the same pattern again.  Glad I kept my down jacket.

I went to Vermont in June, the 4th rhough the 11th, and rented a camp on Harveys Lake.  Samantha graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy, the oldest granddaughter.  It was a five day event - Senior Prom Thursday - Friday - an underclassman concert, in which my middle granddaugher, Kathryn, sang in.  Saturday was awards and Sam got one for drafting (which was a new fieldhouse) and there was a BBQ at camp for family and friends.  Sunday was baccalaureate and Monday was the graduation.  So I only had Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to enjoy the lake and to kayak.  I had planned on two weeks, but my sister, Carol Hinkel, was fighting cancer and I wanted to spend time with her.  My brother, Harland, came up on Saturday with his wife, Eileen.  First time we had been together in 14 years.  Glad we did, as my sister died December 14th.

Kathryn is now a sophomore and doing well in school and sports.  Boyfriends come and go.  Carrie is still at Waterford grade school.  She does well in school and is outstanding in any sport she does.  Sam is now a freshman at Lyndon State College, working and keeping an old beat-up truck running.  Angela still is part-time with the Post Office and works for a garage as a secretary.  Jim is keeping the state buildings running in "St. Jay" as an electrician.

Esther and Priscella are still in Seward, Alaska.  Priscella is still getting A's in school and her art skills are getting better all the time.  She swims at the pool and plays with friends in the summer.  She is always fishing.  We don't know where Billy is; he left a year ago last July.

I had a CAT scan in December, 2009 and I needed an operation for a hiatal hernia, but it took until October to find a surgeon who could do the job.  So, on November 12th I had the surgery.  I am still recovering; I was on a liquid diet for a month.  Now I can eat again in time for Christmas.  My stomach and part of my intestines were up in my chest.  I can breathe again.




John and Teresa Vasko's 2010 Christmas Card (Click on the picture to view it full-size.)

Read Joan Johnson's Christmas 2009 newsletter by clicking here.


VASKO Christmas 2009  (Click on the picture to view it full-size.)

Click here to read Teresa and John's 2009 Christmas Newsletter.


  Teresa and John Vasko


Merry Christmas

A Blessed New Year!

Where is Joan this year?

I am back in Leesburg, FL.  I sold my boat and bought a 2/2 doublewide in Spanish Village, four miles south of Holiday, on Route 27.  I am on the outer edge near lots of fields and woods.  Great place to let the dogs run.  I CHICKENED out.  I couldn't face another winter up north.  Yes, I said dogs.  In February I bought off the internet a pomeranian, black male, "Little Bear."  He is not training well; I thought he was dumb, but now I know he is just stubborn.  I got him because Miss Pepper stopped playing and just got lazy.  It worked.  They play together and Little Bear enjoys the ferrets as playmates too.  My zoo has grown.  I still have two ferrets Cindy and now Rickey, a year old male, a rescue.  Ali passed in July.  My neighbor had baby parrots and now I have a green cheek conure.  Then the vet's son no longer wanted his blue-tongued skink - so he joined the zoo.  My Christmas present to myself is a baby albino hedgehog, Snow.  All this keeps me busy and smiling.

Glenn is still at Grafton and he now has a private room that is decorated in Red Sox stuff.  I would move permanently to Florida but I haven't found a placement down here in Florida, so I am between both places.  Glenn has his friends in the unit plus is helpful with the staff.  He enjoys the farm and has a favorite cow and pig.  He loves being a helper on trips to WalMart.  The staff took him home to see a moose and her calf; another trip he went to some Little League games.

Adam was home in October for a week,  - first time in over two years.  He is learning to be a chef.  He cooked two meals for the family and Glenn and I.  He is doing very well; I was impressed.  He says he has found his niche.

Sam is still busy with sports and working at a Subway.  She has her license and has done well so far.  She is a junior this year.  She has a steady, Chris.

Kathryn is in 8th grade, ready to move on to high school.  She has her dress for graduation.  They wear two - one gown for the ceremony and one for the after-parties. She has a steady, Mike.

Carrie is busy with sports and dance.  She is learning to be quite the photographer and does great in school.

Priscella - Billy's daughter - is now 5 and is getting tall.  She and her mom, Esther, are still in Seward and Billy is in Anchorage.  Esther hopes to make home to St. Michael this summer.  Priscella has become a noted native dancer.


Joan Johnson

VASKO Christmas 2008  (Click on the picture to view it full-size.)

Merry Christmas from Teresa and John Vasko

Click on the small picture below to see it full-size.


Click on the picture to see it full-size.

Merry Christmas

A Blessed New Year!  From:  Glenn and Joan Johnson

Big changes in the Johnson’s life!

As you know, we had been spending winter in Holiday Resort, Leesburg, FL and summers on Harvey’s Lake in West Barnet, VT.  The times between Roy’s opening in the spring and cool weather in September until we left for FL, we lived at the house.  Glenn’s Alzheimer’s has gotten steadily worse each year and the stress of caring for him had gotten to be a major health problem for me.

So what is new?  I am in Vermont for the winter again.  The house and camp at Harvey’s Lake are both sold and we are trying to sell the place in Holiday Resort.  Glenn is now in a nursing home and I am living in a travel trailer on Partridge Lake, Littleton, NH.  My mailing address is the same.

It was a tough decision for me, but my life vs. his care came to a head.  The first month for both of us was tough.  Now we are both doing well.  Glenn has his own room covered in 2007 Red Sox posters.  He is kept busy and gets out every day.  We have all visited regularly and he loves to go out driving.  He spent the whole of Thanksgiving with Angela’s family while I was in FL cleaning out the trailer down there.  He loves to get cards and we go over them each week when I bring down the ferrets and dog.  He has between 9 to 10 ladies waiting on him, cleaning, making his bed and keeping him busy.  He has men to sit with and be with who are in the same condition as he is.  A nutritionist makes him special bread, pancakes and waffles that have no wheat flour (almond or rice) and they take him out on day trips.  They have “ice cream parlor day” twice a week where you make your own sundae.

Well, there was a foot of snow last Sunday and there is a lot of styrofoam insulation, so the trailer is as warm as it can be.  My medical problems are being treated and I seem to have a test every other week.

Billy, Esther, and my smart and pretty granddaughter, Priscella, are doing well in Alaska.  I am planning a trip to Esther’s family in St. Michael Island in the summer.  Priscella is in kindergarten and doing very well.  She is outsmarting her folks already!

Angela is now a postal worker doing rural route subbing as well as inside work.  Jim is still with Lydall as head master electrician.  Adam is in Martha’s Vineyard on his own.  He works part time at a grocery store and as a ferry worker helping to pilot the ferry.  Samantha is a sophomore at St. Johnsbury Academy and gets honors regularly.  She does basketball and soccer and she is busy with friends.  Kathryn is getting to be the tallest of the girls and she is into sports and just being a girl, like her sister.  She is into guns and has just received my old 4-10.  She is her dad’s sportsman.  Carrie is still the BOSS!  She has slimmed down and is growing.  She does all the sports, including wrestling against the boys.  She came in third at the state meet this spring.  I look forward to seeing her wrestle.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the little gifts God puts around us.  I especially like watching the ice come into the lake.  The hooded merganser left the day before so I should have known it would happen.  It happened in a blink of an eye and it was so clear that it was like someone had put a sheet of glass over the whole lake.

God bless you all!

Joan and Glenn

Ali (our 7-year old ferret), Cindy, now a year, and Miss Pepper, the dog



  The lost Round Robin returns home!




Lyndonville, VT

Dear Round Robin Readers,

Thanks for including me in the loop.  I enjoyed reading the letters - and the timing is perfect.  WE have our first teachers' meeting of the year tomorrow, so I'll answer them now before I get too busy.  This is the first time in 36 years of teaching that I have been anxious for school to start.  The sooner it starts, the sooner it will be over.  This is my last year in the classroom.  Yeah!!

Irene, the pictures of the wedding are lovely.  She is a beautiful bride. Looks like it was a beautiful day.  Kids - our daughter and her "significant other" bought a house.  I wish she would marry him.  They live outside of Oakland, CA (San Leandro) so we don't see them often.  Aren't weddings great, Dixie?  Wish my kids would try it.  JJ also lives in California - in Napa.

Missed getting a Christmas card from Clayton.  I am glad that you are OK.  I called an older teacher once and started by asking her how she was.  "Do you want an organ recital," she asked?  It is what happens when we age.  I had cataract surgery on both eyes this year.  I guess that just verifies that I am a "Gardner" girl, right, Ruth?

So nice to see you this summer, Lois.  I have had a great vacation.  As Cynthia says, "Have a great summer because next year it will just be summer."  Guess that means no vacation, or every day is a vacation.

You are always so busy, Beulah, when do you retire?  You were away when I headed up north to visit.  Maybe I'll see you next time.

Raymond, did you hear that the Pope had the bird flu?  He got it from a Cardinal.

My prayers are with you and your siblings, Adele.  It is very difficult, but you will never forget the help you have to your mom.  I visited by brother a couple of times this summer, and he is progressing slowly with the disease.

So that's our update on life.  Thanks again for including me.  What about one for Elinor's children!?

Love to all,



Christmas 2006





Click on the image to read Teresa's card.




Christmas 2005




In her card, Teresa writes ...

Our young were both home this year.  Cynthia came from California for Fall Foliage in October and brought Will for us to meet.  Maybe when I retire, we'll go out there for a visit.

The highlight of my year was that I was tested and "do not" have Alzheimers.  It doesn't mean that I won't get it when I'm 80, but what a load lifted from my mind.  I still have my memories.

Our present to ourselves is a new computer.  John kept the old printer working for over 8 years.  He's spending a lot of his time getting the new thing up and working.  I am thankful that he got all of my print shop stuff transferred in time for me to make this card.

Love, John & Teresa Vasko



Here is a letter of appreciation for the newsletter from Gardner cousin, Teresa Vasko.

August 29, 2005


I really appreciate the Gardner Newsletter and all you do to get it to us.

Not into writing now, but thought you might use this old picture I found.  It was actually labeled:  "Homer, Clayton Gardner at West Hartford after load of furniture."

Teresa Vasko

Christmas, 2004

Our kids are in California and we are here in Vermont.  I'm still teaching and John is working on the rental properties and we spend time with our adopted grandkids (tenants).


Christmas, 2003

Cynthia, JJ, Teresa and John Vasko

(Click on the thumbnail to see picture full size.)

Things are the same here!  That's good!  The kids are in California.  Cynthia was here last Christmas and JJ was home for awhile in the spring.  The real news is that we traveled to visit them this summer.  We were gone for a month and saw sights we'd only read and dreamed about.

If pictures are worth a thousand words, this may be one of our longest Christmas letters.  Looking forward to the holiday season and hearing from you.  These pictures are the real us!

Maybe during vacation - I do plan to write something for the newsletter.

Teresa and John

John, Cynthia, Teresa and JJ Vasko

(Click on the thumbnail to see picture full size.)


Christmas, 2002

Merry Christmas to all!

Do you recognize your Christmas card from last year?  Definitely into recycling here.

Only news here is that Dad passed away on the 12th of June, which was Cynthia's 25th birthday.  It was time, but a hard thing, as some of you know, to have both parents gone.

Both kids came home for the funeral.  It was great to see them.  JJ is with us now on a break before he goes to Spain for a couple of months.  He and John put a new roof on the house.

We are all busy.  I am still teaching for a few more years.

We will be alone this Christmas for the first time in our 34-year marriage.


John and Teresa Vasko


I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas.  We are looking forward to Cynthia being home.  It will make the holidays special.  I spent eight days in California in February with her.  What fun!

We will  be with JJ in western New Jersey for Thanksgiving.  Raylene and Mike Ludgate are having us stay with them.  That will be very nice.  Its a good thing we have kids who moved away so we have some place to go.

Dad is physically well, but stays in bed as much as he can.  He does not know me, but loves to have visitors.  I walk out to visit twice a week.  I remember helping my mother write her Christmas letter ... it's hard for there is no much news.  Things are the same, and that's a good thing.  I read that Christmas cards are junk mail from people you know.  Hope this one brightens your day.

Love, Teresa and John Vasko



Teresa Vasko does it all - wife, mother, dedicated teacher!  Here are her responses to an exclusive Gardner Newsletter interview about education!  (Reprinted from the Gardner Newsletter, Fall 2000 issue.)


Gardner Newsletter:  George Bush  touted “education reform” as a major theme during his candidacy for the presidency.  His father, ex-President Bush, was known as the “Education President.”  Do you think the politicizing of education really makes for better schools and has any impact on the quality of education our young people receive?  Please state your case, yes or no

Teresa:  I’m not politically active … too busy correcting papers.

IKE monies have paid for several trips to math conferences where I have felt very professional and received wonderful new ideas for teaching.

Locally, the Vermont legislature instituted portfolios.  It’s a good idea that is extremely expensive and time consuming.

The bottom line is what happens in the homes and classroom.  Politics does not directly affect these things.

Gardner Newsletter:  Please make a “wish list” of five (5) things you would like to happen that would make for better schools and students.  You may start each sentence with, “I wish …."

Teresa:  I WISH … parents who give birth would really want and love their children.

I WISH …teachers got more respect.

I WISH … class sizes were smaller.  (I have classes of 16 this year.  It’s much easier than the normal 25+.)

I WISH … All people knew how much God loves them.

I WISH … and, of course, we could use more money.

Gardner Newsletter:  What do you think are some of the most disturbing developments in the field of education that plague teachers in this modern era?  How can we fix them?

Teresa:  The lack of parenting has such an effect on the student’s ability to learn.  Many of my students are so undisciplined and unfocused that educating them is almost impossible.

We need to, somehow, strengthen the American family.

Gardner Newsletter:  If you had just one piece of advice you could pass on to one who has just received his/her teaching credential, what would it be?

Teresa:  Be honest, with yourself and with you students.  Kids spot phonies quicker than we adults do.  Love the unlovable.

If you go into education for the rewards, you will be disappointed.

(Editor’s Note:  Remember Uncle Clayton’s words in the very first issue of the newsletter?  “One should not go into teaching unless they are willing to work hard and accept the idea that helping young people to grow into healthey and informed adults is more important than earning lots of money.  If you want to make lots of money, become a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, or a Bill Gates.”)

Years ago, I went to a chain store to buy a certain doll.  My daughter wanted one.  They were on sale and I rushed right after school on the first day of the sale to purchase it.  The dolls were all sold out and the sales girl laughed when she told me they had all been sold by 10:00 a.m.  I wanted to speak to the manager, but they gave me a phone number to call with my complaint.

All the way home, I prepared my speech to give to this person.  She was the nicest person I have ever spoken with on the phone and she diffused my anger.  When she finished I said, “I can’t be the only person who is upset by the unavailability of this sale item.”  Her response was, “For every irate phone call we get, we know there are 100 dissatisfied customers.”

Well, I have turned that around; and I say, for every positive comment I receive about my professional life, I feel there are 100 others who feel the same way, but don’t bother to say so.  It’s helped me a lot!

Gardner Newsletter:  How about a few tips on how parents can become involved in their children’s education without becoming adversaries?  Should parents treat school administrative personnel differently than teachers?  If yes, why?  If no, why not?

Teresa:  Second part first …. All people should be treated with respect (easier said than done).  We all do our best; at times it may not be good enough, but it is the best we can do at that time.

My favorite saying on this topic is … “Instant availability without continuous presence is probably the best role a parent can play.”

Gardner Newsletter:  Please recall one of your favorite classroom anecdotes that you regard as a “highlight” of your career.  It would be nice if it could be something that happened during the “Holiday Season."

Teresa:  I taught our minister’s son in the 7th and 8th grade.  It was during Christmas vacation that he took an IQ test in the Reader’s Digest and he scored really well.  He told his mom, “Mrs. Vasko taught me to look for the tricks in things.”  I think it’s the best compliment I have received on my teaching.

Gardner Newsletter:  Please list your background and teaching experience and anything else you may wish to pass on.

Teresa:  Lyndon Institute, Vermont – 1959 – 1963

Hanover High School, Hanover, MA – 1967-1969

Turtle Creek Middle School, PA – 1969-1971

Lyndon Schools – 1973 – Present.

Teaching has been a wonderful career.  My best years were when I had my own son and daughter in class.  I knew all of the kids.



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