Again this year, Susie asked me to send Holiday greetings to our friends with E-mail accounts. As with last year, I still hesitate to do this, figuring our friends are at least worth the price of a Christmas Card and a 46cent stamp. But regardless of what my conscience is telling me, I have come to the realization that this is the 21st century and we can reach a lot of folks, some of whom that we don’t have physical addresses for, but I will stick to my vow of last year and make it as interesting as possible.
I don’t have much to tell you but I do have pictures of our year which I plan to incorporate….. Excuse me just a minute. Susie doesn’t trust me to do this right so she is perched right at my shoulder.
“Keep it short. Remember, you carried on far too long last year.”
“Remember?? You expect me to remember something from a year ago??”
“Just give them the highlights and quit babbling.”
“Can I at least tell them about my gallbladder surgery and how sick I wa…”
“If you even mention that gallbladder, I will personally get it out of that baby food jar you’ve got perched on the refrigerator and put it right back where it came from.”
“I mean it. Nobody wants to hear about your gizzard.”
“What about a picture of the scar?”
“No pictures either.”
“Okay.” Sorry folks. If you know Susie, you will know she is very persuasive so it looks like you’re just going to get a few highlights of our year.
We spent the winter at the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero, Florida working as docents in the original settlement. Of course, the dog had to come along as well. We will be returning there for the upcoming winter shortly after Christmas.
You will notice that I like to wear my hair in a modern day version of the ‘Squiggy’ look while we are in Florida.
We stopped at two different places on our way north in the spring, first spending a week in the campground of the Fort Pickens National Monument of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
The campground is in terrible shape with the blame landing right at the feet of the insufficient funding to be properly cared for. It drives me nuts. Still, I really like this park because of its proximity to Pensacola and Captain Joe Patti’s seafood market.
After leaving there, we made our way northeast a bit out of our way because I have been looking for several years for a good place to stop on the way to Southern Florida and spend a day or two before proceeding and someone had suggested a Corps of Engineer lake. That proved to be the ticket. I finally found such a place at Cotton Hill, a Corps of Engineers campground on Lake George that straddles the Alabama/Georgia line. It was a beautiful place and also very isolated so we had several restful days before heading north and home. This was a real treat to just stop and sit. The sites are big and not crowded at all. The only drawback (if you consider it a drawback) is that we had no AT&T coverage at all. No internet either.
In the August heat of summer, we had our own version of planes, trains and automobiles first flying to Sacramento California to celebrate the 70th birthday of my brother’s widow, Julie. While in the area, we spent a few days in Reno planning to do some sightseeing around Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. However, a massive fire in the forests along the California/Nevada border cut that trip short. almost none of the pictures turned out to be worth keeping. We did make a clean air stop at the Donner Party Memorial near the California / Nevada border. This story has captivated my imagination since the Blizzard of 1978.
From Sacramento, we took the train to Seattle to See Joe, Michele and of course, our grandson, Will. I love train travel even though AMTRAK, being a quasi government agency, must have been the model for ‘That’s no way to run a railroad’. It’s too bad some private group of forward thinkers with money doesn’t take over passenger rail.
From Seattle, we traveled by car over onto the Olympic Peninsula and down the coast of Washington and Oregon. We open our letter with a picture taken on that trip. Other pictures:
I took this on the way to Port Townsend, Washington, a small town surrounded on three sides by water and some of the most beautiful views imaginable. Were I not tied to the Hoosier land, that would be my pick of a place to retire.
Newport, a town that would also make a great retirement area, was our base of operations for a few days.
We had acces…… Gaaaaah. That’s enough. I am sick of typing and I suspect that by this time. you are sick of looking at pictures. You get the idea by now, I hope. If not, let me know.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.