Christmas – 2006

So that was my sentiment as I sat down to write this letter thinking I (for once) allowed plenty of time to dash off our annual “refresher” when some mindless idiot on the radio announced that this was, by golly, the first day of winter. The first day of winter falls on DEC. 21!!

How did it sneak up so fast? Of course we started hearing about Christmas about the time school opened this fall, decorations were in the stores by Halloween, and by this time of year, much of the traditional magic has dissipated, and it is easy to become somewhat absent minded about the whole event. So maybe we should just call it a Happy New Year letter this year. But I do enjoy sharing some of the goings-on around here, so lets move on.

On the down side of this year, my brother Dick’s wife passed away in September, and now again in December, Joyce’s brother Gordon passed away. It was a sad fall indeed. However, the other three seasons were the up side (and I thought 2005 was huge). First and foremost Joyce and I are in good shape (please don’t ask “as compared to what?”).

In March we found ourselves on the way to Jacksonville, FL, to attend a St. Regis/Champion retiree luncheon. I was great to see some of the old colleagues, reminisce a little and see if we really looked as bad as our mirror seems to report every morning. This trip provided ready accommodations with Lou, Joyce’s older brother who lives in Ponte’ Vedra (you know, where all those great golf courses are?}. Lou is a great host, and we had a fun and relaxing few days with him. Speaking of fun (but perhaps not so relaxing), our youngest son George remarried in June. His new wife Rachel added two young grandkids (Emily and Sarah) to the family.

All this took place in Tallassee AL, and all our “troops” showed up (including the Kansas contingent). It is one thing to say you have four kids and 13 grandkids, and quite another to see them all together, basically all grown up. Add to that Rachel’s two and the two that Diane’s husband Greg added last year, and we are looking at 17 grandkids. But wait a minute, Greg’s daughter delivered forth last year, which begins what looks to be a series of great grandkids.

Now that provides a moment in antiquity if I ever saw one, and on that note I will hobble over to my recliner and sip a cup of tea, but not before we wish you all a great Christmas all the best for the new year (and I find something to put in my tea).

Much Love,