This is probably the tenth year that I’ve written a Christmas letter and although I have  a tough time getting started I feel  pretty good when it’s done.  So why haven’t I finished it yet?   Well …I think one of the reasons is; I’m retired!   I have plenty of time.  Perhaps I need a structured environment with deadlines and time lines to keep me focused.   After a year of retirement,   I still can’t seem to stop smiling when someone asks about it.  I’ve keep busy with Michael,  Harry and Will, my bird watching, my photography, my gardening and my art….so here is a recap of 2008. 

Mike and I spent the New Year warm and cozy with a champagne toast,  playing cards and watching TV.  When the weather outside is frightful there’s no place like home. 

The Patriots won the AFC with a perfect 18 and 0 record.  Then Super Bowl Oh No!  How could the Giants be the best team?  Well that proves it Nobody’s Perfect!

In February, I was treated to a night out at the Zieterion Theatre in New Bedford with Elizabeth.  We saw Bowfire, I was amazed at the variety of stringed instruments and what they can do in such talented hands.  It was a great show!   The Z is such a bargain with world class performances, practically in my backyard.   

Our chickens were reaching the age of few eggs and the price of grain was increasing, so we gave the chickens away.   All except one…she hid for a week and came out after a storm looking not so good.  But Mike named her Rachel and nursed her back to health.  It wasn’t long before the warm spring weather arrived and she started laying eggs regularly.     Now Mike could enjoy his own fresh eggs again,.   Whenever we had three eggs he’d cook them up for breakfast, savoring each one.   This helped cut down his cholesterol for a while.  Now Rachel seemed quite content with the yard to herself.  Harry always enjoyed looking for her and her eggs,  until she disappeared in August.  Mike had suspected a dog or a hawk got her but we had no evidence.   Then Mike found her skeletal remains between the pool barrels behind the garage.  The mystery was solved a dog had probably scared her up on the barrels, she fell in between them and couldn’t get out.  We now get our farm fresh eggs down the street the price is right at $2.25 a dozen.

Without the chickens digging up the front yard, my iris and violets came in fantastically.  I planted a very successful garden.  It’s quite interesting to note how many times as  a teacher I tried to grow pumpkins for my students and this year with no students I had a crop of 33 amazing pumpkins.   The sunflowers came up in the front yard and they did a great job of hiding the bulldozer and backhoe, giving me the somewhat green thumb feeling. 

Mike turned 60 in April, many thanks to all who sent cards, he was amazed at how many folks knew it was his birthday.  Each day he came in with the mail, sat down and opened them immediately, wondering why are these people sending me cards.  We celebrated with kids and cake at Not Your Average Joe’s.  At this stage we are happy to share time with family but the big party days are over.

Of course the most exciting event of the year was our trip to Texas to buy the 2005 Lincoln.  We flew to Houston and drove back.  Ten states, nine day, eight friends, seven postcards , six deer on the side of a mountain , five pennies to tell a favorite joke , four trips around the beltway looking for our hotel,  three dollars and eighty four cents for a gallon of gas , two GPS systems;  makes one amazing adventure and most of it at 70 mph.

I went to my 40th high school reunion this year that is quite a milestone.   It was an evening reconnecting with people you only recognize by their yearbook photo. 

Amy is living in Arlington, VA working for PBS.  She travels around the country finding and decided what’s good for PBS.   It is great to have her home for the holidays. 

  Paul and Elizabeth are always busy with two little boys.  Will 14 months is starting to walk and Harry is 2 1/2 climbing and telling lots of stories.

In May,  Mary graduated from UMASS Amherst as a RN.  She  is living in a very old house in Eden Mills, VT and working as a school nurse.  She also works per diem at Vermont Medical in Montpelier.  She and Larson like to snowboard, mountain bike, and hike in the Green Mountains with their dog, Samba.  They just recently added a kitten that is helping with the mouse problem.

We wish you all a joyous holiday season and a New Year of  Peace, Happiness, and Prosperity.