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Autumn arrived, Thanksgiving has just come and gone, and now the Christmas season is upon us. Looking back and reflecting on our lives, it really does seem to fly by.  In this season we are reminded to give thanks for all of our blessings.  This year we seem to have received a bountiful collection of many things that we have enjoyed and are so thankful for.

We so enjoyed the vivid colors of the fall colors in the Adirondacks, and then in the Finger Lakes area.  We had a quiet year that was mostly busy with putting the cottage for sale.  I finally got it listed mid-July.  We had about 10 showings, but no bids as of yet.  We had a visit from Ryan, his girlfriend, Phyu-Sin and Blake.  We visited the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.  I really, really loved that they came to visit.

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Our sojourn South began by leaving Lake Champlain area on September 30th.  We then spent 10 days at our “camper in the woods.”  We had my 5th wheel camper moved from our yard in Willsboro to Craig and Kerry’s property in Richford, NY.

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When we first arrived, the color there was just turning, but after a few days the leaves turned into the rich reds, oranges and yellows of New York’s beautiful fall.  During that stay we worked on connecting to a temporary water storage tank and installing a generator for electricity.  Craig and grandson David worked at getting the property cleared and level, readying it for planting grass in the spring.  Jimmie and I spent several days painting David’s bedroom as a surprise for his 13th birthday.  Craig, Kerry, David and John had gone on a “classic car” road trip and we worked in their absence.

Our next stop was to visit a cousin, Gary and his wife Kathy, in Smith Mountain Lake, in the Roanoke, Virginia area. As always, a wonderful visit.  Good times, Good Food, Lots of laughter.  There were also several other cousins, Kathy and Dave, as well as Curt and Diane visiting at the same time.  We got together often for conversation, laughter and sharing.

We arrived here in Sebastian on Oct. 14th.  It was great being back in the warmth of Florida.  We caught up on a few doctor appointments, spent some time with some friends, worked on trimming the landscaping, Cooper and I got haircuts and we started packing up our little motor home.  On November 1st we headed out on a road trip to the West.  Our goal was to visit cousin Charles and his wife Patti in El Paso, TX, Jimmie’s Navy buddy, Clay and his wife Suzanne in Gilbert, a suburb of Phoenix, AZ and to visit Eric in Pahrump, NV.

While at Eric’s he gave us a tour of the area and showed us where he was working.  He is doing various construction jobs; building additions, sheet rock, carpeting, concrete, painting, etc.  He lives in a mobile home on a ½ acre of land.  Where all the houses and business are located, it is very flat land.  But the whole city is surrounded by beautiful mountains.  Eric is doing well and he appears to be happy.  This is a picture as you drive out of his driveway.  So Beautiful!  So Majestic!

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We accomplished all that we set out to do. We can’t say enough about the grand hospitality we received from all.

One of the best things about our trip was of course spending time with our family and friends.  However, the scenery came in as a close second.   What beautiful mountains there are everywhere.  I must have taken approx. 900 pictures of mountains along the route.  We also got a quick glimpse of the wild horses in Arizona.  That is a rare occurrence, as Clay has lived in that area for 18 years and has only seen them four times.  And we saw lots of cactus.  Big ones, small ones; prickly pear cactus with the paddle type arms, saguaro cactus which are the tall ones with arms.  Long trains, really long trains.  One even had 7 engines.  You can see for miles.  Lots of cows.  Very few trees as we know them.  The wind and strong sun keep them stunted.  Beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  We went by the Hoover Dam.  We stopped at a park there to take pictures of the wild rams that graze there.  When we were in the mountains (7,000+ feet above sea level) the stars even appeared closer.

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We had several very cool mornings (45-49 degrees) but luckily the heater only took a few minutes to warm us up. And last but not least the wind.  There were several days of 50+mph winds that attempted to blow our motor home all over the road. We arrived back to Sebastian after 21 days on the road.  Again, So Good to be home.  And we plan on staying here for a while.

On December 1st we are looking forward to a few days visit with my sister Kris and her husband Dave.  We will be getting our house trimmed for Christmas so that we can celebrate with them.  Actually, it really does not have to be the 25th to share with family.  We will prepare a “real” Christmas dinner and exchange gifts.  This will be wonderful for me, as the one thing negative about living in Florida is being away from family for the holidays.

Once again, we are just sharing a bit of our lives with you. We do this so that our connection remains intact.  The distance of us here in Florida and you being miles away does offer a challenge to keep in touch.  Thankfully, technology allows us to communicate via e-mail and websites.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and an All-Around wonderful life!

Remember we have a guest room that is available if you ever get to travel south.

You will be in our thoughts and prayers during this season.

Love and Good Cheer!

Jimmie, Susan and Cooper
(Fall 2016 Newsletter)