I am pleased to report that it has been another great year.  Not that we lead an exceptionally extraordinary life, but there are very few negatives and an abundance of many positive things that we have been blessed with.

In January, we had visitors, Cindy & Bob, from the Albany area.  We had dinner with them and were joined by mutual friends Kathy and Paul who are from Albany but now live in FL.  I used to work with both Cindy and Kathy and Kathy used to work with Bob.  We sure had a good ole gabfest talking about our working days.

In the spring, we learned that Scott was moving to the Venice FL area.  His daughter’s mother moved there first with his two youngest daughters.  We got to visit with him and his girls, Lilly (7) and Iris (6) a couple of times.  Craig, Kerry, David (14) and John (12) came to FL to visit us in April.  Even though the stretch of time to see them was limited, it really was wonderful.

Kris’ husband Dave turned 70 this year and Rachel (their daughter) threw a surprise party for him at her RI home.  I flew north in April for a couple of days to help celebrate this milestone.

During the summer, we got together with two different sets of friends, with us taking the ferryboat to Vermont to meet up with them.  Our Arizona friends, Clay, Suzanne and Skyler, were there visiting family.  They came to visit us at the lake.  Our FL friends, Tommie and Pam, were also visiting family in Vermont, and, in turn, visited us at the lake.  We took advantage of seeing them when they were so close

We took a trip to Latham to visit with my cousin Ernie and his wife Ann.  They each celebrated their birthday’s in July; 91 and 90 respectively.  It was a great visit.  Lots of laughs and remembering of wonderful memories.  They both look wonderful.

Both before and after our trip to Lake Champlain we spent time at our “Camper in the Woods.”   It is located just 500 feet from Craig and family.  It was great spending some real quality time with them.

During that time, we visited my cousin Florence and her husband Owen in the Cazenovia area.  Owen is 92 and Florence is 89.  I wish I could bottle up Florence’s energy.  She is like the Ever-Ready bunny.  She still works, as she and one of her 8 sons (Patrick and family) opened The Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed.  This was the former location of the store she and some of her family ran for 50+ years.  There are over 30 different vendors that offer a large variety of beautiful handmade goods.

While we stayed at the Camper in the Woods, I planted a small flower garden and I started creating a miniature garden.  As we do not have TV or the Internet, we had some spare time.  I would design and Jimmie would build the little buildings I planned for the garden.  We have a castle with a drawbridge, a church with a tall steeple, two small houses covered in bark, and one hobbit-style house made out of rocks thus far.  A painted rock serves as a pond.  As time permits, I am sure more items will be added.

As it turned out, Scott moved back to New York in Sept.  Unfortunately, in FL, the pay was less and the expenses were more.  So, when his daughters  moved back to NY, it was really an easy decision to make.  We went to dinner with them at a local restaurant and had delicious prime rib.  All the grandkids are really fun to be with.

Eric is still living in Pahrump, NV.  He is currently working at a gun and ammunition factory.  He seems to be doing well there.   Thank goodness for telephones and messaging.  We keep in touch on a somewhat regular basis.  Using that technology also allows my grandsons, Ryan and Blake, to touch base with me once in a while.

We returned to FL on 9/24.  This was a bit earlier than our norm.  Hurricane Irma has just traveled through FL and we were blessed to be told that we had no damage.  However, we did want to return to see for ourselves.  We had planned a road trip in our motor home to travel out west to see Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Colorado and some other paces along the way.  However, earthquakes, flooding, fires across America and Irma changed our plans.  That trip is now postponed to the spring.

In October, a couple from Burlington put a bid on my cottage at Lake Champlain.  I know… I did have it for sale.  I was a bit surprised as the summer had passed.  Well, it seems that this is really happening.  Hence, we had to make another trip back to New York to clean out our personal papers and miscellaneous items.  We spent about one week there loading up the van and my pickup truck that I used to leave there and headed back to Sebastian.  Well, the garage is now filled with the boxes – the sorting is yet to happen – little by little it will get done.  As of right now we are waiting for the closing which should be in a week or so.  It is a real mixture of feelings.  It was 1996 when Jit and I purchased it.  So many grand memories were made there.  We certainly will miss sitting in our Adirondack chairs,watching the sailboats floating by, the campfires, and the variety of visitors we had over the years.  Luckily, we had a chance to meet the potential new owners and we really like them.  That does help make the transition a bit better.

We recently learned that Kris fell and fractured her hip.  She had to have surgery, three pins were installed to stabilize it.  As she is quite active and in good shape, she has already been released from her therapy.  She will use her crutches for several more weeks, but she should be good as new by the time Santa comes for his annual visit on Dec. 25th.  The best news is that they previously had purchased airline tickets to come visit us the first week of Dec. and they are still planning on doing just that.

We spent this Thanksgiving gobble, gobble, gobbling.  And now we are wobble, wobble, wobbling!  We are so fortunate to have friends who invited us to share their day.  Thankful for you, Tommie and Pam.

Since the day after Thanksgiving, as I turned on the radio, I have been serenaded with Christmas carols and it continues all day.  Yesterday I put away my fall decorations.  Today we will begin to transform our house, decorating with the Christmas magic that is currently stored in the closet.  We will celebrate when Kris and Dave are here.

‘Tis the season of wrapping…  Therefore, I will wrap this up

We wish you the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.  We hope that Santa gives you all you deserve (that sort of covers all areas – LOL!)

I hope we all make it a year of “paying it forward” and “random acts of kindness” – now wouldn’t that be something …..

Love and best wishes!

Jimmie, Susan and Cooper