Christmas Card 2012

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December 2012
Greetings to family and friends,
Another calendar year has swept by and this one was surely unique and memorable as most are – – but this year seemingly more . . .
Winter weather has finally arrived in just the last few days; snow is on the way. We had a long, mild and beautiful fall season here in the high desert mountains and red-rock country of south-central UT. Last year was also very mild and dry. Then in June, we experienced the first wildfire of the season and the closest to us ever in our short history of living in this area. The Lost Lake Fire sprang up quickly; it provided some unneeded excitement, frankly was a bit of concern, but was contained after a few threatening days – – the slightly over two thousand acre footprint came within 3/4 of a mile of the house. Annette just happened to be in New York City and missed being evacuated from our home, but she shared in the anxiety of the few days. Forest fires are a possibility in this region that averages around 6″ of precipitation each year.
Shortly after the fire, Annette and I spent two and one half weeks in California. First stops were in Anaheim and San Diego for two separate conferences. Annette delivered presentations and attended a few meetings; Larry served as her driver and ‘roadie.’ We followed up the professional work with several days on the coastline of Central California. Our drive up Highway 1 took us as far as the Big Sur area; it had been 15 years or more since we had traveled and explored that beautiful area. On our way back down to LA, we spent a day on East Anacapa Island (Part of the Channel Islands National Park), a rookery for cormorants, pelicans and thousands of seagulls. Also saw lots of seals and sea lions plus on our return boat trip, we were surrounded by a spectacular group of dolphins, leaping and diving their way past.
Back in Anaheim, we joined Annette’s sister’s family (Arrion and Ben Rathsack and Alex and Kaylee). Spent some days visiting a few Disney parks and finished up on the Fourth of July at Legoland. It was fun to share the experiences in the company of two young children.
Arrived back home just in time to take part in the annual Torrey Apple Days events. It was made special this year by having Benjamin here for several days, and he performed a set (Played his new custom guitar and sang) in an afternoon of music at the Robber’s Roost stage. A few weeks later, Annette and I were involved in emceeing the annual BIFF (Bicknell International Film Festival); this year’s theme was ‘Duck & Cover’ It’s Doomsday 2012. BIFF is always a hoot, but this year we were not feeling our best. Soon learned that we were the first County residents to have the whooping cough (Pertussis). Trust us, you do not want that stuff . . . check with your doctor to see if the vaccine is recommended. It’s still raging around in different parts of the country.
Continued on the backside
The mid-summer monsoon season brought lots of needed rain, and the plants and trees greened up to their best. This year’s bumper pine nut crop was accompanied by a population explosion of chipmunks and ground squirrels. The rains ended in early September. The stars, moon and planets must have been perfectly aligned – – because all the kids visited here (Brooke, Blake & Andrea, and Benjamin). We spent six action-packed days of hiking, exploring, visiting and taking in some of the sights (Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, short local trips to Lion Head, Fish Creek Cove and Pleasant Creek, plus a day-hike to Calf Creek Falls). Time flew by, we barely scratched the surface and had a great time.
Shortly after the kids’ departure, Larry’s brother Bob and his wife Sue (On a motorcycle trip) stopped for a short visit. We spent a day doing a Jeep tour of Cathedral Valley and Thousand Lakes Mountain. We always enjoy having family and friends as guests. And although Annette’s mother, Nancy, dealt with some health issues this past year, she and Bill were able to visit during the spring and again this fall.
Appointed last year, we served our first year on the Board of Directors for the Entrada Institute. One of our main responsibilities was the planning and facilitation of the Saturday Sunset Series. We are already working on next year’s schedule. Annette also maintains the organization’s website and Facebook presence.
Those are the highlights for this year, but we should mention that in October we purchased ‘Miss Daisy,’ a T@B teardrop camping trailer (Yeah, we are the couple that lived and worked in a 38’ motorhome for a decade). We have made a goal of camping at least once a month – – have already covered November and have plans for December. ‘Daisy’ allows us to go to many campsites that the motorhome could not fit – – and we still have and use our tent!
For the holidays, we are first heading to Illinois in mid-December to visit with Brooke in Chicago and then downstate to see Larry’s Dad (Sylvester recently celebrated his 93rd birthday) and some of his siblings and their families. We will join several of Annette’s family for Christmas in Austin, Texas and will fly home in time for an Eagle’s concert at the MGM Grand in Vegas.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Annette & Larry