2013 Holiday Letter
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
This was not a good year for my parents. On May 14th, my Mom passed away. She had been in a nursing home since November, 2012. She had been bed ridden for most of the year. I'm sure she is in a much happier place now.
A memorial page for my Mom can be found by clicking HERE.
My Dad has also had a rough year. He was in and out of the hospital beginning in January. He had an elusive strain of pneumonia which the doctors had difficulty tracking down. In June, they finally figured out the strain and they were able to successfully treat it. By then, he was pretty weak and was sent to a rehabilitation center for two months. In August, he was released. I was with him over the Summer and Helen and I took care of him when he was allowed to return home. He has now regained his strength and is able to live on his own. It had been a tough few months.
Travel this year
I spent Thanksgiving, 2012, with my college buddy Ron and his wife Sandy in Phoenix. We had a great thanksgiving dinner at the home of Joe and Marilu. It was a huge thanksgiving gathering. It took THREE dinning room tables for everyone to have a seat! It was a lot of fun meeting Joe and Marilu's extended family.
A couple of days after thanksgiving, 2012, Ron, Sandy and myself drove to Las Vegas. Helen flew in from Gainesville and we all enjoyed three wonderful days at a time share right on the Las Vegas Strip. Ron and Sandy then returned to Phoenix and Helen and I changed hotels to the fabulous Belagio Hotel and Casino. I had always wanted to stay there and it was as wonderful as I had expected! We were there for a week as JEDEC was holding it's meetings in the hotel.
Helen and I spent two weeks in Taipei, Taiwan, at the end of February and the beginning of March. This was her first trip to Taiwan and my third or fourth time in Taipei. We had a great time! Pictures of the trip can be found by clicking HERE.
June found me in Denver for another JEDEC meeting. The best part of this meeting was being able to spend 3-days with my college buddy Fred and his wife, Debbie, in Colorado Springs. Fred and I worked on a few projects around his house, including fixing the front gate. I also visited an old gold mine, which was a museum and I spent several hours touring the US Air Force Academy. It was a fun trip!
I spent the Summer months in Gainesville, Florida, taking care of my Dad. However, Helen and I did sneak away for a couple of trips. In July, Helen and I visited Silver Springs in Ocala. Unfortunately, the Springs were in the process of being transferred to the State of Florida to become a State park. The parking lot attendant suggested we go to the Silver River State Park which was next to Silver Springs. We had a fun time having a picnic lunch and hiking to the river.
In August, Helen and I spent a weekend visiting my long time friend Lucy in Tallahassee, Florida. Lucy and I had been in the Sierra Club together, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and were part of the team that ran the outings committee. She knows how I am fascinated with John Gorrie, the Father of refrigeration, so she took us on a day trip to Apalachicola, Florida, which was the home of John Gorrie.
In September, over labor day, my brother, Wayne, drove down from Georgia to visit us in Gainesville, Florida. While here, he, Helen and I spent 3 wonderful days in Daytona Beach, Florida. I always love going to Daytona Beach! They have one of the top beaches in the world. It is a wide beach and as child, I can remember my Dad driving on the beach during low tide. While there, we ate at two of my favorite restaurants, Down the Hatch and Aunt Catfish's.
Also in September, JEDEC had a meeting in Austin and I met up with a long time friend, Mary, who is the top selling female real estate agent in Austin. I had known Mary when I lived in Fort Lauderdale as she was married to one of my high school buddies from Beeville, Texas. It was a lot of fun to catch up with her since it has been a long time since we had seen each other.
Work has been slow this year on the Cozy :-( With all the travel I did this year, I didn't have much of a chance to work on the project. I started on chapter 18 last December and I'm still working on it. Chapter 18 is the installation of the canopy and all the hardware to lock it. It is a big task. If you recall, in 2012, I had breezed through 3 of the 26 chapters. I had been hoping to do the same this year. Oh well, just two more years and I'll be flying her!
I haven't had much of a chance to fly my Piper Cherokee either. Even though I'm in a 12 member organization which owns the plane, Fireside Aviators Association, I'm still the only one flying it. Many of our members would like to sell their share in the plane, but are not willing to put forth the effort required. Since I would like to see the plane fly more, (flying it at least 100 hours per year keeps the engine in top shape) I decided to help those members. Last January I started an advertising campaign by posting flyers are various airports and placing ads on Craigslist. Between January and July, I had a few nibbles. I took a couple of people up for a demonstration flight, but no one was interested in buying a share. In August, I was contacted by a person that was really interested in buying in. He purchased a share at the end of September. This month, November, I have been contacted by two more people interested in purchasing a share. I'm hoping they'll be writing checks within the next two weeks. I was really surprised how quickly one share was sold and now two more are really close to being sold. I guess people are starting the feel the economy might be recovering.
Over the past year, I didn't do much with my theater group. Lyric Theatre mounted four productions this year, however, the only one I was involved with was Gilbert and Sullivan's "Rudigore".
I hope your year was as eventful and as exciting as mine and...
I wish you a merry holiday season and a happy New Year!