Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Christmas Letter

Greetings, All, and Happy Holidays,

I’ll start out with 2013 disasters: (1) Golf club swing gone wrong late in March, in the midst of a golf lesson.  Sammy took a big swing and accidentally socked Bob on the arm – ulnar fracture: Surgery > rehab. (2)  Rav4’s steering went wonky on my 80th birthday trip to New England.  Car upside down in ditch.  Side airbags and seat belts  > no injuries. (3) Hand surgery for me for ring finger tendonitis  > rehab (4) Diagnosis of lactose intolerance for me. (5) Back problems for Bob > exercises.

Otherwise it was an excellent year. We went to Santa Cruz and San Francisco in January, and saw Clifford, Dixie, Adrienne, Judah and Zoe, and did a little birding. We bird-sat with Bert & Les’s famous over-wintering Rufous Hummingbird. We watched many of Sammy & Ethan’s basketball, and later, baseball games. As part of my 80th birthday celebration we attended a Red Sox game, visited Linda and Blase at their farm, and visited Bill in Vermont. In late September Jim and Sharesa came to see us and we all toured Philadelphia, driving by all our previous residences.

We saw Sam Cush perform in a couple of excellent Severna Park High School musicals. Sam will graduate HS this year; Biz will graduate from Towson with a MS. Andy & Tom both live in New York now, Andy in BedStuy, and Tom in Williamsburg. Tom has a job with Fox TV, and Andy works for Animal New York.

We went to Belize in late February to meet Don and Carol Scott there. It was a birthday surprise trip for her. Oscillated Turkeys, Emerald Toucanets, Mayan ruins at Lamanai, and a ferocious chigger attack.

 We had Common Redpolls at our backyard feeder, an unexpected  treat. I did a program on “Birding the 5” (California Interstate) for Wyncote Audubon Society, and lined up speakers for WAS 2013-14.

In March, because of Bob’s broken arm, we hired a landscape company to clean up the yard. They did the lawn all summer too. I spent a lot of time gardening from March to September. Mostly flowers out front.  After more power outages we bought a generator and had an electrician install the hook-up. We have not needed it yet. With the Rav4 totaled, we settled on a Nissan Rogue. We like it a lot so far.

In May we went to Magee Marsh in western Ohio again, and had an honest-to-goodness fallout of warblers and other birds. We even had a halfway decent look at a Kirtland’s Warbler. We ran into a lot of friends there, as usual. All things being equal, we’ll go again in 2014.

In early June we went to Alaska with Road Scholar. We flew into Anchorage, rented a car, and drove to Denali to meet the rest of the group. We spent 5 days at Denali, and drove south to Moose Pass.  We made a few driving trips to Seward, and did a day trip out on the Kenai Fjord.  The major highlight was a trip in a Cessna to see glaciers from above. Alaska is amazing. We want to go back.

In August we went to Santa Cruz for the Dickens Universe. The Mystery of Edwin Drood this time. We stayed most of the time at Cliff & Dixie’s, and also visited with Adrienne & family in SF. We helped Zoe balance on a borrowed bike, and read her lots of bedtime stories.

I still attend HDTV Met operas and Philadelphia Orchestra concerts. Bob comes along sometimes. We’ve both enjoyed Cheltenham Township Adult School trips to different parts of New York.

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