Tuesday, March 22, 2016

ANNUAL HOLIDAY LETTER (Better Late than Never)

Solstice 2015

Dear Family and Friends

Another peaceful year has almost come and gone.  I joke that my life is boring, but in reality it is happy and full. 

I am enjoying living in north Georgia more and more as the years go by.  This is a beautiful area and so much to explore.  Plus, it is easy to travel to the east coast, Florida, gulf area or further west into Alabama all within a day’s drive.  I have taken advantage of that added bonus.

In April my friend, Ann, flew in from Iowa.  We drove to Murrell’s Inlet, SC.  Besides eating very well, we explored Pawley’s Island, Georgetown, Wilmington and Charleston (my favorite).  We had a great time and are looking forward to a similar trip in 2016.

Over Labor Day my friend, David, visited for a long weekend.  I always enjoy his company – he can make me laugh a million different ways and his dedication to working with Habitat for Humanity is inspiring.

Thanksgiving brought Sally and Amy here for their annual visit.  Sally and I cooked up a storm and we had a great time.  It is always sad to see them go – my house seems very quiet after they are gone.

In October I quit my part time job at the library.  After 4 ½ years, it was a sad decision, but not a difficult one.  I enjoyed my job and worked with great people.  But, I woke up one morning and thought, “I don’t need to do this anymore and I really don’t want to!”  I handed in my resignation that day.  Full retirement is wonderful!

My family welcomed our newest member on August 6th.  My great, great niece, Austyn Belle, arrive very early at only 26 weeks weighing 1 lb., 2 oz.  After 120 days in the hospital she finally went home with mommy and daddy (my great nephew, Aaron and wife, Brandi).  She is now pushing 8 lbs. and is doing very well.  She is our little warrior princess and a true miracle. 

I am leaving for Ireland on the 22nd.  I will be visiting my dear friend, Anne and attending her daughter, Melissa’s, wedding on New Year’s Eve.  Melissa has been planning her wedding for over two years and it is hard to believe it is finally so close.  Not much sightseeing will occur – we will be in “wedding mode,” but the main thing is that I spend time with Anne and also get to know Melissa as a young woman – no longer a little girl or a teenager.  I know a lot of laughter will occur around Anne’s table while drinking gallons of tea!

I am looking forward to new adventures in 2016.  I have just joined the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and hope that leads to some volunteer work.  I am afraid to volunteer with an animal rescue group that I end up with more dogs!  My three keep me busy!  But, I am sure other volunteer opportunities will arise.  I am continuing to make new friends.  Gardening, quilting and reading give me much pleasure.

My sister, Suzanne and brother-in-law Marlon will be selling their house in early spring.  They will be moving to Canton, about 15 minutes from me in a 55+ community.  Their lot is purchased and the building of their house should start in about 4-5 months.  My sister, Linda, spent a few months in Wisconsin with her son and his family.  She still likes living in the greater Phoenix area.

This year Marlon built a fabulous deck in my backyard.  While the summer was too darn hot to go out there and sit, this fall I have enjoyed it immensely.   Watching the birds, bees and butterflies while the dogs sniff and sit in the sun is relaxing.  Now at age 60, I am healthy, happy and just where I am suppose to be.  Life is great!

Happy holidays and I hope the New Year brings you much health and happiness.  And, maybe a trip to Georgia?

Julie Ann

Sam, Oliver and Lady

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