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Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

Merry Christmas to you all! There are currently 10 decorating/shopping/baking days before Christmas as this letter is being composed. Just so you know.

Photo by David Carlson

 Ron has our  backyard reindeer in the hospital rehab in our kitchen this weekend. We are getting ready for the arrival of my Mom, Bev Carlson, for the holiday!!!! I'm so excited to have company for Christmas and New Years.  This house is decorated-inside and out, packages are wrapped and we are ready to party.  Last year, we stayed with family in California for Christmas. Oddly enough, today it is 52 degrees-warmer than a California evening!

It has been a tumultuous year. My decision to retire from Sandusky Library, after 37 years,  at the end of 2014 was announced at the  December 2013 Board meeting. Let me just say that the length of time to be lame duck was too long and my last day was September 23! Ron's retirement date is not yet set, but, I predict it will be sooner rather than later.

Photo by David Carlson

We had a super winter in 2014. The best ever in Sandusky-cold, lots of snow, and it lasted for  many months. While Ron is only lukewarm-ha-ha, about winter, but I loved every bitter moment.

In March, my brother, David Carlson, and our niece, Kelsey, came for a visit. We had enough ice and snow left to give them a good taste of life on the north coast. A visit to Erie was a trip down memory lane-even if our 7 year difference in age gave us very different memories. What a treat to have them with us for a week.

In April, Ron held down the fort while I attended my last ever library conference. As I attended sessions, I wished I could be 25 all over again to experience the next 30 years of public library service.  It is an amazing time to be a librarian.

Ron and I kicked off a great camping season in May. Enjoying our seasonal spot in Bellevue, we also ventured to Michigan in the fall. We  spent our weekends with our friends, Bob and Paulette-and  six dogs between us. Next summer we plan to hit the road-locations to be determined.

While reaching age 60 ( in June)  could have been disturbing (and Ron reaching age 68 in December), we are grateful to be healthy and happy this year. We lost many friends-some at much earlier ages.  Ron claims every decade has been better than the last. I agree. As a hospice nurse, dedicated exclusively to working with veterans, Ron was privileged to go on two Honor Flights to D.C.  this year. This, his 12th year with Stein Hospice, has been one in which his focus on veterans has been a very fulfilling experience.

Ron rediscovered the art of fishing with his friend, Bob Grimsbo. Meanwhile, Paulette and I enjoyed time thumbing through time worn issues of Country Home.  We even set up sewing machines and made new curtains for Paulie's rig, Annie!

We dream of  purchasing 5 or more acres and building side by side houses for our retirement years. Have you read, Five Acres and a Poodle? Well, how about 5 acres and 4 poodles, 1 golden retriever, 3 cats, and 1 miniature schnauzer? Maybe by 2015 our Christmas Letter will announce our new enclave-who knows!

We had a wonderful visit this summer, with my mom, Beverly Carlson (age 87) and I've begun the gentle push toward suggesting that she consider spending more time in Ohio! Sure, maybe the winter is a bit challenging, but, who could deny that summer in Sandusky is grand?

Ron and I took a camping trip to celebrate my retirement in October. We traveled to Mackinac, Island in Michigan and enjoyed a week exploring the Michigan coast.

In September, a trip to another coast was made.

 Janet Ford, our longtime friend, suggested  a road trip to celebrate my retirement. We flew to Charleston, SC and drove back via the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a wonderful trip and full of joy and laughter.

It is my ultimate dream is to chase fall-from New England to South Carolina, and I hope to entice Ron to spend the fall of 2015 doing just that!

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2015! Love, Julie and Ron, and



Marilyn Monroe