Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christmas Newsletter 2019

We had a busy year this year with lots of ups and downs.

We went to Tampa, Florida and camped at MacDill Air Force Base with Don’s sister Nancy and her husband, Ray. It was a wonderful two weeks! While in Tampa, we met up with my high school best friend, Bunny. It was the first time I’d seen her in about forty years! What a wonderful reconnection. Now we stay in touch weekly.

We went to Myrtle Beach to the SCCEC conference. I hold the policy panel every year there and my guest panelists were the Director of the Office of Special Education Services and the Deputy General Counsel for the South Carolina Department of Education. It was a good conference.

Don and I had a Spinning exhibit at Devil’s Fork State Park during Bellfest (celebrating the Oconee Bells). There was a great turn out and our exhibit was well liked.

We did some camping in the Smokies which we always love. We also had the big tree between our house and the neighbor’s house cut down. One of the limbs fell and broke their window. The tree was dying and limbs would keep falling so we didn’t want it to hurt anyone. It took 2 days to cut the tree down and the big equipment trucks really messed up our front yard.

We flew to Copenhagen, Denmark and spent a week there. Then we boarded the HAL Zuiderdam for a 24 day cruise. We went to Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Holland and Norway. It was a fantastic trip!  

When we got home from our trip, we found out my stepmom, Marge was in a coma and then passed away on June 6. At that point, my father was admitted to the VA Hospice Unit in West Palm Beach. We were able to spend the whole month with him while he was there and I’m so thankful for this time with him.  My cousin Wayne and his family were so supportive of us during this time and Wayne was there every day with us. My cousins Angela, Becky, and Liam also came down from Merritt Island to visit with my father while we were there. My book, The Successful Teacher’s Handbook was also published this month.

We had to return to South Carolina so I could teach my graduate course for Furman that I teach every year. The class went well. Then on July 11 we got the call that my father passed away. I’m so thankful that his last day was spent with Wayne, Carol, Becky, and Liam. He even visited the beautiful garden areas twice during the day. He passed away in the middle of the night and the nurse said was never in any pain. In fact, she was surprised how suddenly he passed because there were none of the usual signs that his passing was going to happen. As usual, my father did things on his terms and I’m glad.
I was involved in setting up a Furman course online, so this involved several meetings. This took a lot of time this month.

We returned to Florida to bury my father and Marge at the National Cemetery in Lake Worth. It was a beautiful ceremony. We worked on their house and cleared a lot of things out. We spent a lot of time dealing with probate issues. Then we took another cruise to the Caribbean on the MSC Seaside.

We returned home for the Furman homecoming. I also had my first book signing which went well.

We returned to Florida to work on my parent’s house some more. We also went on two cruises since we were down there. We went on the MSC Meragvilia and I was able to see my friend, Guglielmo who was Director of Hotel Services. We had a nice time on it. Then we got off that ship and three days later we got on the HAL Koningsdam. It was a nice cruise also! Then we returned to the Florida house and worked some more.

We decided to stay in Florida and keep working on the house since the warm weather is much easier on Don’s back.

So, this year had many ups and downs but I’m so thankful for all the good times we had! I hope this year has been good to you!

May you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

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