Happy Holidays! Joyful Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Best Wishes! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad! Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan! Glædelig Jul! Gajan Kristnaskon! Hyvaa Joulua! Buorrit Juovllat! Gledileg Jol! Nodlaig Mhaith Chugnat! Buone Feste Natalizie! Natale Hilare et Annum Faustum! Pozdrevlyayu s Prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom! God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt! Season's Greetings! Peace!
I hope this greeting finds you well. It does us. With three years of "retirement living" under our belts, I think it's fair to say that Kate and I have fully made the transition to retired life. In some senses that took about a day. But it feels like our retirement years now have a normal rhythm. This will be our fourth year of traveling to Cedar Key, Florida in February. Sunrises (for me). Sunsets (for all, often with an adult beverage). Birds. Quiet. Warmth. Walks. Friends. Our trip south shortens the Minnesota winter in a way that appeals to both of us.
Without a doubt our biggest event this year was Peter and Erin's wedding in Vail, Colorado. The wedding, the reception, and all of the related events were amazingly fun, moving and special. We are so pleased to add Erin to our family.
The odds are overwhelming that Peter and Erin will also be the source of our family's biggest event of 2019 as well. Our family of five
is scheduled to become a little larger towards the end of May. Peter and Erin are expecting their first child then!! We are so excited for them (and for us). We celebrated with them in Denver earlier this month.
Erin's tiny glass of beer was the tipoff in this photo. Erin is doing wonderfully. Peter also seems to be holding up well.
One sad note in our year was the death of Kate's mother, Kitty. She was 93 years old, lived a full and zestful life, and was able to remain in her own home to the end, for the most part in fairly good health. She may have been small in stature but her presence was enormous.
We miss her.
Our retirement years seem to include one or two other long trips (including this year a wonderful trip with Madeline winding our way home from Peter and Erin's wedding). We spend more quiet mid-week cabin time in the summer. Lots of visits to and with family and friends. Some traditional annual events. Some more spontaneous.
All in all, it's been yet another excellent year for us. All the best to you and yours. Enjoy the holiday season and every season. We'll do the same.
Here's to a joyful 2019!
Stan and Kate
(Note: Photos may be enlarged by clicking on them. Photo credits to SSB, JTS and TCofT5)