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December 30th 2016
Published: December 30th 2016
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My cozy apartment in Austin.
Christmas Letter - 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

Most of you know that I have been living at Brookdale Gaines Ranch, a senior-living community in Austin, Texas, since last January. Thanks to Erika, my interior decorator, business manager, medical confidant, morale booster, half of my vacation-planning team, mother of my oldest grandson (Daniel, age 11), and my loving and supportive daughter.

I am happy in my stimulating environment that provides intellectual and cultural programs, daily exercise options both in and out of the pool, outings to dinner/theater, movies, horse races, “bat” cruises, weekly in-house live music/happy hour, new friends, kind staff, good food, and … well, this is why I now consider this is my new home.

Matt and his wife, Megan, are the second half of my vacation-planning team. Their son, Cash (age 3) and his sister, Lola (age 4 1/2), live in Antigua, Guatemala and they love their life there. He stops over in Austin whenever his ecotourism work travel allows. He is proud of his new business venture called "Trek Guatemala" -- try it, you’ll love it! Check out his website:

Last March our family joined with Megan’s sister and her two

Having fun at a "wild west" theme party at my residence.
children and we all went on a 3-day Disney cruise and had fun visiting with the Hoey family in Florida. In June, we met in Costa Rica to renew old friendships with the two families who hosted Erika when she was doing her World Teach volunteering years ago. We rented an Airbnb home near Manuel Antonio N.P. and had a relaxing week together. In July, Erika, Daniel and I flew to Wisconsin for a great 4th of July weekend visiting friends and family. I then got to spend time visiting my sisters in Oostburg and had a great reunion with my Eernisse cousins. My sister, Carol, and niece Susan returned back with me to Austin to spend some time seeing a bit of Texas history in San Antonio.

Matt and Megan are busy parents balancing work, travel and home life! Megan is working back in DC one week a month at her former PT company while Matt holds down the fort in Antigua which allows him to devote more time to his trekking business and his ecotourism projects. He and the kids were in Austin for a week in August before joining Megan in DC for some vacation time

Out with Erika at a play about the life of Ann Richards.
together there.

I made a visit back to Boulder in early September; I needed to remind myself about all the wonderful memories John and I made together there these last twenty years and be glad in them and “rejoice” in them!

I am so grateful for all the support I received for the Walk to Defeat ALS in October, and for a wonderful Thanksgiving week here in Austin with Matt & Megan and the extended Hoey family.

This month Erika and I had a great night out at an Andrea Bocelli concert, and just returned from a beautiful Christmas holiday with all the grandkids at a beachside resort near Cancun, Mexico.

I treasure all the cards and messages I’ve received from friends throughout the year, as well as wonderful visits from Dave, Deb & Abby Eernisse, Nancy & Ron Westerbeke, Janice & Charlie Boggs, Diane & Bob Jenkins, and Lisa & Larry Lloyd. If you're ever in the Austin area, I would love to see you! Here is my contact info:

4409 Gaines Ranch Loop, #536

Austin, TX 78735

(303) 517-8440

Blessings to one and all, and prayers for a

Me and Megan in Costa Rica
more peaceful world,


Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


A great night out in Costa Rica!

Matt & Megan

Drinks at sunset with Sue & Carol.

Dinner at my apartment with the grandkids.

My team for the Walk to Defeat ALS.

Lola, Daniel & Cash!

Our silly Christmas shenanigans!

30th December 2016

Christmas Greetings from Champaign, Illinois
Mary-- Thank you for including me in your blog, it brought back fond memories of you and John and time at "The Land." --jerry

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