Holidays, Retirement, Travel

Holiday Letter


This year we officially entered the real estate market with mixed emotions and results. Needless to say, the market was not cooperative and we are still Normal people for a while longer. That is, we live in Normal, IL. I can’t tell you how many open houses we’ve had. Each one required a certain level of mayhem and pandemonium during the preparation.  In anticipation of one such event, I did a quick run through of the upstairs rooms. These are rooms I don’t normally visit since they are now devoid of human habitation and the associated detritus. On this occasion, I looked out the window and found a sizeable fish on the roof. Well, I says to myself, that’s a pretty athletic fish (imagining he had jumped/flew to the roof from the lake)! Obviously that couldn’t be the case, but that crow or hawk was pretty athletic themselves to have carried off the lift. Fortunately, it was dried up and not stinky anymore. So I cheerily opened the window and removed the carcass.  

 We continue to comb through our ‘treasures’ in hopes of finding new and appreciative homes for them. We’ve had quite a bit of good luck with Craigslist and Freecycle and have even navigated around several scam attempts. The latest to go was our beautiful 9 foot lighted Christmas tree (used only twice, took a whole week to decorate each time!) to a young woman who’s never had one of her own before. We’re still looking for a home for our Civil War era walnut wardrobe with fantastic detail (including ivory keyholes). Know anyone?

 Our biggest success was the distribution of over 66 vintage glass lamp shades. This was my husband’s manic collection from over 40 years of garage sales. It started as a necessity to be able to replace lamp shades at the apartments we owned and rented out. But over the years it got out of hand. In order to find new homes for these, we spent several days running around our town (Old House Society, Habitat for Humanity warehouse, etc.).  Then we did the same thing in Minneapolis with better results. All the lamp shades now reside at Architectural Antiques (a very neat place to find unusual architectural features for your home or garden). Basically we traded them ‘in kind’ and now have a huge credit with which to play.

Our health is reasonably good for a couple of old f…s. Ray’s had a knee replacement, a broken ankle (yes, the blind guy was riding his bike), and ended up with a big toe joint replacement. I’m doing pretty good, going to Zumba Gold, swim and yoga when I can, quilt and knit, and otherwise make weak attempts at drawing and writing.

This spring we’re going to try a retirement village in Mesa, Arizona for a couple months. I have mixed emotions about it, but I am very excited about exploring a part of the country I have only passed through for an educational conference. On my list to see so far are the Petrified Forrest, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon.

Best wishes to you and those close to you for the New Year.

… June

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