Gosh it has been a great year — well, actually the last 6 months in particular. Retirement has brought new life into our routine and has really made friendships more dear. We have had more time with family — spending a few days painting our son’s new house, baking brownies and playing around with our granddaughters, beer samplings with our sons and maternity shopping with our daughter (well, Jackie did that one, not Doug).
We struck off out West with our cat and dog to explore the National Parks and found out we could hike the canyons, cliffs and forge upriver with the best of them! (To quote from Monty Python, “we’re not dead yet!). Experiencing our country’s natural wonders only made us want to explore some more. It wasn’t enough to swim and snorkel in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico — we had to cruise out to National Parks in St. John and Puerto Rico to swim in the reefs and explore Spanish fortresses.
Falling asleep in the Rockies to the sounds of elk and coyote; watching a swirling cloud of bats head out for a night of good eats; pausing at the summit of a trail that drops off 1,500 feet beside you … these are all great memories from our recent adventures.
We celebrated with colleagues on the deck this summer and just this week congratulated another teacher who joined us in retirement: our good friend Cindy. It was nice to join the party and catch up with all our other friends at school. It was nice to see students who ran up to say hi and tell us they missed us.
So we had this great idea to take a Christmas picture with the pets, but nobody asked the cat and dog if they agreed. Several takes later we got a shot that worked, although Merlin quickly split and complained about “cat shaming.”
We do wish all our readers, friends and family a very Merry Christmas and thanks for following our grand adventures. Who knows what we will do in 2016, but we invite you to come along with us and find out.