December 5, 2018
Every year it seems I begin this annual letter marvelling at how fast the year has flown by…but this year it seems especially so! It has been a year of much coming and going and we have arrived suddenly to Christmas! As best as we can estimate Val was away from home about 155 days in 2018! If you add those days to Redgie’s busy work/travel schedule you can imagine how much more time he spent away from home this year.
We have traveled so much and had such a full year that for the sake of brevity (if you can 2562 words “brief”!) I will try to condense it all into a bullet point list of events.
(Click on the photos for larger view.)
- Jan 1: Went to Dillon to take down the Christmas decorations in the condo.
- Jan 4: Flew to FL to close on our 3rd condo in Fort Walton Beach.
- Jan 4-Feb 7: We spent this time installing new floors & having the condo painted, furnishing & stocking the condo for rent. Val’s mom came from GA to help with this big task and we were so thankful to have her help!
- Jan 12-15: Val’s sister Vickie came to spend the weekend with us & Mom and help with the condo.
- Jan 14: During a visit with Brooks & Christina and Christina’s parents who were visiting from CA we learned that we were going to become grandparents in August!! Redgie & I have dreamed of becoming grandparents for so long we are so excited and grateful that our dream was finally going to come true! God is so good!
- Jan 19 – 23: Val’s dad drove to FL from their home in GA to spend a few days with us and celebrate his 80th birthday together on 1/22/18. We drove to Pensacola that day to have a celebratory dinner with Brooks & Christina. The next morning Mom & Dad left to drive to their second home in Lake Placid FL.
- Jan 25: We flew back home to CO because the next day Redgie was scheduled for a medical procedure. It was not the best timing since we were not finished with the condo in FL but the schedule was out of our hands. Everything went great so the next week we flew back to FL to finish the work on the new condo. One week later we flew back home to CO. Our first guests checked into the new condo on 2/9/18.
- Brooks & Christina stopped by our house on their cross-country drive from Pensacola to San Diego where they were moving to for Brooks’ new assignment as the “mini boss” on the USS Portland. They were happy to be moving back to San Diego. We got to “Rhino-sit” while Brooks & Christina took trip to Belize to be with Christina’s family. Rhino was the easiest dog to “sit” because all he ever wanted to do was take a nap! Redgie took him for a walk around the neighborhood twice a day though, so he did at least get that much exercise.
- Feb 24 – Mar 1: Redgie went to Myrtle Beach at the end of the month for his annual golf trip with his Altoona buddies.
- Feb 23 – 28: While Redgie was on his golf trip Val went to Washington D.C. to keep her sister Vickie company during a conference that her husband Jim was attending. We stayed at the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor for five days. It was fun! We visited Old Town Alexandria and did some shopping, enjoyed some fun conference events with Jim and even had a “cousins reunion”! Vickie & I grew up inside the Beltway and our cousins still live in the general vicinity. Sisters Terri & Diane and our other cousin Becky all made plans to spend the afternoon at the Gaylord with Vickie & I. We had so much fun visiting, having lunch, laughing and reminiscing about our childhoods.
- Apr 12 – 16: A trip to Lynchburg to spend a fun weekend with Bill & Melanie (from Delaware), Steve & Sue (from Altoona) & Ken (from Pittsburgh). We enjoyed going to Convocation, eating lunch in the student cafeteria, going to a couple of baseball games, attending church at Thomas Road Baptist Church on Sunday and sharing lots of laughs and memories and stories.
- Apr 19 – 22: A trip to Portland OR to attend the commissioning of the USS Portland. It was very interesting and fun to get to tour the ship, attend the christening ceremony, and best of all spend so much of the weekend with Brooks. He looks so handsome in his uniform and we don’t often get to see him in his “official” capacity.
- Apr 25 – May 12: A trip to the Fort Walton Beach condos to take care of any necessary maintenance, re-furnishing and restocking the condos.
- While I stayed in FL Redgie flew to San Diego for a few days to help Brooks work on installing a new deck on the back of the house that they bought when they moved there earlier in the year. Brooks was trying to get it done before he shipped out for 10 weeks that summer so Redgie was glad to be able to help.
- May 18 – 20: We flew to San Antonio to attend a vacation rental conference. I was proud that my little business VRAssist was able to provide this opportunity for Redgie and I to spend a few days with others in the STR industry. We learned a lot, enjoyed meeting so many interesting people and enjoyed the city of San Antonio.
- May 27 – 30: We spent another three days up in Dillon at the end of the month. During that trip we spent a day in Vail exploring the town. That was fun!
- Jun 20 – 24: We made a quick trip to Fort Walton Beach to help our friend Melissa get her new condo on the beach ready to put on the vacation rental market. It was a whirlwind few days but enjoyable nevertheless because we got to share that time with Melissa and her sons Alex and Nick.
- Jun 28 – Jul 5: We went up to Dillon to spend the week of the July 4th holiday. We love Dillon in the summer and usually will take a bike ride, go hiking on our favorite Lily Pad Lake trail, go to the Farmers Market (which this year was right outside our building on the road that runs beside the lake), enjoy the free concerts in the newly renovated Amphitheater which is only a block from our condo, and eating at our favorite restaurants in Dillon and Frisco. Because of the fire hazard this year there were no fireworks so that was a disappointment but we enjoyed the trip anyway!
- July 27: Shannon, Redgie & I went downtown to view the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. That was very interesting!
- Jul 29: We attended the wedding of Hannah Cantwell and Connor Whitson. The wedding was beautiful, full of joy and love and laughter! We were honored to be invited.
- August 3 – 13: We flew to San Diego to attend the super-secret-surprise combined baby shower for Christina & Brooks and her friend Chrissy & Joe (who were expecting their 2nd son in October). Brooks almost pulled off the surprise but at the last minute a fumbling attempt at deception (which he never was very good at!) alerted Christina that something might be up. However, she was very surprised when she arrived at the shower to see many members of her family (her parents, sister Jessie, and Aunt & Uncle) so in the end it turned out fine.
During that trip Brooks & Redgie worked on finishing up the deck on the back of the house and Redgie & I searched for a small apartment to lease. We decided that we were going to want to spend as much time as possible in San Diego after our first grandchild was born and didn’t want to impose on Brooks & Christina for lodging. We ended up finding a small but nice 1 bedroom apartment only 1.5 miles from their house.
- After we got home from that trip we spent a week gathering up anything that we could spare at home (dishes, pots & pans, linens, etc), packed up the car and on August 18 we began the drive from CO to San Diego. We spent the night in Las Vegas and on August 19 we moved into the “tiny tiny house”.
- August 22, 2018: Our beautiful new granddaughter Charlotte was born. I was able to be at the hospital when she was born but unfortunately Redgie was out of town on a business trip (in Charlotte, NC coincidentally!) No words can describe our joy at finally becoming grandparents after so long of dreaming of this day.
- September was spent in San Diego where we visited with Brooks, Christina & baby Charlotte as often as possible. Redgie did tear himself away for a trip to Lynchburg to attend Liberty’s first football game & first game in the FBS conference. He enjoyed the weekend with his Altoona buddies. We returned home to CO on September 30.
- Oct 10 – 15: A fun weekend in Lynchburg again with Steve & Sue and Ken. The guys went to a hockey game on Friday night and all of us went to the football game on Saturday. On Sunday we attended church at Thomas Road Baptist Church.
- Oct 28: Redgie & I took a day trip to Dillon with our friends Jan & Vini. They helped us swap out the summer decor and bedding for the winter decor and bedding. On the way back down the mountain we stopped in Idaho Springs for dinner at BeauJo’s pizza….yum!
- Oct 31: We flew back to San Diego.
- Nov 1 – 9: In San Diego we enjoyed spending as much time as possible with Brooks & Christina and Charlotte. In just the short time since we left at the end of September Charlotte had begun smiling, cooing and giggling so it was so much fun to play with her and enjoy her emerging personality. We also got to enjoy a dinner & evening of visiting with our friends Steve & Jeanie Laird who were in town at the same time coincidentally.
- Nov 9 – 19: Our fall trip to the beach condos to do the usual maintenance & restocking and enjoy the beautiful sunsets every evening and as much delicious seafood as we could eat. On November 17 Reg & I took a day trip to Auburn, AL to attend the Auburn vs Liberty football game. Unfortunately Auburn crushed the LU team. 😦
- Nov 19 -24: We drove to my parents home in GA to spend a few days and Thanksgiving with them. As usual my mother was the “hostess with the most-est” and had spent several weeks preparing meals and treats for our visit. It was wonderful to get to visit with my brother Jeff and his family and my sister Holly and her four children. Unfortunately my other sister Vickie and her husband Jim were not able to come but they are planning a visit to Mom & Dad’s after Christmas.
- Nov 24 – 28: On Redgie’s 60th birthday (Nov 24) we left GA and drove to Lynchburg in time to attend the freezing, rainy Liberty football game. You can bet if it had not been Redgie’s birthday I would not have been sitting in that stadium that day! But, being the good sport that I am I endured the bad weather and eventually the rain did stop and Liberty won the game so all was well in the end.
We’ve been home in Denver since Nov 28 and have been working on getting the Christmas decorations up, Christmas cards addressed, shopping done and anything else that needs to be done before Christmas because in two days we head back to San Diego for 10 days…we need our Charlotte time! We’ll be back home on Dec 17. We look forward to spending the holidays with the kids (except for Brooks, Christina & Charlotte who will spend Christmas with her family in Palo Alto.)
Update on the kids:
Brooks & Christina: You already know that they became parents this year and I am sure that is the most important news/change they’ve ever experienced. It is precious to watch them both become loving, caring parents and we thank God for this special blessing. Brooks learned that he will become promoted to the office of Lieutenant Commander in February. Christina continues to enjoy her job as the Project Manager of the White Rhino Conservation project at the San Diego Zoo. Rhino has adapted to becoming a “big brother” with his usual laid-back personality and lots of naps. 🙂
Shannon & Robert still live in Parker, CO. Robert got a new job this year as an aircraft mechanic on a mobile response team for a different company. He is doing the same kind of work as he had before but is not traveling quite as much as he was before which is a good thing. Shannon continues to work for Sugar Palm Rentals (vacation rental property management company in Destin owned & operated by friends from VRBO/Homeaway). She just recently was invited to join the team on a full-time basis which makes her very happy as she really enjoys her job and working with the folks at Sugar Palm. Our granddogs Bruno & Roxy and grandcat Ruben are doing well also!
Brady continues to work for Enterprise Rental Cars and lives in Denver. He and Colbie have been dating for 2 years and really seem to get along well and love & care for each other. We are proud of the young adult Brady is becoming as he transitions from being dependant on us to being responsible for himself and making his own decisions about his life. Their dog Benji completes our menagerie of granddogs (and grandcat)!
Redgie continues in his role at Perdue, traveling much of the time as usual. He is starting to look forward to the time when he can retire so we’ve begun to work on plans that will perhaps expedite that date. He is not one of those men who say they want to work until they die…Redgie wants to enjoy time with family & friends, travel for fun (not work), play golf and go to as many Liberty football, basketball and baseball games as possible!
As for me, this year I resigned my small part-time job with Sugar Palm when I learned that I was going to become a grandmother. I knew that I would want to be with the baby as much as we could manage. Now I keep myself busy with VRAssist and the management of our own vacation rental properties. (At the present time between VRAssist and our properties I manage 14 vacation rental properties!) I look forward to as much Charlotte-time as I can get in the coming year!
Bebe turned 10 years old this year. (I thought she was 9 but Redgie insists she is 10!) She has gone with us on just about every trip….I wish she had her own Reward Miles account and could earn points for all of her travel!
We thank God for all of his many blessings to us this and every year, but this year especially with the birth of our precious granddaughter. We pray that all of our friends & family will experience the same blessings from God and be filled with the joy and gratitude of this very special Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas and sending our love,
Redgie & Valerie (and Bebe!)