Looking Back at 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
This past year we have continued to write and post
online quarterly newsletters in hopes of sharing with you some idea of
what we’ve been doing each year of our retirement.
We enjoy writing them and, from
time to time, we reread them to remind ourselves of events, people, and
places that have been important to us. If you have looked over the ones
from this past year, you already have a pretty good idea about what has
captured our interests, where we’ve been, and what life in the
mountains has been like for us throughout 2008. Click on www.pigseye.com/hj/letters
for any you have missed or would like to read again. This year we
thought writing our usual end of the year newsletter
might be redundant. So, instead, we’d like to acknowledge some
highlights and reflect on some things that, looking back,
seem important but might have passed unnoticed during the year past.
•Alaska: In three weeks we
saw as much as we could by train, tour boat, horseback, hiking,
helicopter, small plane, fishing boat, RV, and cruise ship through the
Inside Passage, across the Kenai Peninsula, and Denali National Park.
(That’s the Northwest Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park behind us
in the photo on the left.)
Jean-Pierre and Linda Georges joined us for Day of the Dead
celebrations, an election night gala, a 5K race, a visit to the PV
Botanic Gardens, great restaurants (including Pipi’s below), and a week
of warm weather R&R.
•Sophie Graduates: After a
month of classes, training, and testing, Sophie joined the ranks of
therapy dogs at Boulder Community Hospital. She and Judy, both dressed
in their official volunteer uniforms, now make regular Monday morning
visits to see patients of all ages at BCH.
•Wild West Relay: Judy ran
195 miles from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs on a relay team with
eleven other runners. The team averaged 9:26/mile for over 30 hours.
(They each ran a leg through the night.) They won first in the Masters
•National Cross-Country Championship:
Judy won an individual second place in San Diego at the National Cross
Country Championships. Her team finished second in their age group. In
local races, Judy won her age group in all seven races she entered,
plus the Puerto Vallarta 5K in November.
here on April 28th with the arrival of the first hummingbird.
•You may have observed this
yourself: as we have grown older, we find we are spending more and more
time visiting different doctors for tests, lab work, scans (all Judy’s
tests continued to come back clear and clean), and surgeries (Hughes
had a second left knee operation in March). We’ve both seen internists,
dermatologists, dentists, acupuncturists, and a variety of others who
have helped keep us fit and catch things before they develop. We’re
grateful for Medicare and good medical services in our area for keeping
•A friend once described three
stages of retirement: the “Go Go” stage,
the “Slow Go” stage, and the “No Go” stage. After 18 years of
retirement, we think we are still in the Go Go stage. We can still
hike, scuba and snorkel, cut our own firewood, ski and snowshoe, run
bicycle for hours. While a cruise may be generally for those in the
Slow Go stage, we enjoyed the convenience and economy of our cruise up
the Inside Passage so much that we will likely plan another cruise
sooner than we expected.
•A cruise through the fjords of
Norway and other parts of
Scandinavia is on our short list of places we would like to visit. High
on that list also are a return visit to Ireland and a trip to the
Galapagos Islands. Judy would include Antarctica. Spain, western
Australia, northern Europe, Egypt and the Holy Land, and Turkey remain
on our to-do list. There are areas of the US and Canada we would like
explore, and we have a comfortable RV for seeing as much of North
America as we can.
•We have spent so much time
driving the canyon between here and Boulder
that we have considered moving “down below.” We have not gone much
beyond thinking the idea; the prospects of moving are over-whelming,
and the potential of finding an affordable house is outweighed by
selling this one. The thought of moving into a house with neighbors
next door is really not comfortable after 16 years of not
seeing other houses. The dogs would have to be fenced. So many changes
to have to make! At the end of the day, however, we continue to relish
coming home to the peacefulness and beauty of our mountain home.
•Volunteering has been a blessing
for us both. Since we came to Nederland in 1992, both of us have had a
wide variety of volunteer opportunities, some of which we have, from
time to time, even received compensation, though that was never a
factor in doing the work. We know we have contributed to our community
and the pleasure and great personal satisfactions have enriched our
•We enjoyed visits from Jill and
Cal Calcamuggio from Toledo (Jill inspired
Judy’s interest in running nearly 25 years ago); from Hedy and Don
Bressler (Hedy graduated from Antioch College 47 years ago, a year
before we did);
Cythnia Sievers and Darla Belshe (in photo on the right) graduated from
high school with Hughes and we got reacquainted with them after half a
century at Hughes’s 50
high school reunion last year.
•We find we’re more hopeful
about what the future holds for us. As
bad as the past eight years have been for the country and the
world—even as prices have gone up and our savings have dipped—we remain
optimistic that our country will recover financially. All the
confidence we’ve lost at home and our stature across the world can and
will be regained. We are encouraged by a new moral vision for our
society and new leadership. We can travel outside the USA with a sense
of pride in our country once again. We hope you share our optimism.
Each year we appreciate more and
more the true value of family and friends. We thank each of you for
your continued friendship as neighbors or friends across the country.
We wish each of you and your family health and happiness in the coming