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Wanting to simplify our lives, we started 2020 off on a good note. After the tenant gave her notice, we sold Julie’s mother’s house in Sherwood, OR to a young couple.


Unexpectedly, several feet of snow fell. Rich used his trekking poles to explore the white wonderland.


Starting in 2019, we lined up craftsmen to do household projects, including rebuilding the deck that ran across the entire length of our house. Rich set to work taking apart the deck and turning the wood into planter boxes for our garden. To commemorate his final COVID vaccine and my birthday, we ordered a hot tub and bought two cakes.


In April, I received all my vaccines, and we felt empowered to go on mini “masked” trips, including a sculpture park on Whidbey Island and Port Gamble. The last time we visited, we both struggled to walk. Sadly, Jujube (tabby) quietly passed with the help of a visiting veterinarian.


With much of our deck removed, we had a concrete pad poured and held a Cootie Emancipation Celebration for vaccinated friends. We also ventured to the midget car races at the Skagit Speedway and visited Port Ruston with Stacey and Shawn.


In early February, Rich’s half-brother, Ralph passed away in Anaheim, CA. In June, Rich with the help of his brother, Phillip, listed and sold the house within hours!

Later that month, we journeyed to the Children’s Museum in Olympia to visit with Chris, Coen (8) and Caitlyn (6). Stacey joined us later in the day, making the day extra special.


Progress on our deck picked up, with the hot tub being delivered, second deck started, and house repainted. For fun, we visited with family in Bremerton, enjoying Sawyer’s (5) birthday, paddleboarding (Julie), and watching Maisie (3) dance.


By August, our deck was completed, stonework and large ceramic planters added, and the plants we’d accumulated for months planted. We also had a mini-3-day vacation, traveling to Coolie Dam, spending a day in historic Winthrop, and then concluding with watching Monster Truck races… with Julie riding in one of the trucks.


Early in the month, Lunetta passed “over the rainbow,” once again with the help of the island’s visiting veterinarian. A few weeks later, we took the last Holland America cruise up to Alaska, celebrating our 19-year anniversary and unwinding. Rich enjoyed the pool, we watched lots of performances, and in Ketchikan, we sea kayaked, proving we can use our pedal kayak next year.


Our dry summer, quickly turned to blustery weather, necessitating the need to trim plants, pull up what was left of our garden, winterize our house, and plan our holiday baking extravaganza (14 types of cookies, 10 different candies)


Along with visiting with family (and giving away cookies/candy), we’re starting to plan more home improvements before Julie stops working next year. In the meanwhile, she’s happily creating communications for Microsoft from her home office.

We hope this letter finds you in good health and having a memorable holiday season.