December 2019 Holiday Letter

December 2019

Greetings from the Baileys! We hope your 2019 was filled with joy and happy memories. Our own year was largely a continuation of the whirlwind that was 2018, but we are finally settling back to something resembling ‘normal’.

Ann’s year as the Commodore for the Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization led to amazing experiences for both of us – and we have the bonus of having so many wonderful new friends in our lives. The winter months had several ‘far away’ trips starting with Pasadena CA for the Tournament of Roses parade and football game. Being behind the scenes to see the floats up close, watching the equestrian and band performances and having great seats to the action was once in a lifetime fun. Shortly after, we were all in Aberdeen for the South Dakota Snow Queen festival. Their hospitality was as warm as the unseasonably warm January, including a fantastic insider tour of a wind turbine manufacturing plant.

January ended with a fun celebration in St. Paul for the Winter Carnival. It was wonderful to celebrate with their outgoing team AND to meet the new ambassadors. Two quick weeks later, we all spent time together at the Festival du Voyageur (He Ho!) in Winnipeg, celebrating regional French heritage with great food and music on their beautiful festival grounds. The nighttime candle-lit walking parade along the frozen riverfront while locals cheered from balconies and trains was great.

In March we visited Macon GA for the ‘pinkest party on earth’ – their Cherry Blossom Festival. Mother Nature did an excellent job timing peak blossoms while we were there — though Randy’s highlight was the Allman Brothers “Big House” museum!  The final away trip was to Fiesta (Viva!) in San Antonio – where the whole town takes part in the celebration and we had prime seats to parades, band performances, and a great tour along the Old Mission trail.

As spring kicked in, Team Aqua was back to visiting dozens of Minnesota communities. We were all at Rick’s Bike Sale to support the great work Randy and friends do – this year they raised over $64,000 selling nearly 700 bikes!  Woot! Then on to many festivals, parades, and coronations. The overwhelming lesson from these visits is how friendly people really are and how they unite behind a common cause to put on kickin’ fun community events and provide leadership opportunities and scholarships for their young people. By July we were all pretty worn, but still excited to celebrate the Minneapolis Aquatennial with all our new friends from across North America. Definitely the most special parade of the year with all those friends waving us home.

As we were winding down from all this excitement, Randy started a new adventure by throwing his name in the hat — one minute before the election! — for President of the Apple Valley Senior Citizens organization. Despite his own dissenting vote, he is now the supreme leader for aging well in our home city. His first few months have been busy running various board meetings and visiting all the clubs: Color and Chat, Line dancing, Mah Jongg, Yoga… the list goes on! In his free time he is still volunteering aplenty: repairing bikes, being a DARTS Snow Angel, and helping (?) the Eastview HS Debate team.

Ann is staying busy with DARTS and looking forward to 2020. She found a little time to put in a garden, though production suffered from all the time away. Last Christmas Eve, her 30th Annual Cookie Bake was the front page story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Variety section! Last week’s Cookie Bake #31 was highly productive – many pounds of butter and flour gave their lives to become very good goodies.

This fall we got back to more normal travel. A fun trip to Jackson Hole and the surrounding Teton mountain range fulfilled our overdue Wyoming random-state pick. We saw lots of wildlife, beautiful fall colors, and a fair amount of snow. Randy rented a Cessna aircraft and flew around the area for stunning views of the back side of the Tetons and up to Yellowstone. For Thanksgiving, we tried something new: a Bailey family vacation at Grandview Lodge – and the “snow” theme continued as we were blasted with 12 inches, slowing the drive home but sure pretty to see.

And that gets you up to speed on some of our 2019 highlights.

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and many happy times in 2020.

Ann & Randy

A fun hyperlinked version of this letter is at

https://baileyrandy.wordpress.com/

randy.bailey@frontiernet.net

ann.e.bailey@frontier.com

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December 2018 Holiday Letter

December, 2018

Happy Holidays from the Baileys! We enjoy hearing how things are going in your world – whether in person, by phone, card, Facebook, whatever! Here is a peek at our own recent highlights.…

In December 2017 we pulled New York from the pick-a-vacation-state-at-random hat and used that trip as a perfect excuse to visit the Adirondacks & Lake Placid (the 1980 Olympic hockey arena is still inspiring), then headed to Geneva and the Finger Lakes area to visit our nephew – what college student doesn’t LOVE to drag aunts and uncles around campus?

A year ago we randomly pulled Indiana and had a fun spring weekend in South Bend, exploring the area and visiting friends.

Back in February, Randy had surgery on his double-torn rotator cuff and the long recovery process has resulted in great success.   Rick’s Bike Sale went NUTS last year – and bike collection/refurbishment is rolling at an even faster pace this year.  Some 550 bikes were donated and 466 were sold, raising nearly $47,000! Rick and his all-volunteer crew have now raised and donated over $170,000 in total. This year the proceeds were split between Kids ‘n Kinship and DARTS – supporting both youngsters AND senior citizens.

Randy continues to scour sources for fun activities – wine classes, concerts, cultural events, breakfast & lunch meetups with friends.  Several times this year he organized a ‘cultural exploration day’ and off we went by the carload — or as a Miata caravan.  With his spare (?) time, he volunteers with the Debate team at Eastview and as a Snow Angel for DARTS. A successful 40th high school reunion in August validated all the time he put into helping organize the gathering.

DARTS has kept Ann busy! They’re about to close a deal to sell some of their land to build much-needed affordable senior apartments. DARTS will retain partnership in the project in exchange for their expertise in senior services. She also serves on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Her garden produced a huge crop of various peppers and she continues the pickling experiments — with success!

So, what’s weird about this year? Those of you following Randy on Facebook know!

In July, Ann was named Commodore of the Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization.This not only wasn’t on her bucket list, she didn’t know it was an option to PUT on the list! Ann is the 3rd female Commodore in Aqua’s 80 year history, and leads the FIRST EVER all-female Ambassador team. The role means she participates in dozens of civic celebrations across Minnesota with the goal to develop women leaders. Recognizing community volunteers with the “Honorary Commodore’s Award” is always inspiring and the parades are fun. Our Ambassador family is wonderful — Captains Jackie and Marjorie bring joy with them and our ‘Crowns’ Haley, Courtney, and Mandy feel like daughters! Beyond the many MN events, we’ll represent Aquatennial at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Winnipeg Festival du Voyageur, Macon GA Cherry Blossom fest, and Fiesta San Antonio.  Once spring arrives, we’ll be crazy busy until the 2019 Minneapolis Aquatennial Festival July 17-21 and Ann’s own “Commodore’s Dinner” finale celebration.

Well, that’s about it for the Randy & Ann in 2018. Please stay in touch. A fun version of this letter with hyperlinks to many items is at https://baileyrandy.wordpress.com/

Best wishes for 2019! 

randy.bailey@frontiernet.net

ann.e.bailey@frontier.com

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December 2017 Holiday Letter

December, 2017   —    “Faithful friends that are dear to us…” a perfect summary of the Bailey’s 2017!

You may remember from last year’s letter that we ‘cheated’ on our usual pick-a-vacation-state-at-random plan.  To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we peeked in the bucket while Akaka Fallspulling… and got Hawaii! In January, we flew to Oahu. First stop: Pearl Harbor, even more awe-inspiring than expected. Ann, native of WWII sub-building city Manitowoc WI, was particularly moved by the memorials to WWII submarines and servicemen.  Our “friends” theme got started on the Big Island where we met up with four others for a great stay in Kona.  Humpback whales actually do look fun-loving. Next stop was Volcano National Park.  We arrived shortly after a chunk of Hawaii had sheared off into theLava Flow ocean, redefining the lava flow into an incredible geyser, like an open fire hydrant of red-hot liquid into the ocean. Incredible to witness. Randy was able to rent a Cessna, flying above whales, around the cliff-lined north shore, and into the deep rainforest canyons.

Random-pick Massachusetts was our spring trip.  A delightful stay in Cape Cod during the off-season. Saw some great scenery, historical sites, and wonderful art.  A surprise highlight was the Hanna Barbera exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. A little time to sightsee in Boston and then back home.

Bike sale 1Randy spent spring up to his elbows in spokes, chains, and grease, getting ready for the 9th annual Rick’s Bike Sale.  The team refurbished a record 466 donated bikes this year, raising $34,961 for Kids ‘n Kinship!  Rick, Randy, and team have now donated over $130,000 total. We appreciate all who donated bikes, showed up to help, purchase, or just stop by to see the spectacle. This year the bike frenzy is just as wild; a recently donated semi-trailer is Bikeshelping with storage. Rick and Randy decided that DARTS will also benefit (yay!) from the 2018 sale coming up on May 12.

Randy’s golf buddies did their usual summer Tuesday outings and one additional overnight trip.  We had a wonderful time in Ely with friends – the rainy day “Password” tournament was a highlight.  We continue to find fun concerts and new brewpubs keep begging to be explored.  We took golf lessons, though honestly we’re not sure they worked. It was so cold during the lessons that our arms couldn’t move with all the layers constraining our arms and Ann’s mittens didn’t grip the club.  AARP-poster-child Randy goes to the senior center for yoga, morning stretch and sometimes joins the bike or music groups.

Our summer trip to Colorado (yes, another random pull – state #22) was based in Breckenridge.  A friend took us panning for gold outside Leadville and we hit big, really we did. Huge flecks were in our grasp—and then, poof, they were gone-those little nuggets slip right back out of the pan faster than you can react.  Great scenery on the Leadville railroad and biking from Vail Pass down to Frisco. Bonus meet-up when we PIFdiscovered a college friend was in the area.

Ann is enjoying leading DARTS.  She loves telling the stories of how their services and the connections people make enrich the lives of seniors.  DARTS received the “Nonprofit of the Year” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Randy volunteers – as auctioneer at Party it Forward and as a Snow Angel for a nearby senior.  Ann will be on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce Board beginning in January, adding to the adventure. Ann’s garden had great peppers, leading to experimenting with pickling and drying with tasty results.

In October, we went with friends to France for two weeks.  Three major stops: Provence, Bordeaux and Paris.  Provence has so much to do and see: Art history – seeing Van Gogh’s olive grove, Roman ruins – amazing coliseum in Arles, great food and wine. Bordeaux was wonderful.  We stayed at a small-town family-run bed & breakfast, whose owners welcomed us in and set a great itinerary.  We saw castles, wineries, GIANT sand dunes, apprenticed with a French master chocolatier, learned to cook (“whisk in a figure h-eight, Monsieur Randy!”).  Wonderful time.  Paris was a whirlwind of museums and churches…and a serendipitous dinner with a MN friend who just happened to be nearby.

Happy Season!

randy.bailey@frontiernet.net   ann.e.bailey@frontier.com

PontDuGard

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December 2016 Holiday Letter

December 2016   Happy holidays from the Baileys to you!  The warmer-than-usual fall weather allowed December to sneak up on us, but now that the cold is here (brrrr!) we’ll take a shot at this year’s recap letter…..

Best wishes to those of you battling health issues. We lost Randy’s dad Cliff and grandma Beulah Luthe last January.  Randy is learning to deal with diabetes. We’ll be holding family especially close this holiday season.pigeon-falls

“Pick-a-vacation-state-at-random” continues!  Our Connecticut trip last spring was great and had an odd twist.  The night before we left, we were at a fundraiser hosted by NPR “RoadFood” stars Jane and Michael Stern. She lives in Connecticut and was giving us great insider travel/restaurant tips.  Then she says, “You should have lunch with me while you’re there!”  We made our plans, sent her a note with likely lunch dates and she was still all systems go.  Alas, when the time grew close, she didn’t return our calls—I guess we do kind of look like raging stalker fans.  That’s OK—turned out all her previous restaurant suggestions were great, including a killer roadside hot dog joint —homemade relishes and mustards.  Sooooo good!  Yes, Abbott’s lobster rolls were also great!

Last December, we pulled Oklahoma.  Per usual, Randy dashed to the library to read up on quartzOK travel books.  Imagine his frustration in finding there is NOT ONE Oklahoma travel book in the entire Dakota County library system, which put a damper on our excitement.  Short of singing songs from the musical and riding a bull, we were stumped.  Even our trusted travel agent had zero suggestions.  Google to the rescue!  A search “Oklahoma resorts” returned three possible choices.  We chose one in the Quartz Mountains and had a great time.  At the resort’s Octoberfest party, we sat at a table with the Oklahoman work crew that was refurbishing the log resort.  They were pretty fascinated that Minnesotans had found that part of the state.  We also recommend the Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  Ann has told Randy to write the “OK really is OK” travel book to fill the product gap.

Last June we pulled Massachusetts and will be heading there in April.  Since 2016 was a big anniversary (25th), we “curated” a special pick and will be heading to Hawaii this January.nshore

We had a fun Bailey family trip to Laughlin NV with Mom Patty, all the kids, and token in-law Annie.  None of us got rich but we sure did laugh a lot.  We also worked in some quick weekend trips with friends:  The Villages in FL, Hayward WI, Ely and Grand Marais MN.  Where are the cameras for the AARP commercials when we were out being role models of active older adults???

Home life stays busy!  Randy is still “wrenching” for Rick’s Kids ‘n Kinship bike program, gliderwhich raised $27,095(!) this year.  They also helped the Free Bikes for Kids organization get bikes ready for their giveaway day.  The Chain Gang officially retired this year but Randy continues to stay connected to Eastview via coaching debate, helping coordinate AP testing, and connecting often with former colleagues. He gave another great auctioneer performance for the DARTS fundraiser and has volunteered to be a “Snow Angel” shoveler for a local senior citizen this winter.  He still golfs, rides bench for the teacher sofmiatatball team, and keeps the Bailey social calendar filled with plenty of music, art and theater events.  Randy realized that Ann would look extra cute in a convertible, so we picked up 1999 Miata and have enjoyed tooling around with the top down, especially once Ann learned to put in a ponytail.

Ann’s work at DARTS continues to be a joy.  Every day she sees examples of how DARTS in the community is so important.  For their big Party-It-Forward fundraiser, Ann took old DARTS bus dartstokens and with the help from a friend learned enough jewelry making skills to make some charm necklaces.  Ann and Randy’s mom took an oil painting class, creating a lovely still life.  Randy stole liberated Ann’s painting and auctioned it off as a warm up item….and now regrets his actions since Ann is pretty pleased it sold for 5 figures….no, honey, no one cares there’s a decimal point in the number!  The garden grows.  This year’s big win was making homemade hot pepper flakes from her cayenne peppers.  Other than that, she golfed a bit, swam a bit, hiked a bit and tomatoenjoyed a two-step dance refresher course with Randy.

Stop on by for a beverage and let’s get caught up.  “Friend” Randy on Facebook or send an email.     ann.e.bailey@frontier.com        randy.bailey@frontiernet.net

 

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December 2015 Holiday Letter

December, 2015 –  T’was an unseasonably warm December night and the Baileys were huddled in the kitchen binging on cutout cookies in hope the calendar was wrong.  The thermometer says 40 degrees and not a stocking is hung!  The odd weather is perhaps a fitting way for us to end a surreal year.11 NC Hike 2

In April we took a random-state-pick trip to North Carolina: Smoky Mountains, Outer Banks and good friends in Charlotte—and an unexpectedly fun stop at the Chip Ganassi NASCAR garage.  We heard great music, had excellent food and even better conversations about the “what next” phase in our 50-something lives.  And Ann made a decision…..

In May, Ann resigned from her 18-year Target career. It was tough to say goodbye to such wonderful colleagues and friends.  She moved on to become President at DARTS, the 15 PIF TC Bearnonprofit that helped us so much dealing with Ann’s father during his Alzheimer’s battle and on whose Board she has served for the past 5 years.  Ann is taking over at a turning point for DARTS, as major transportation contracts were recently awarded elsewhere.  She’s working hard to ensure the team feels secure, the community knows what DARTS is doing and that donors maintain their support. We are both thankful for all of our friends who supported the October fundraiser; those of you who were there got a chance to see a new talent emerge in Randy: Auctioneer Extraordinaire.14 PIF Auction

After 4 years of ‘practice retirement’ on a leave of absence, Randy officially left ISD196, receiving his shiny plaque for 25 years of teaching service.  His schedule remains busy — Randy continues to help his pal Rick repair donated bicycles to raise funds – $21,665 last year! – for Kids ‘n Kinship, a nonprofit that matches adult9 CHain Gang mentors with kids in need. (got a bike? storage space?) He continues to golf, do chain gang, assist with Debate & AP testing at EVHS, meet friends for lunch, plan our vacations and generally help Ann. Speaking of travel, it was a busy year…

During January, we visited friends in Florida and had a great time. Randy’s ‘Cubic Annual’ get-together with old high school friends was held far from Austin for the first time, meeting at a condo on the South Carolina beach. Unfortunately, tropical storm Ana was parked just offshore and it rained for 4 days straight. Shorter trips included fun weekend visits to Duluth, Grandview Lodge, Grand Marais, and Ann’s high school reunion in Manitowoc. Randy is back in the air, renting airplanes during vacations and flying in the Duluth/Superior and Glacier Park areas. Speaking of which…..

July held what should have been a relatively low-stress trip to Glacier Park, fulfilling our18 MT Hike Montana state pick.  Just before arrival, a large fire broke out in the park and required a re-route deep into Canada, where highlights included Waterton Lake and seeing a mama black bear with her two cubs. We did some fun hikes and saw great scenery despite not being able to go all the way across Glacier’s Going to the Sun Road.

September was another adventure. We flew to Amsterdam and had a great couple days Swiss Alpsthere exploring. Next came a weeklong Rhine River cruise with some amazing stops in Netherlands, France, and Germany. The Kinderdijk windmills7 Ams Cheese were incredible.  The castles in the Rhine Gorge were almost ridiculously plentiful. We danced a polka in Germany, tried many wonderful Rieslings, German beers, and great food.  Ann made her international musical debut as the low bell in a live performance of “Edelweiss”.  After disembarking in Basel, Switzerland we hopped on the Swiss Rail system and had another week exploring various stops.  Bern was fun and it was really great to explore tiny Biglen, home of Randy’s great-great-great-great grandfather Luthe.  We had an amazing couple days in the Alp-side village of Murren where we did some fun (and some challenging) hiking and met some really nice people.   Ann had Swiss Gruyere cheese fondue – in Gruyeres Switzerland! How cool is that?!?  An all-around wonderful trip! If the Rhine or Switzerland are in your future, give us a call.

2 German Riesling

Alsatian Riesling.. in Alsace!

5 Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk windmills

The last bit of the year we’ve spent closer to home, enjoying friends, museums, fabulous theater, music, and good local exploration, doing our best to maintain the “Wednesday Date Night” tradition. We had a scare on Halloween when Randy’s Dad suffered a stroke.  The magical year pulled out a miracle in that he received treatment quickly enough to qualify for the tPA treatment and has had a full recovery.  We’re paying that good fortune forward by doing a little extra volunteering with various community organizations.

We hope your year has been filled with fun, family, friends, and warm memories. Wishing you all the best for 2016…..

8 Class Reunion

Ann’s class reunion

22 Taste

6 GM Beach

North Shore beach

4 James Bond

high atop the Schilthorn, where Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed

at Taste of the Fair

at Taste of the Fair

13 Wright

a special place for this private pilot

21 Alp Hike 3

climbing north face of the Eiger

10 NC Hike16 Florida12 NC Hike 3  17 Montana 19 Grizzly

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December 2014 Holiday letter

December 2014

Happy holiday greetings from the Baileys! Well, we’re at that age when cosmetic surgery seems like a good option. But, we’re too chicken to go under the knife ourselves, so, voila! Our home’s main level has been remodeled – down to sheetrock and re-done. Rather than describe it, stop on by and see the results!

Of course, “voila” was not quite the project speed. We camped in the basement for a few weeks until the sheetrock dust kicked up, when we took off for a fall trip to Oregon wine country, which was great! Side benefits were visiting a distant relative of Randy’s for a lesson on the Bailey family tree. We were glad to visit some college friends in Portland and spent a beautiful day strolling Japanese gardens. You know, it doesn’t really rain all the time in Portland, the locals just say it does to keep the rest of us out. We got home and Randy took off for boys’ weekend in South Bend with college friends. He took in Gopher / Notre Dame hockey, golfed, and soaked up the football weekend atmosphere. A (near) reunion of the Chet Morton band was fun. Ann took advantage of lax supervision by re-upholstering Randy’s college couch and generally updating the lower level furnishings. For some reason, no more guys’ weekends are….oh wait, there’s talk of high school guys gathering in South Carolina for spring break….sure, honey, that’s a great idea (sucker!).

Our pick-a-vacation-state-at-random pull: Nevada! We flew into San Fran, visited college friends, visited Lodi wine area and spent a couple of days each in Reno and Tahoe. Our Reno condo overlooked the Truckee Riverwalk where we could watch “kayak rodeo” practice. The Bowling Hall of Fame’s 72 lanes were…memorable. Tahoe was beautiful and now Ann’s retirement objective is to hike around Lake Tahoe. We currently have North Carolina in play and will draw again this month. We’ve picked 16 states to date.

For snow escapes we reprised our trip to visit friends in Florida in January. A highlight was touring Cape Canaveral & Kennedy Space Center. In March, it was a fun long weekend in Nashville to hear great music, see some great art, hang with various friends and eat great food. Highly recommend: the year-round Farmer’s Market.

Randy continues with his practice retirement. A record number of donated bikes were repaired for Kids ’n Kinship fundraising—and it seems like even more bikes have been coming in this year. Randy led the charge among a group of friends to construct Little Free Libraries. Our LFL (find it on their website!) keeps a steady business and is darn cute. All this work has meant that Randy has been less involved with the Eastview Community Foundation – an on-call “gofer” rather than full time board member. He still makes time to golf, hit college lectures, play guitar, read, and keep a regular lunch and breakfast circuit with friends.

Ann’s Target life is busy due to leadership changes. She’s trying to take the advice she gives her team: “keep your knees flexed”. She leads the busy replenishment systems team, providing systems changes to drive Target’s “omni-channel” objectives forward. Her activities with DARTS got busier this year as transportation contracts with Metropolitan Council are shifting, foretelling a year of change for DARTS as Ann moves to chair their board of directors.

So yes, we’re keeping busy. We’ve found some really fun local winter Farmer’s Markets, seen bunches of great theater and concerts (Monkees!) and taken a few classes. We keep busy with neighborhood events and supporting National Kidney Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, DARTS, and Eastview Community Foundation happenings. All good fun, though sometimes Ann has to remind Randy that she can’t ‘play’ every night. Good news is now that our kitchen feels so modern, cooking at home is almost as trendy as eating out.

Send a note, give us a call, stop by sometime.  — Randy & Ann

randy   .bailey   @    frontiernet  .     net

Reno

Beach AstronautsBike  cookie    Lake   LFL 1

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December 2013 Holiday letter

December 2013  — We write with the house still warm and toasty from Ann’s 25th Annual Cookie Bake, hosting a collection of family and friends who have been part of our lives for decades.  We are so fortunate and try not to take those great folks for granted.

It’s been a record travel year for us. We are caught up with our ‘pick a vacation state at random’ plan after an October trip to Santa Fe and surrounding area for great food, visits with old friends, history, art at every turn, music…did we mention great New Mexican food?  A walking tour of area restaurants, roasting peppers and great samples at the Farmer’s Market.  Mmm good.

We fulfilled June’s Illinois pick with a long weekend touring Chicago with some friends. We walked much of downtown, the Architecture Foundation’s riverboat tour was great, good food, great music.  Loved the FieldMuseum.  Last June we went to Kansas City (Missouri was last year’s pick) and explored some old river towns not yet absorbed by KC.  The food, music and art theme continued as it was their City of Fountains celebration and Art Festival weekend. Had great fun meeting up with some academic friends who were in town reading AP exams.

Randy finally got to visit ‘Save the Manatee’ Headquarters last winter on our way to visit friends in The Villages – a unique Florida retirement community.  Turns out that golfing in January is pretty sweet!  Ann was tickled when a duffer asked her to dance—he probably sniffed out the one still-employed woman in the place and figured “jackpot”.

Other trips included a March swing to Charleston and Savannah with two neighbor couples.  Yep – more good food, music, and art!  The next month we spent a long weekend in New York City with friends, hitting Broadway theaters and museums.  (yayMuseum of Math!) World-class food and art!  Walked all around Times Square area and got our faces on the Today Show.  We did a quick trip to Duluth and Bayfield for our anniversary to hear music and sightsee.  We did a couple of good bike rides and it was fun to explore from a different vantage point.

In between travels, Ann is still at Target (slightly different role as she moved to the inventory and replenishment systems development team) and is now Vice Chair on the board for DARTS, a nonprofit that connects aging folks to services that help improve their quality of life.  Her garden had great pepper and tomato production, leading her to discover some fun new recipes. An impromptu “SalsaFest” was a summertime neighborhood highlight.

Randy continues to serve as board vice chair for the Eastview Community Foundation, a nonprofit that supports students and schools with scholarships and grants.  He does a bit of tutoring and also volunteers as a mechanic refurbishing bicycles for Kids-n-Kinship. (got a bike you don’t need?)  He and the guys still get together & play a bit of rock & roll periodically. Randy helped plan & execute his 35th Austin HS class reunion – when yours comes around, GO.

In keeping with the food, music, and art theme, we’ve done some fun cooking classes this year and had some really interesting “foodie” outings like Brewfest up at Grandview Lodge.  Ann pleaded age (of her stove!  What did you think??) and is whipping up some good Italian and New Mexican dishes in her new double oven.  We’ve hit a variety of concerts this year including legends like Brian Wilson, Art Garfunkel, and Joan Baez.  For art, we signed up for a “mystery art night” and created seascapes using pastels (“chalk” would be the term used by the un-informed like we were before class).  It was really a hoot to see what we could create—perhaps another retirement hobby!

Overall, a really great year—thanks for indulging us by letting us recap it for you.  Our hearts and thoughts are with you, particularly some of you who have had health challenges or have lost loved ones this past year.  Thank you for supporting our pet non-profits and our work with them.

randy         dot bailey                         at   frontiernet             dot net

Holiday Pics 2013

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December 2012 Holiday letter

This gallery contains 7 photos.

December 2012 —   [contented sigh]  The house still smells like various tasty products from yesterday’s 24th Annual Cookie Bake.  Carols from the “Firestone free Christmas album with your snow tire change” are playing softly in the background.   Watching over us … Continue reading

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