Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas to one and all!

For those who have received Shannon’s past Christmas letters that always stated how boring and repetitive the years seemed, well, she’s making up for it now. Don’t you just hate it when people send you letters telling you how much fun they had and all the trips they took?

No moss grew under these two rocks this year. We kept rolling all through 2009. It started with a new granddaughter in January. Mackenzie was born to Dave’s son and daughter-in-law and joins three-year old Myah. Dave was lucky enough to be in Denver for the birth.

Winter and early spring found us chasing the sun. Scuba in Cozumel in January, a couple of camping trips to the Sonoran Desert, kayaking at Alamo Lake and Roosevelt Lake in southern Arizona, and flew out to Palm Springs for a long weekend. As it warmed up around here, we backpacked down the Paria River, a slot canyon. A week later in April we did a one day rim to river to rim Grand Canyon hike. Several signs warn people not to attempt this. Ha !

During the summer we flew up to Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming a couple times, did some backpacking in the Comanche Peaks Wilderness Area and camping at Lake McConauhay.  Then we knuckled down to business here at home—except for a couple of kayak weekends at Lake Powell.

After a perfectly understandable fit about needing a bookcase in the house to free her books from storage, Shannon came home from work to find the wall between the two bedrooms demolished. Now we have a beautiful master bedroom with space for a full-wall bookshelf and tiled floors, faux painted walls, new windows–complete, except for the bookshelf that prompted the whole project. Dave did all the work himself and it is, as usual, a work of art.

Against all odds and after an embarrassing number of years, Shannon sold a novel in February.  Ashes of the Red Heifer, a thriller, is nearly ready for launch and might even be available from your favorite on-line bookseller by the time you get this letter. She spent her summer logging grueling hours in the backyard lounger, hard at work on the draft of a new novel.

Dave’s sister Dana came for a visit in August. Dave took her on an overflight of Rainbow Bridge at  Lake Powell,  Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon,  Wapatki Ruins, Meteor Crater, Sedona , then to Flagstaff. The next day they visited by car to see most of these places up close. As incentive to anyone thinking about visiting, Dave has a standing offer to take ya’ll up for your very own tour flight. Dave’s friend, Wayne Jensen, came down in October and we backpacked the Grand Canyon and camped at the Phantom Ranch, finished the weekend by flying to Sedona for breakfast.

We capped the year with a visit to France to see Shannon’s daughter, Joslyn. Since Joslyn only had the weekend off from school and work, we chugged on over to Italy for a few days. Paris-Angers-Cinque Terra-Rome. Amazing experiences, perfect weather, forever memories. Dave took 500 pictures so if you want to know more details, we’d be happy to share the slide show!

Shannon’s sister, Deb, plans on visiting for Christmas. Another Grand Canyon trip is on the agenda, along with Irish coffee, eggnog, hot buttered rum and whatever holiday cheer we deem appropriate.

Here’s hoping your holiday is filled with whatever cheers you and 2010 fulfills all your dreams.

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