|Dear Friends and Family,
It has been a busy year for us. At the end of my first year of retirement, I can say that I have no regrets and am happy in retirement. Randy apparently saw what a scam this was, because he will retire in three weeks!
Three weeks after that, he and I will join another couple in a week-long trip to Key West, Fla. I know almost nothing about Key West, but knew it would be warm and sunny, and that was enough for me. One thing I learned after I retired was that I now care much more about the weather. In fact, last January, I grew so sick of the non-stop rain that I got into my car and fled to California for 10 days. I enjoyed visiting friends and relatives in Medford, Ore., and the San Francisco and Monterey areas. I probably needed to go further south to get the sun and warmth I was looking for, though.
Retirement has allowed me to spend more time reading, to get much more sleep than I used to, to spend time with friends, to take in cultural events, travel, and exercise. I was pleased when I went to my every-two-years medical checkup and learned that I had lost 15 pounds since my last checkup! All my blood pressure and blood tests were improved too.
I took many trips this year, including a golf-birding-plant identification trip in the Columbia Gorge area with a friend; a trip with Randy to Washington DC, where we had a delightful time visiting my sister and several old friends; and a two-day golf school at Skamania Lodge in May with a friend of mine. In June, Randy and I went with two other couples on a one-week kayak trip to Broughton Archipelago just to the east of the north end of Vancouver Island. Randy and I used a beautiful wooden double kayak that Randy built. He finished it just in the nick of time. (Pictured in Broughton Archipelago above left.)
At the end of June, we had a great time rendez-vousing with my siblings in Portland, Ore. We saw the city, the Columbia Gorge, Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood, the Pacific Ocean (pictured above right) and Fort Clatsop in Astoria.
In July, I got together with three old high school buddies in Kansas City. In August, Randy and I went with 14 friends (including 4 kids) to Portugal to celebrate the 60th birthdays of myself and a friend. It was a wonderful trip. We saw Lisbon but spent much of our time exploring northern Portugal, staying at a 17th-century manor house near Ponte de Lima and in a rustic house in the mountain town of Soajo. We also visited Viana do Castello, Caminha, Guimares, and Porto. We did a fair amount of hiking on the tirp.
In September, we welcomed old friends from Pennsylvania and Minnesota to Seattle for our every-two-year get-together. We spent it at a friend's cabin in the Cascade Mountains. We had great weather and a wonderful time hiking and playing games.
At the end of summer, I plunged into some heavy-duty volunteering in several political campaigns (a land use initiative, a Supreme Court justice, a Congressional campaign, and party work). I was pleased with the results for the most part. I also have volunteered throughout the year for the teen program at our downtown YMCA. (I update their Web site.) And I am involved in a group that is attempting to preserve two newspapers in this town. The publishers of both daily newspapers are in a secret arbitration and we fear the result may be the announcement that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (my old paper) will close. We'd like to prevent that if possible.
Randy has been deeply involved with the Seattle Audubon Society. He started a two-year term as vice president this year and will become president in July 2008. It's a large organization (5,000 members), and he spends many hours in this job. He'll undoubtedly spend more now that he's retired. He also hopes to build more kayaks, though he needs to find a workshop to do so -- no easy thing. We'll also do some traveling, though we haven't decided where yet.
Randy and I have just returned from New Hampshire, where we went to celebrate his Dad's 80th birthday with friends and relatives. Don Robinson is a healthy, happy, handsome 80-year-old. He's busy traveling, playing tennis, volunteering and spending time with friends and relatives.
We hope that all is well with you. We wish you a joyous holiday season and a wonderful 2007!
Jane and Randy