Les and Jean Wish All a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
As we near the end of 2012, we count our many blessings - God is good! We have enjoyed reasonably good health, probably because we visited our doctors and had periodic medical wellness checks over 30 times this year!
We have four daughters, an adopted son from Germany, thirteen grandchildren (not including our adopted German son’s three!) and ten great-grandchildren with another expected next year! Daughter Anna Elizabeth and Allen Wright were married in June. Daughter Neena and her daughter, Elizabeth Ann traveled to New Orleans in July with other Christ Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg, VA teens and chaperones. In New Orleans, they met some 36,000 Evangelical Lutheran Church members for fellowship and community service. It was an awesome experience! Grandson Alec Vassar Johnson graduated high school in June and is now attending the University of Massachusetts, Lowell campus. The day after graduation, Alec, his father Chuck and Les left for a fishing expedition on Tew Lake, Ontario, Canada. Seven other Johnson family members joined them for a great week of fellowship and fishing for Walleye and Northern Pike.
We were privileged to attend Alec’s graduation 1 June in Amesbury, MA and then a graduation/18th birthday celebration 28 July. After the July Amesbury visit, we went to the Yonkers Rod and Gun Club Hunt Camp in Hillsdale, NY where we spent a week with Johnson family members and friends. Chuck is a member of the Club. It was another wonderful visit and camping experience in our RV. We spent an evening at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts for a Boston Pops Orchestra concert. Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Pops.
We were on-the-road half of 2012. We spent three months in Florida where we attended eight Gospel concerts. The Collingsworth Family was our favorite. We heard Sarah Getto and her father Mike twice. Sarah sang Happy Birthday to Les on his 80th birthday, 18 February! Sarah was born blind with a severe cleft pallet 27 years ago. She taught herself to play the piano at the age of three and the violin at the age of eleven. She entertained at RVFEST 2011.
We attended our first Tiffin RV Rally 1-3 March at Sarasota, FL with Bill and Martha Potteiger. We had a great time in spite of Jean’s visit to the local ER for food poisoning! We spent two nights at Lake Manatee State Park after the rally before visiting Lazydays RV, Seffner, FL for service. We then spent ten days at the North Mount Olive Shores Resort, Polk City, FL with Bucky and Nadine VanHorn where we had a wonderful time. They own several RV sites in this beautiful RV resort.
We spent quality time in Florida with cousins Bill and Martha Potteiger and dear friends Don and Suzanne Palczynski and Bucky and Nadine VanHorn. Bucky and Nadine, and Randy and Laura Turley joined us to celebrate our 60th Wedding Anniversary 15 June at Nappanee, IN. We had dinner at Amish Acres followed by a performance of State Fair in the Round Barn Theater. It was a wonderful evening with four great friends.
We visited with Bucky and Nadine at their home in Battleboro, NC when we took the RV to Florida the end of October. We were on our way to The Rally at the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL. We attended The Rally with Bill and Martha. Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire and Steve Jeffris entertained. Les rode his bike around the 2.5 mile speedway track, a first for him! After the rally we spent a couple days at Lazydays RV before delivering our RV to its fall/winter home at Don and Suzanne Palczynski’s home in Homosassa. We are deeply indebted to them for ‘baby sitting’ our home on wheels until we get back in 2013.
We hosted a Mid-Atlantic Streamers rally at Luray, VA in May and the RVFEST 2012 rally at Goshen, IN 18-24 June. Neena, Duane and Kathryn Durham and granddaughter Sara Johnson attended the RVFEST rally with us where Kathryn and Sara were invited to dance with the Heartland Country Cloggers! Neena and Duane were a great help at the rally. In October we attended a Mid-Atlantic Streamers rally at Christopher Run Campground, Mineral, VA.
October 30th we joined 20 family and friends at a wonderful restaurant in Newburyport, MA to honor Jane Johnson who will be 95 years young 19 December. Daughter Charli had an open house the next day. Jane’s four sons (Frank, Richard, Robert and Chuck) and daughter (Betty Zaring) were together for the first time in five years to celebrate with their mother. Her 90th was celebrated five years ago in Baltimore, MD. She and her daughter live in Lynchburg, VA. She says we must now plan for her hundredth! We spent a couple nights in Williamsburg, VA with dear friends Don and Brenda Monn after the Amesbury trip.
All of the good this year was scarred by the passing of many dear friends and associates – all will be sorely missed. Jean’s sister-in-law Ginny Freeburn passed away 21 September. We attended the Penbrook Junior High School reunion 16 September at Shellsville, PA and found that many of our school mates had passed away in the six years since we last attended a reunion! As we’ve noted before: “There is only one thing wrong with growing old, all of my (our) friends are dead!” This quote is attributed to Jane Johnson’s late husband, Warren Vassar (Cy) Johnson who passed away at 80 in January 1998.
We’re looking forward to Christmas in Amesbury with the Johnsons: Charli, Chuck, Alec, Brock, Derek and Sara. When we get home, we will celebrate Neena’s 50th Birthday 29 December. Early January we should be on our way to Florida where we have a site at The Great Outdoors RV Nature & Golf Resort west of Titusville, FL where Martha and Bill Potteiger reside. We spent January and February at the lovely Resort this year. RVFEST 2013 is scheduled for 24-29 June at The Elkhart County Agricultural and 4H Fairgrounds, Goshen, IN.
We thank God that we have been blessed in so many ways and that we are able to do the things that we enjoy. We give thanks to and prayers for all Service, Police, Fire Fighting and Medical personnel who insure our freedom, keep us safe and healthy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families this Holiday Season. May you be blessed with the Spirit of the Season surrounded by family and friends with much fellowship, laughter and love.
God Bless America & LTA (Love To All)
Les & Jean Potteiger