Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013

Les and Jean Wish All a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
            As we near the end of 2013, we again count our many blessings - God indeed is good! The year really began for us 27 November 2012 when Les had a carotid artery screening ordered by our cardiologist. We did not know the results until the end of December 2012. A CT scan of his neck was ordered for 3 January 2013. The results were ‘abnormal’ necessitating a visit to a vascular surgeon 11 January that resulted in surgery 16 January to remove an 85% blockage in the left carotid artery. We could not leave for Florida until the surgeon’s release 31 January after another screening – the surgeon was talked into an early release! We departed 3 February to escape the cold weather of Virginia!
            We arrived at the home of dear friends Don and Suzanne Palczynski, Homosassa, Florida who were ‘babysitting’ our RV. February 5th Les delivered the RV to Lazydays RV, Seffner, FL to have the windshield reset – it started to pop-out last summer! The windshield was not reset and painting completed until 20 February – it’s a long story as to why a simple job turned out to be so complicated! We drove to The Great Outdoors RV, Nature and Golf Resort, Titusville, FL 21 February. While the RV was in the shop we spent time with Don and Suzanne, with Russ and Meredith Cuddy at their home in Summerfield, FL and with our RV in the shop! Visits with good friends are always wonderful; we appreciate their great hospitality. We are deeply indebted to Don and Suzanne for ‘babysitting’ our RV as they have for several years.
            This year started with medical and RV glitches, and the medical problems were far from over for Les! He had a nasty cough and went to a walk-in clinic Sunday 24 February. When he left for the clinic, Jean said to ask for a chest X-ray - he did! After a long wait he was told by the doctor that he had TB!  A CT scan of the chest was ordered for the next day and he saw a pulmonary doctor two days later. This too, is a long story! There were four chest X-rays, two CT chest scans and a torso PET scan by the end of June! The final diagnosis was severe emphysema (COPD, not TB or cancer) with several minor things including gallstones! He feels about as well as he did the summer of 2012 – with his fingers! LOL
            In spite of the above glitches, we managed to spend nearly three months last winter and spring in Florida. We went to a Sarah Getto concert, a fantabulous Andre Rieu concert and a Born Free and Assurance gospel concert. We indeed are grateful to our daughter Anna and husband, Allen Wright for giving us tickets last Christmas to see Andre Rieu. This was on Les’ ‘Bucket List’! If you want to listen to some awesome music, ‘Google’ Andre Rieu!
            We attended granddaughters Elizabeth and Kathryn Durham’s dance recital in May. Kathryn participated in six dances, one an awesome solo tap dance. Elizabeth Durham graduated Riverbend High School, Spotsylvania, Virginia 1 June and is a freshman at Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania. Grandson Alec Vassar Johnson is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell campus. Granddaughter Courtney Carlson expects to receive her Bachelor of Arts by the end of this year. She is doing her studies On-Line. Her brother, Mathew Blake is taking courses at Germana Community College. Cousins Martha and Bill Potteiger visited with us the end of May, beginning of June in Spotsylvania, Virginia.
            Jean baked and decorated, with daughter Anna’s help, a beautiful, tiered cake for the 20th Wedding Anniversary of dear friends Bob and Kathy Kravitz. This cake was a somewhat smaller version of their wedding cake that she made in 1993. We were pleased to be invited to, and to participate in, the awesome celebration 8 June.
            We departed by RV 10 June with Neena, Elizabeth and Kathryn Durham for a Good Sam RV Club rally at the New York State Fair Grounds, Syracuse, New York. We had a great time; entertainers were Reba McEntire, Wayne Newton, The Vogues and Sarah Getto. We were home 17 June and left 22 June by RV with Neena and Kathryn Durham and great granddaughter Nattalie Carlson for Goshen, Indiana to host RVFEST 2013, 24 - 29 June. We visited Amish Acres, Nappanee, IN for dinner and to see the hilarious play ‘Nunsense A Men’. Daughter Charlene Johnson and children Derek and Sara honored us with a visit in July. Charlene created a beautiful flower garden for us beside the walk leading to our apartment. Many thanks to Charlene for providing the design and plants, and planting them, with Les help!
            We traveled by RV 1 August to the Yonkers Rod and Gun Club Hunt Camp, Hillsdale, NY where we spent a wonderful week with Johnson family members and friends. September 17 we took a flight to Boston to spend three weeks with daughter Charlene and family. Many thanks to Rhonda Beneke for the airport ‘taxi’ service. Their hospitality and wonderful fellowship is greatly appreciated. We drove to Albright College 11 October to pick-up Elizabeth Durham for a long weekend at home. We departed by RV 16 October for another Good Sam rally at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia. We were entertained by The Beach Boys, Vince Gill, The Vogues and Sarah Getto. Cousins Bill and Martha also attended the three rallies.
            We left the Speedway 21 October and traveled to Homosassa, Florida to visit with dear friends Don and Suzanne Palczynski through the end of October. The 1st of November, we took the RV to The Great Outdoors RV, Nature and Golf Resort, Titusville, FL. We have a site at 201 Greenwing Trail where our RV is parked in an RV port facing Spartana Lake. There is at least one resident alligator that periodically enjoys the sun while lying on the lake shore about 100 feet from our RV! (Two were lying there one day!) We’re enjoying warm, wet weather even though this is to be the ‘dry season’ here! Cousins Bill and Martha treated us and her mother Ruth to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at their home.
            Our eldest granddaughter Marlena Jarrell delivered our tenth great-grandchild Isaiah Alexander-Grant Jarrell 8 March (not the eleventh as we reported last year!). He is a cutie; he and Marlena are doing well. All of the good this year was scarred by the passing of many dear friends and associates – all will be sorely missed. Les’ sister-in-law Phyllis Royer passed away 21 January. The last day of RVFEST 2013, Jeanette Allison fell out of her RV. She passed away four months later at 82. This year also marked the demise of the Mid-Atlantic Streamers RV Club after 20 years – we were charter members of the once, very active club.
            We leave by car 7 December to spend Christmas at home with the Durhams and other family members. We have many doctors’ appointments lined-up and hopefully there will be no glitches keeping us from returning to Florida – ASAP - ‘Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise!’
            We thank God that we are blessed in so many ways, that we are able to do so many things that we thoroughly enjoy, and for the health of family members and friends.  We give thanks to, and prayers for all Service, Police, Fire Fighting and Medical personnel who ensure 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, above all, an abundance of love!
                                    God Bless America & LTA (Love To All),
                                    Les and Jean Potteiger   December 2013

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