Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

                  As the Christmas Season fast approaches, the Richardson are excitedly anticipating spending

                their first full winter as snowbirds in their new home in Panama. At the same time we have to face the reality of our hypocrisy. Only a few years ago we vowed never to spend Christmas away from Canada again, as we waxed romantically about the snow and the crisp cold beauty of the winter season. Quickly thereafter we had Christmas dinner in 30C degree temperatures in Singapore. Now we will be lounging on a beach in Panama drinking limonada instead of egg nogg. Felice Navida!


                It has been an interesting year. Gus left the Parole Board in October 2007, and has had some trouble adjusting to retirement. Mavis has had some trouble adjusting to the constant underfoot presence of her husband. The Panama project has occupied a fair amount of our attention and energy, and Gus has taken on a few little jobs, one of which involves the selling of cruise ship holidays. Mavis continues with volunteer work, and helps with group work out of the Peachland Wellness Center. Our circle of friends locally continues to grow, and we are thankful for the many people whom we have come to know over the years. One of the advantages of the house in Chitre is that four other couples from Peachland and four families from Ontario occupy the same sub division. The adjacent golf course is rough but inexpensive and as such is an accurate replica of Gus’ game.


                Our family is well. The highlight of the year was the arrival of Bjorn Angus Elvin Jensen over the labour day weekend. Both mom and baby did well from the start, and Marin, who just turned 2, seems to have adapted very well to the arrival of her brother. Keitha and Justin have recently found new digs close to downtown Vancouver and they will have moved before Christmas. Danielle continues to prosper in Calgary where she is serving as the comptroller of a food company. She too has new digs; a comfortable apartment close to the Elbow River. Brendan and Ing Young live in New Westminster; he continues to teach English as a Second Language while she works in the retail industry at Oakridge Mall. They drive about in the lower mainland in their recently purchased up-scale automobile.


                One of the pleasures of recent Christmases for us has been the sending and receiving of cards; many of which go to friends and family whom we no longer see on a regular basis. Life has a way of moving us in different directions, but it is always good to write to folks with whom we share fond memories. This year may be different.


                The approaching date of departure for warmer climes and the flurries (non-snow) of activities that precede that pending trip leave us little time to write the cards and send the greetings. To those of you with whom we are connected electronically, this email will constitute our season’s greetings this year. Forgive our descent into technological spam, but rest assured that our good wishes are no less heartfelt. Bet now that those of you for whom we have no email contact will feel really special if they get snail mail greetings! Those who don’t get anything will wonder if we are either senile or dead. As you think of us this Christmas, please spread the word that we are neither, although the former is a looming possibility.


                No matter what the method through which you receive our greetings, have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2009.



              Mavis and Gus Richardson

OK OK We know its too early! We are getting as distasteful as Costco with this premature Christmasification stuff. But we wanted to forward this to those who are important to us before we left for southern climes. Best for the holidays. Mavis & Gus




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