OK. Why did Beth paint a Sea Turtle for this year's holiday card? Is this Kurma? Kurma is the World Turtle in the Hindu narrative, who supports the world on her back. Perhaps there is a holiday celebrating this? There was an xkcd comic which referred to such a turtle. However the comic also referenced the problem of what supports the turtle? Some say it's another turtle, who is turn is supported by another. Infinite recursion, "turtles all the way down."
No, this turtle is not Kurma. She is Briar. Beth took her inspiration from a Loggerhead who was rescued off Myrtle Beach, rehabilitated in Charleston, operated on by a Sullivan's Island doctor and released on the Isle of Palms. If you come visit us on the Isle of Palms (hint, hint), we can take you for a tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital.
Fortunately, Briar was released in July not January. In January we had a bad ice storm in the Charleston area. It coated the palms, it coated the roads, it coated the cars AND it coated the bridges. It closed all the bridges for varying periods of time. It not only coated the road surfaces of the bridges, it coated the structures ... the suspension cables. On the Ravenel Bridge icing had not occurred in the 10 years since it opened and officials didn't think about how the ice would go away. It failed to go away. It fell.
There are good things that happen in our winters. We have oyster roasts. If you come to visit in February (another hint) we can take you to our local, Sullivan's Island Fire Department roast or to the big one, the Boone Hall roast, in late January. By March, spring is well underway in South Carolina. Our Quaker Meeting planted a perennial garden in front of the East Side (Charleston) Community Center. The project was supported by a matching grant from Quaker Earthcare Witness.
In May, our Spoleto activities were enhanced by celebrations of Beth's birthday (though she denies having birthdays any longer.) Most of us started with a hike on Bulls Island. Beth has always wanted to explore it. In the evening after dinner out, we partied at a chocolate shop. That activity was suggested by Beth's dentist ... hmmmm, does that sound unbiased? :-)
June and July found us traveling up and down the east coast. Mike's aunt Marjorie passed away at the age of 98 in Florida. We joined her family in a celebration of her life. Then we attended my cousin Bob's (and Gretchen's) grandson's wedding. Asa and Brittany held their marriage ceremony on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Since we were that far north, we visited Anne and Steve ... first at their Lyme, NH house then at their Bremen Long Island, ME summer place. We had a wonderful time exploring the Maine coast. Mike even got up to view the sunrise!
Upon our return, we spent the remainder of the season at our summer place in North Carolina. It is hard to believe that we are starting our tenth year in Quail Cove. We love the area so much we have a dream to build there. We call it our five-year-plan ... when people asked when we will do so, we say that it is in about five years.
At the start of autumn, we returned further south. Just after we got back home we received a surprise visit from Nichole Hansen. She was interviewing and being interviewed by MUSC. It is one of a number of residency programs she is exploring. Next spring, when she graduates from GW Medical School, she will join one. We hope she picks Charleston.
As we write this holiday letter, we are spending Thanksgiving with Beth's mom. We drove out from SC, spending one night at our NC place. There, I have a min/max thermometer. It saved a minimum reading of 8 degrees and a maximum of 78. That is quite a range for about a week's time. Now, we are in Rolla, MO. It is snowing. Beth is happy to get her snow fix. Mike is happy that we don't have to drive anywhere soon. After Thanksgiving, we will drive back through Chicago where we will stay with Fran and Jim.
We will return to Rolla on Christmas day. The day after, we will join the rest of the family to celebrate Beth's mom's birthday. She will be 100!!!!!
I'm getting the 2-minute-warning to clear my laptop off the table. The table must be set for Thanksgiving Dinner. We hope that by the time you read this you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. And, we hope that we get the cards and letter printed in time for you to read this before Christmas.
Our best holiday wishes and love, Beth, Mike & April (the cat)