Dear Friends and Family,

The past year has been eventful for us as well as many of our friends and relatives. A year in which some have suffered the death of loved ones. A year in which some have faced severe illness. A year in which others have experienced adversity and misfortune. At the Asheville Quaker Meeting, the concluding time is set aside for "joys and concerns." Quite often Friends ask to be "held in the light" or to hold in the light others who are suffering. Beth and I do hold in the light all of you who are afflicted. May the New Year bring healing.

All has not been negative this past year. There have been births, marriages and other joys among those close to us. We hope to hear more joys in your holiday greetings.

Our big event of 2017 is not a concern but rather a joy. We sold our beach house and moved to North Carolina. We first listed our home in June of 2016, but received no reasonable offers. When we listed again in March of 2017, we received a good offer the same month. It's our opinion that the stager, Marisa, made all the difference. Besides her, we must give a shout out to College Hunks, who helped us several times and moved all the heavy stuff. So now we are living in our Quail Cove summer cabin full time. And, our stuff is living in a POD, a self storage unit and several basements.

The plan is to add an addition to a building on some land at the Quail Cove ridge. However, our builder is tied up on a major project until sometime next year. Beth says that we are in the eighth year of the five year plan. Oh well. It gives us time to recover from the move. And, to refine models / drawings with our designer.

In addition, many friends and relatives now live within visiting distance. Cousin Bob and his wife Gretchen live next door, of course. Plus, his grandson Rudy and great grandson Ezra live in the next house. Plus, plus we get to see the extended family make regular visits to the cove.

Another cousin, John and his wife Diane have a vacation home in Black Mountain. We got together with them for dinner this summer and we are looking forward to future visits.

In Brevard, Carol and David have lived for ... is it 10 years now? We visit in each other homes, in Asheville and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is about equidistant from each of us. On the parkway, we picnic together several times during the season. On the latest picnic, we experienced something we had been trying to see for quite some time ... the annual Monarch Butterfly migration. We even met a person who wrote a book about these butterflies.

Linda and Don moved to Hendersonville about a decade ago, too. We alternate picking a restaurant at which to meet. Linda gives us news of the Hendersonville Quaker Meeting and the League of Women Voters. Don and Mike discuss running and technology.

Toetie and Phil moved to North Carolina just this past year. This makes the third time we have lived in the same state. The first time, in Illinois, we were roommates in a Chicago townhouse. The second time, we lived in the same city, Plainfield, New Jersey. Now, they rent in Apex until they find the perfect house. We were hoping they'd pick Asheville, but that looks increasingly unlikely. We did share a house again this past August. Actually, it was a B&B in Black Mountain, the Red Rocker Inn. Maybe when we each build/buy our "dream houses" we may visit in each other’s homes.

Carol and Baxter make Laurinburg, NC their home. We don't get / haven't gotten together often enough. However, we will make up for some of that with a renewal of our stay on Pawley's Island and tour of Brookgreen Gardens. Always a wonderful start to the Christmas season.

Fran and Jim stay in Asheville part time. Our New Year's Pajama Party at their place overlooking the city and mountains has become an annual tradition.

Kathy and George live in Chapel Hill. A visit with them is long overdue.

Other notable events during 2017 include ...

Beth chartered an excursion to Capers Island. It was part of Mike's 70th birthday celebration. The revelers were the usual Spoleto suspects. There was catching local crabs, cooking them on the beach and consuming them, with beer, of course. Also, there were walks on the bone-yard beach ... its name is due to the old tree skeletons and stumps left as a result of erosion and bleached out by the sun. Capers can only be reached by boat.

Trish, who performed yeoman's work in selling our beach house, gave us two tickets to an Asheville food tour to celebrate closing the deal. We finally got around to scheduling it at the end of August. The tour was fantastic. We discovered 4 new (to us) restaurants and 1 chocolate shop. The guide was entertaining and informative. We'd be glad to go along with anyone coming to Asheville wanting to tour some restaurants.

Also in August (a busy month) we drove to Cherokee to view the solar eclipse. We were blessed with a remarkably clear day, as well as drumming, dancing and storytelling. We drove there early in the morning and stayed the night in order to avoid any traffic.

In September, we stayed in a Chicago Airbnb and visited with friends who have not migrated to North Carolina. Joey and Steve hosted us in their Lake Shore condo. Mary, Gaylord, Fran and Jim joined in. Horderves on the rooftop patio. Chicago pizza in the sparkling 18th floor space. The next night Fran, Jim, Sheri and John invited us to join them for dinner after the Steppenwolf play.

Also in September, we joined a fitness center. Actually, we joined two centers. But, in reality, we joined neither. Let us explain. First, another shout out, this time to Phil, for urging us to check out Silver Sneakers. We thought that we had heard of it, but had not followed up. Phil deserves the credit for getting us moving. So, our Medigap plan gives us eligibility for Silver Sneakers. Silver Sneakers gives us free memberships to our local health, fitness and recreation centers. Beth swims / aerobicises in the pools. Mike runs on the indoor / outdoor tracks.

Late breaking events ...

We attended my cousin Bob's grandson's wedding in Atlanta. Amy, David and the bride's parents hosted a beautiful, delightful affair. While in Atlanta we met Paula and Merrill for dinner. They travel so much that finding them is like catching a moving target. And, we just got back from traveling ourselves ... to see Beth's mom. for Thanksgiving. She is 102 years old and every day with her is a blessing.

Finally, we are trying to get this letter / card out early to inform of our change of address. Only our snail mail has changed.

Beth & Mike

PS - For this year, Beth has painted the side yard of our proposed construction site. Mike thinks that she was/is intrigued by the perspective. Also, she seems to do a painting of each new house to which we move.