The first ever annual Denise & Gary Christmas letter. December 2018

Being modern, hip baby boomers, we are proud to present, digitally, the first ever Gary and Denise, ‘aint we neat’, compendium of what we did for an entire year.  Meant to enlighten and make you jealous, here is the 48th year of Denise’s boyfriend and Gary’s girlfriend.

We have been the retired grandparents of Haley, Ryan and Brody, who live a five minute walk from us, for the past 3 1/2 years.  We moved to Big Bear California in July of 2015, but it doesn’t seem like Southern California since we are way up in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest.  Small town life for sure.

Denise continues her excellent work with kids by being a substitute teacher in the Bear Valley School System.  Since her days back at Denver Kids she has proven how effective she is at being an impact on kids in schools.  Gary continues to volunteer for the Southern California Mountains Foundation in the San Bernardino National Forest at the Big Bear Discovery Center.  He has fun and meets people from all over the world who come to enjoy nature.  We still live by the motto: ‘Still crazy after all these years.’

We have always believed that every picture tells a story.  If you have ever visited our home, anywhere we have lived, you know our rooms are covered floor to ceiling with pictures.  Therefore, read what you will about the 48th year of Denise and Gary.

Whatever you have thought about California or the west, it is a marvelous place to visit and experience National Parks and spectacular nature.  In April we took a trip, about 3 hours from our home, to Death Valley National Park.  A great adventure to an unusual place with much history.


When we were back in the place we both lived for a majority of our lives, Denver, we hosted international students.  We were so fortunate to have built lasting relationships with several ‘kids’ from China.  We became their American ‘Parents’ and love them all dearly.  In April our sweet ‘daughter’ Chen came to SoCal for a visit.  Life is about love and connection.


I guess it is part of retirement, and we certainly did embrace it – travel and meeting new people and places is radically enjoyable.  In May we visited Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.



In May we had another surprise visit from one of our sweet Chinese ‘daughters’ as Xiaoxia came back to America from Shanghai on a business trip.  We had a magnificent time taking her to places here in Southern California.


In June we had a royal visit as our beloved Niece Dawn and her treasured kiddo, Abbey, came for a rare Michigander expedition.  Denise had spent days planning an extraordinary trip  for our aristocratic company.




It was a full year so far, but nothing could compare to something that Denise truly took months to prepare:  an entire family trip to Hawaii!  She was amazing as she labored over every detail of not only getting the whole ‘fam damily’ to the islands, but then where we would stay and what we could do.  It was the type of event people dream about and she made it all happen.  There are no words that can describe how wonderful this trip was so here are a few, meager shots from the thousands of pictures I took.






We left the family in Maui and headed to Oahu to spend a week with our sweet Chinese daughter Xinyi, and an old family friend from Colorado.  I sure liked Maui better, with Oahu being crowded with far more people.  And, we had a fun time with our ‘foreign family.




Next year brings more places to go and more connections to be made.  It will be our 49th year in delirious love.

Be well.  Do good work.  Stay in touch.



2 responses to “The first ever annual Denise & Gary Christmas letter. December 2018”

  1. You look great and happy and like you are having a great time semi-retired (too busy it seems to call you totally retired). Thanks for the Christmas card and letting us know what you are up to. We’re just down here in Texas with non-stop fun on the farm – Ha! Good to hear from you.
    – \B<


  2. Looks like it’s been good year to you all. We’re looking forward to running into you both sometime in this crazy adventure.


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