Christmas Letter, 2013

By Sandra Sylvester | Dec 09, 2013
Artwork by: Alan Giana After the Snow

Knox County — (This picture is from a Christmas card my brother, Ted, and sister-in-law, Nat, sent me a couple years ago.)

This year, 2013, was full of events and changes for me and Nanci. Some of these events were reported in the Maine Report 2013 in the July archives. I bring you the rest of the year here in an attempt to bring you up-to-date on the daily life of your favorite blogger.

In May of this year I was operated on for a partial knee replacement on my right leg. Had to be the driving leg, right? Oh well. I’m still recuperating, as the nerves have not all come too yet. On top of that I have a bad left ankle to contend with (next operation). Needless to say getting around has not been easy.

Also in May, Memorial Day, we in the family all had a scare when the Boston Bombing was taking place. I have a great-niece, Danielle, who lives in Boston and we all managed to chase her down, as well as her fiancé, Haydn Deal, who also lives in Boston, via Facebook. Thankfully Haydn finally came online to tell us everything was fine and they were safe. That day they also had Danielle’s niece and my great-great niece, Alyson with them. It would have been a terrific family tragedy to lose any or all of them, especially as Danielle and Hadyn were then planning a wedding in Maine in July, which I reported on in the Maine Report.

As it happened Danielle did have two good friends, a young couple who were at the race that day, and who did lose part of their legs. They had planned on coming to Danielle’s wedding.

November was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I remember it well and you can see my tribute in the November blog.

This year was also the one-year anniversary of the Newtown tragedy. My niece Kim, husband Dave, and five-year-old son, Nicholas live very near the site and they were especially concerned for the safety of our Nickleman when he went to school full time.

Recently we also lost a dear teacher from my high school years, Norma Boothby. See her tribute in the November archives.

I noted also in my latest Courier that a member of the Knowlton family, Linda Knowlton Stanley died. She was one of the younger members of eight children in that family. I was good friends with Joan, who was in my class in school. Four Knowlton siblings have now passed: Barbara; Marion, who died very young in a car crash; the only boy, Davey O III; and now Linda. As I remember from oldest to youngest were: Barbara, Betty, Judy, Joan, Marion, Linda, Brenda, and Davey.

I spent many happy hours at the Knowlton house down there at the bottom of Ingrahams Hill in Owls Head. Mr. and Mrs. Knowlton were kind wonderful people. If I was there at supper time I was always invited to stay as if they didn’t have enough mouths to feed already. I usually declined because I knew my mother probably had supper waiting on me and I’d best get back up the hill and over to Fulton Street and home. My thoughts and prayers go out to that family.

Nanci and I also lost our dear Sonny this year. We know he’s waiting up there on the Rainbow bridge along with the rest of his furry brothers and sisters. Our Butchie still misses him too.

Meanwhile, despite a scare when our dear Aunt Virginia fell on Thanksgiving, she is still with us and recuperating and gaining her strength back up at Quarry Hill. Today, in fact, is her 103rd birthday. We all wish her a very Happy Birthday and look forward to her 104th birthday next December 7.

The years come and go, things change, and you never know what the next day will bring. I look forward to whatever new adventures I may experience in the New Year.

The biggest event for Nanci and me, besides the operation, was our move from one apartment to another in this huge complex we live in. Seems as though the new management decided to redo all the apartments in Phase 1 where we were living and then subsequently raise the rent to more than we could afford. However, we were offered an apartment in Phase 2 which they were not redoing and the same rent as we were paying with no extra money involved except for pet deposit. Obviously we had no choice. Moving to another complex would have cost us more money. We have the same number of rooms but lost a linen closet, some pantry space and we have less space in the kitchen. They did repaint and put in a new carpet, so we are happy. Plus they just gave us practically a new stove which makes me ecstatic. The best part of the move is that we no longer have to climb up 19 steps carrying groceries as we are now on the first floor.

Professionally, I have received wonderful feedback from my readers throughout the year. I appreciate the continued support of my readers and hope you will enjoy my blog in the year to come. The most popular blog of the year according to the stats on the Village Soup Site was “Best Friends—Good Friends” with 676 readers plus those who read it on the blog site. You can find it in the September archives. Following at second was “An Open Letter to, Memory Lane and a Girl Named Liz., with 492. You can find it listed under the lead in: “Cover art by Holman Davis…” in the October archives. Third was “The Day Camelot was Lost…” about Kennedy, with 346, found in the November archives. Readership is now over 38,000 on the blog space and I couldn’t be happier.

My book, The South End, continues to sell. The Reading Corner recently bought more and I have also recently received a royalty from my publisher.

I am still working on my next book. Please be patient. It will happen, I promise you.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I wish you and yours the best New Year yet. Stay healthy and try to have some fun, O.K. Maybe I’ll see you when I come home this summer.

Thanks for listening.


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