Merry Christmas                 and                 Happy New Year

Buon NataleWhitecap




     Dear friends and family: 
December, 2021

Another year has passed! We did not anticipate that it would be so eventful - but here we are.

We went from Trump to Delta variant to Zoom meetings to raging wildfires to a Heat Dome with all time record temperatures to Omicron to Atmospheric Rivers and consequent unprecedented floods - what a ride.

Edward & sheep
We both experienced the very sad news of losing beloved relatives.  Mary’s brother, Edward, the farmer in Yorkshire, died at the end of July.  Edward was a fine, intelligent caring person and his death is deeply felt by us all and particularly by his wife Jean and daughter Mary. Covid-19 prevented Mary from going to England to Edward’s funeral but we hope to visit soon. 
Ed and Mary 2015

Uncle Pussy
last and favourite uncle, Puss, died this month at the age of 102.  Puss, who landed with the Allied troops in Sicily during WWII uplifted all his friends and family with his ready smile and jokes.

Gene’s other uncle, Richie, also died - in June - in his 92nd year. While his death was sad, contact with his family in California was not as close as with those in Guelph.
Puss and Gene

That was the bad news. 
The rest of this letter will focus on the good.  For those of a certain age and culture,
we quote radio regular Maggie Muggins:
“I wonder what will happen tomorrow Mr. McGarrity.”

Rose & Nina Last Christmas, travel restrictions were in effect so we spent a quiet time at home, relieved on January 2 by the surprise appearance of Jeremy and Ginny and the twins outside our apartment building.  Their brief  visit was lovely!  That was our only contact until June when restrictions were moderated so we have been able to go to Whistler several times since then and Rose and Nina spent a week here with us in July.  R&N (almost 8) are a joy.  They make us laugh and teach us a lot.  It’s amazing how knowledgeable they are in comparison to when we were 8 - or even 18. Bike

Jeremy and Ginny Gene had his 80th birthday in August, so to “celebrate” the event Jeremy and family took us to Whitecap Lodge north of Whistler.  It is a beautiful, remote place accessible by helicopter and is above the treeline so the scenery resembles the Alps with open meadows and mountains.  Hiking is the reason to be at Whitecap in the summer - back country skiing in the winter.  Whitecap chalet Whitecap
  (Most of) the family did some long hard hikes (the girls are like mountain goats), Mary did more modest trails and Gene relaxed in the comfort of the lodge with his books and computer.

Health seems to be the topic of conversation as we age.  We are both now triple vaccinated and the girls have had their first shot.  Mary is well and continues to be active with her hiking and book clubs and even occasionally manages to get Gene out for walks.  Gene continues to improve his Italian and has been reading a lot of Italian books but needs more oral fluency. He is still trying to cope with his diagnosis of dysautonomia.  Treatment is elusive but he is now going regularly to the gym again with an exercise regime recommended by a physiotherapist who has experience with dysautonomia.  As a result of a recent referral by his doctor he is hopeful for some future progress. 

We know how fortunate we are compared to so many here and in other parts of the world so we will focus on ways to contribute and to enjoy our beautiful surroundings, loving family and good friends. 

In spite of the hardships, we hope that this has been a good year for you.  May 2022 will be even better.

Best Wishes

 Gene and Mary


Instead of Christmas Cards, donations were made this year to many organizations giving support to especially vulnerable and needy people at home and overseas.
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