** LAST POST DIDN’T COME THROUGH, REPOSTING**
Shortly after the last post, Richard went on the longest and likely last deployment of his military career, spending six months in the United Arab Emirates supporting missions overseas. We were apart, fell out of our routines, and didn’t have much to share. We played virtual card games to stay in touch and just tried to stay busy enough to get through the time apart. It’s a crummy snow day today, school is virtual, and we’ve got a little time to share some updates, though.
Richard returned in late spring/early summer of 2022, returning just in time to enjoy a chilly trip to Isle Royale with Rachael, her dad, her best friend, and his partner. Rachael’s dad and his best friend are responsible for our love of Isle Royale, and they have each returned to the island at least once a year for over 50 years. It was an extraordinary trip.
The first few summer months were quiet as Richard reconnected with the job he’d started just three months before deployment. He loves it, has adjusted well to the work-from-home life, and has many opportunities for advancement with his employer. Rachael squeezed in another trip to Isle Royale, helping acclimate a new Rock of Ages restoration crew member to the routine for our summer work.
In July, things got busy again as we embarked on an adventure we’d been waiting over two years for–a trip to India and Nepal. It was incredible. We learned so much. We made new friends. We were warmly welcomed and would go back in a heartbeat. Despite visiting for almost three weeks, we know we barely scratched the surface–there is so much to learn about religion, culture, history, food, and hospitality. We brought the tradition of having chai at the ready home with us and hoped we can share a cup with you someday.
It was time for back-to-school planning upon our return, but we had one more bit of excitement left in store. We had long been awaiting the build of our new teardrop camper, the Green Bean, and August delivered. Richard just took the camper out in the snowy UP last weekend, so we know it’s a 4-season opportunity to explore and enjoy the outdoors. We plan to take a cross-country road trip this summer to meet up with Richard’s brother, his wife, and our nephews in Oregon and then head to California to see some longtime friends and one of our goddaughters and her big brother.
Things have been pretty mellow for the last few months. We got to reunite with Richard’s family in Florida over Christmas. We had a nice balance of pool time and big theme park days, and it was wonderful. Our oldest nephew is now a freshman in college, so we’re not sure how much longer we’ll be able to get him for those family vacation experiences, and we soaked up every minute we could get. Richard’s mom has a big birthday coming up in April, so we are all going to Florida again to celebrate her.
Currently, we’re trying to make the most of the snowy weather. Richard enjoys this weather and skis a few times a week, but I am much more particular about the temps! The weather did cooperate for a great afternoon of snowshoeing a few weeks ago.
I think that’s a pretty good recap. Like her, Rachael’s parents are doing well and dreaming of summer travel. The pets are quirky and adorable. Life is good! As always, we are grateful for your consideration of us.