Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Last week George and I sent out 50+ Holiday cards with these 2 photos of "our family" and the following annual "update"...Happy Holidays to All!

Hi all!

George and I are both wonder how time can go by so fast. It only seems a couple months ago we wrote last year’s “round up”! As with many of you-there have been adventures (fun and hard), celebrations, travel and experiences unique to 2008. Yet in many ways… some things have stayed much the same.

We are happy living at our same address in our red roofed “chalet” facing Mt. Jefferson in Ashe County, NC. Mama Grey, our kitty, is amazing and continues to put up with us. George is still with the National Committee for the New River, and I a school counselor at Ashe County High School. George is doing great in his job and really likes it…I, on the other hand am restless and tired of “hoop jumping” and want to make a change-yet first need to soul search to find what I’d rather do-and waiting for an positive change in the economy would be smart too.

This year, in order to minimize lawn mowing we added 2 flower/shrub gardens, and to grow food, George built a good-sized raised bed veggie garden. We had tomatoes, peppers, chard, onions, some kale, basil, parsley, lettuce and spinach. Sadly the deer got our broccoli and cauliflower before we did! We are both doing our best to “live locally” and happily support the farmers market and independent growers in our quest to do so. We are sharing the canning section of the basement with an ever-evolving wine and beer making laboratory and have pinot grigio, chat dormant, pinot noir, shiraz, blueberry wine, blackberry wine and goldenrod wine and oatmeal stout and an English nut brown ale at varying stages of readiness. I think the wine needs to age and bit more, yet George raves about it even when young. I guess all of us have our own ideas about what is yummy!

George has had a busy year. To speak for The River, he returned to DC in June to lobby for the protection of the New River (he is so good at it and seems to love that sort of social interaction so much-I really wouldn’t be surprised if one day he is working more blatantly in politics!) George also covered many miles on the New River in all 3 states this year. Highlights include a 3-day solo canoe paddle (and portage) in West Virginia. He has rafted parts of the New River Gorge 3x and I joined him for one of those rafting days.

We vacationed too in WV this year…celebrating our anniversary snowboarding at Snowshoe Mountain and in July, rented a cabin in Watoga State Park in WV for 4 days and did lots of bike riding on the Greenbrier trail and surrounding state and national forest.

End of last year I micro fractured a kneecap and took until February to heal…then a few months later wound up with a stress fracture in the other leg! Ugh! My ultra running experiences were puny in 2008. I ran 3 ultras (two 50ks and one 40 miler), 2 trail marathons, 1 road marathon, 2 half marathons, other runs, and assorted “long” cycling events. My endurance highlight this year was race directing my 1st ultra marathon: The New River Trail 50k on 10/11/08. (All proceeds went to the National Committee for the New River). It filled to limit and we had runners from 14 states. It went very well and was named the “Southeast Green Race of the Year” by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine…yay! The 2009 version will be on 10/10/09. My injuries are much improving; I am again on the roster and with neat running plans with the Montrail Ultra Running Team ’09!

Life just zooms by! If you get a chance, please check out George’s work website at I have a blog: .

Wishing you all health, fun, quality time with those you love, and courage to love and grow in 2009 and beyond!

Peace and Love,
Annette & George


Rick Gray said...

Life is short, but yet it is so full of surprises. Many of those surprises turn into challenges. It seems that challenges usually turn out on the positive side and we excel. Thank you for sharing your family's year. It is crammed pack of so much good. To you and George, I wish you both much happiness during the holidays and 2009. Love to you both, Rick

AnthonyP said...

Happy Holidays Annette !

Sophie Speidel said...

Happy Holidays, Annette and George! I am blessed to know you, Annette, and am so grateful for your friendship and support over the years. You continue to be a huge role model for me and for many others and I am looking forward to running with you soon---hopefully pain-free for you!!

Here's to a wonder-filled 2009!