Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Letter...

Green Holiday Greetings from the GOLDBERG’s

Once again we have decided to spare the trees (and further jeopardize the future of the U.S. Postal Service) by going electronic with our holiday greetings. Last year was the first time we did this. I don’t think doing something once counts as a tradition, but what about twice? For the second year in a row it is time to sit down and yawn, as you read the “Second Annual Goldberg End of the Year Green Electronic Letter and Season’s Greeting.” Is this a new tradition?

You may remember that last year ended on a rather eventful note with Julie’s unplanned return to Silver Spring when she was let go by the Lakewood (NJ) Blue Claws. This meant both she and Marci were back here as 2010 dawned. Julie was looking for a new job in baseball, and Bruce was nursing a sore shoulder from a spill he took on his bicycle when he went down on some black ice while riding to work.

Near the end of January, for the fourth winter in a row, Bruce headed out to Tucson for cycling, this time for five weeks. How did he get the time off? He took no other vacation in either 2009 or 2010. His timing of this one big vacation was pretty good, though! An ice storm down south forced a huge detour, but he managed to do an end run around the weather. Dot, Julie and Marci were not so fortunate. They ended up during February dealing with the blizzard of ’10 and no power for four days while poor Bruce ‘suffered’ through cooler than normal 70 degree weather in Tucson!

It turned out to be déjà vu all over again. Two years earlier when Bruce was in Arizona and Julie was looking for her first baseball job, she was hired by Lakewood. Once again the cycling vacation/baseball job timing worked when in mid-February Julie was hired to do Group Sales for the Lexington (KY) Legends of the South Atlantic League. The only downside for her was that she had to go out to Lexington the same day that Dot, Marci and she were supposed to fly to Tucson for a few days of family winter vacation. So while Bruce and Marci were biking up Mount Lemmon and through the desert (and Dot was at the Tucson Mall!), Julie was driving to Kentucky. She was offered the job and started with the Legends, a Houston Astros farm club, at the beginning of March. Dot helped her move out, and Bruce visited her a few days later on his way home from Arizona. Bruce also visited with his former college roommate Marshall and his wife Susan, in Tennessee. As 2010 ends, Julie is already busy planning sales activities for the 2011 season. So it will be another year in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, Marci continued to work at Barnes and Noble in Rockville and got ready to tackle her second Ironman triathlon in July in Lake Placid. She swam, biked, and ran regularly, and took part in several triathlons and races to get ready. In April she and Dot drove out to Athens, Ohio—Julie drove up from Lexington and Julie’s friend Laura, who she met while both were students in Athens at Ohio University, came down to watch Marci run the Athens Marathon and to spend the weekend together.

In July, Marci took a week of vacation and headed up to Lake Placid to do her second Ironman, and her friend Jane flew up from Texas to give her moral support. Marci completed the swim and almost completed the 112-mile bike ride when she became dehydrated and had to call it a day. It didn’t matter—everyone was very proud of her. Just competing in an Ironman puts you in elite company! During the year she also completed the DC Triathlon…finishing on Pennsylvania Ave. with the Capitol Building in the background, Nation’s Triathlon in September along with 4,000 others, and just before Thanksgiving for the second straight year she ran the Philadelphia Marathon and knocked 22 minutes off last year’s time!

Dot made her annual tour of presidential sites in July. Visiting the birthplaces of Woodrow Wilson in Virginia, Lincoln in Kentucky, and Ulysses S. Grant in Ohio, along with Julie in Lexington and Dot’s cousin in Pittsburgh.

As most of you know, Bruce practically lives on his bicycle! For the fifth time in the last six years, he has ridden more than 5,000 miles in the year, including 3,000 miles commuting to work at the Department of Transportation. During the year he began to prepare for what he hopes will not be too far in the future—retirement. He’s always said that when he’s done with the workaday world, he’d love to work in a bike shop. So in April he began to work on Saturdays at the Performance Bicycle Shop in Rockville. Whenever he finally decides to stop being a faceless bureaucrat in Washington, he’ll be able to work a couple of days a week at a job he really has fun with.

In August Marci joined the ranks of those with two jobs as she began working in a local after-school program called “Kids After Hours.” She heads right from her job at Barnes and Noble over to the elementary school in Silver Spring where she gets to plan and run activities with the kids, who range from kindergarten to 5th grade. This has rekindled the desire to work with kids that led her to major in education in college. She hopes that in 2011 she’ll be able to do more with kids—she really enjoys it.

August was also notable because it was the month that Bruce earned even more senior discounts (he’s been eligible for the AARP discount since 2005!). Dot is quick to point out that she’s not 60 yet!

You may all remember from last year’s letter that the Lakewood Blue Claws won the South Atlantic League championship in 2009 while Julie was working for them. Early in the 2010 season, Julie received a package from the Blue Claws that had a South Atlantic League Championship ring in it. The ring had Julie’s name on it, the Blue Claws Logo, the Phillies logo (they are a Phillies farm club), and “SAL Champions”. It looks like a World Series ring, and many people who work their whole career in baseball never get such a prize. It is really special and Julie hopes there will be many more for her.

Just like in 2009, we had a late year injury in the family. Last year it was Bruce’s shoulder from a bicycle fall. This year it was Marci who fell a few weeks ago while running with the group she trains with. She ended up with 14 stitches in her knee and was on crutches for two weeks. The crutches are now gone and as soon as the wound finishes healing, she can’t wait to get back into the swimming pool to start getting ready for next year’s triathlon season.

Once again this year we hope you don’t mind the electronic, environmentally-friendly family letter. And we hope it didn’t put you to sleep! Although we won’t be sending out cards, you should know that we still send you and everyone in your family the same wishes we would have done via “snail-mail”. Have a very happy holiday season, and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!
Bruce, Dot, Julie and Marci

NOTE: No trees were sacrificed in order to send this GREEN holiday wish your way!

From my family to yours... Happy Holidays!

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