Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Holiday Newsletter

Well, how was that for a surprise - the Blichmann+Bond family newsletter arriving in the mailbox BEFORE the end of the holiday season?  That’s like Halley’s Comet.

2014 has been a good year for the Southern branch of the Blichmann and Bond clans.

Our big lifestyle change was purchasing a house up in the mountains of North Carolina.  The plan is to use it as a weekend and vacation getaway for now, then move up there full time if we can ever figure out just how to retire.  We’ve found there’s a great psychological boost in just knowing that you have some kind of plan.  

It’s in a small town called Brevard, about half an hour from Asheville, NC.  The town is just touristy enough to have decent restaurants and interesting public art, and just small enough to get around on foot. An internationally famous classical music festival runs all summer. Brevard College is there - just across the street. The area is somewhat of a mountain biking mecca.  There’s a lifetime of hiking within 20 miles, including hundreds of waterfalls. Brevard is known for hosting a population of white squirrels.  Many tourists claim they’re just a myth, but some actually inhabit our yard.  They are pretty cool.  No red eyes.

Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest, outside Brevard, NC

The house itself is a mid-60’s raised ranch, with goofy white Gone With the Wind columns in front.  It’s in good shape, but the landscaping is of the “tear it out or bulldoze it” variety, right down to the dirt filled in-ground pool.  The yard alone promises years of fun outdoor projects.  The place has been dubbed “Ranchester”.  Don’t ask.  It looks better than it sounds…

The lens flare from hell

White squirrel souvies

Paul moved to Madison, WI last summer to take a job with Epic Systems, the company that make the software that runs a good chunk of this country’s hospitals.  It’s a crazy place, with something like 7000 employees, beautiful buildings and grounds designed by real live architects, and underground parking.  He’s been busy setting up housekeeping in a condo, and appears to be surviving his first real winter (so far) since he was seven  He still drives our 1994 Saab.

Nathaniel finished up all his teaching certificate classes, and is now a first-year teacher!  He started teaching sixth grade science down in Florida.  We picture him as the Bill Nye the Science Guy of rural north central Florida.  

The rabbits love going up to Ranchester and have staked out ownership of the basement/garage zone, but aren’t too keen on the car ride to get there.  They continue to act like they never get fed.  Don’t listen to them…

Happy 2015!
Bob and Betsy

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