Merry Christmas from Tucson, Arizona…and other places close to our hearts…

 
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Christmas Concerts at San Xavier in Tucson, Arizona
http://www.sanxaviermission.org/

“(Newport, Oregon) – It’s a coastal Christmas season in the Newport and Depoe Bay areas, with a ton of festive festivals and holiday delights filling that ocean air. Fun at the aquarium, lighted boats on the bay, music left and right, lots of cheer and of course the opportunity to shop for gifts in a much relaxed atmosphere.”
 
Christmas in Leavenworth, Wa
 
Although we are not home for Christmas this year, we feel blessed to have the chance to spend Christmas with dear friends, Werner & Claudia, who spend the winter months in Tucson.  Our friends, who also reside in Leavenworth, Washington, bring back special memories of this beautiful Bavarian town, especially during the holidays.  We also think of home in Depoe Bay, Oregon where we now live.  Our daughter, Sarah, keeps us posted with updates and photos of Christmas at our home in Little Whale Cove.  We enjoyed our early celebration with Sarah in Destin, Florida and New Orleans…
 
Later today we’ll Skype with daughter, Bianca, husband Bobby, and grand kids Joey & Jordan in Minnetonka, Minnesota.  Our next road trip is planned for the spring to visit with Bianca and her family when granddaughter Jordan graduates from high school.  We are planning to stick around for several weeks to reconnect with extended family members, including cousins from both sides of my parents’ families.  My roots hail from Minnesota where our mutual families were born and raised.  My Dad, Vernon, moved away in 1936 to join the US Navy, and Mom, Marcella, left St. Paul in 1940 to begin a life with her new husband in Long Beach, California.  I write extensively about the early years of their marriage and the challenges of WWII in my book. 
 
   Next stop is Palm Springs for a visit with Judy’s sister, Joy, nephew Max and dear friend, Buzz.  Joy and Max are returning to home in New Hampshire this coming summer.  Before the final leg of our return home, we are spending much needed time with our daughter, Deanna, husband James and grand kids Mike & Cameryn in San Pedro, California.  We are excited about kicking off the New Year with another long overdue family celebration. 
 
It would be no surprise to admit we are ready to go home!  Judy and I have traveled over 10,000 miles since leaving Depoe Bay on September 11, 2012. We are now making our way back to the Oregon coast. The adventure and romance of our extended journey the past several months will be treasured with wonderful memories, including all of the special experiences captured on this blog.  And, who knows…the content for my next book may well be within reach…
 
Merry Christmas and a most successful New Year to all…
 
Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story 

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