Christmas 2009 Letter

December 1, 2009
Merry Christmas to all,

You are receiving this early because, as some of you know, by the 10th of December we will be in our new home in St. George, UT.

New address:
Dan and Gail Lester
4621 Elrose Drive
St. George, UT 84790
(208) 283-7711 (Same phone as before)

This move has all come about in the last 8 weeks, an amazing case of God working in mysterious ways and making things all fall into place. In mid September we went down to St. George to stay at a time-share-trade there and spent 10 days touring North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. I had not been there since I was a kid and Dan hadn’t been for 30 years. The area is SOOOO beautiful and the people were so friendly. On our last day there, September 27th, which was also my birthday, we went to church at the Grace Episcopal Church. We absolutely fell in love with it and after talking with several of the people there, we suddenly found ourselves talking about selling our house in Boise and moving down there. Someone told us about a retirement community, SunRiver (www.sunriver.com), and we decided to go look at it after church. We spent 2 hours looking at the models and touring the fantastic community center and we were hooked.

The next day, we talked all the way home about it and when we got back to Boise we immediately took steps to put our house on the market. We found a fantastic Realtor who spent over 25 hours at our house working on everything from moving furniture, touching up paint, overseeing a major clearing out and directing an awesome staging. On Nov 1st, we went back to St. George to look at homes in SunRiver and our house in Boise went on the market on the 5th. There was an open house on the 7th, and on the 9th, just two hours after we had signed papers to buy a spec house just being finished in SunRiver, we got a message from our Realtor in Boise that we had a full price offer on our house. We accepted and signed the offer by fax that same afternoon. The buyers want to close the escrow on Dec. 11th and we will be packing up and leaving the 7th and finish this escrow from St. George. The four of us (counting Bobo and Dolly our Pomeranians) will leave Boise and hopefully be down there the next day. It is about 650 miles and weather could be an issue this time of year.

We have just passed the home inspection and the handyman and his assistant performed the few minor repairs that were requested by the buyer. We are very busy making phone calls for changes in our lives and doing final packing. It is amazing how much stuff you accumulate in 20 years. We have already taken 25 boxes of books to the public library, taken about 10 carloads of stuff to the goodwill and given away about half our furniture. We have bought a new washer, dryer, fridge, bed, recliner and flat panel TV which will be delivered from the Las Vegas branch of R.C. Willey (the Utah based furniture chain). St. George is just 1 1/2 hours from Vegas.

We will miss all our friends in Boise and of course my son, Chris, and his two kids (who are now 16 and 17 years old), but we are excited to enter a brand new phase of our life. We have already met some bridge players down there and are looking forward to swimming and working out in the gym and playing bridge several times a week. Although we don’t golf, we will get a golf cart, since about 70% of the residents have them and there is now a federal tax credit for buying a street-legal electric vehicle.

Our retirement started out last fall with a fabulous 3 1/2 month trip around the South Pacific, truly the trip of a lifetime. Some of the highlights included: blue starfish in crystal clear water in the Cook Islands, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast, hearing Handel’s Messiah in the Sydney Opera House, watching the little penguins come ashore to Phillip Island near Melbourne, enjoying a fabulous view over windy Wellington, New Zealand, cruising Milford Sound, getting snowed on and seeing a wombat in Tasmania, helmet diving in Bora Bora, Christmas Day at Pitcairn Island, seeing the Moai statues on Easter Island, walking around Inca ruins in Peru, going through the Panama Canal, seeing the Indians on the San Blas Islands, visiting the Costa Rica rainforest, an airboat ride among the alligators in the Everglades, the unique funky atmosphere in Key West, Daytona Speedway, Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Epcot Center and, finally, 3 weeks in Maui sitting on the balcony of our timeshare watching the whales cavorting around.

Obviously, these are just the highlights.

We want everyone to know that we have a wonderful guest room just waiting for someone to come use it. (Remember we are very near Las Vegas)

Dan and Gail, Bobo and Dolly

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