Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year --                                                                     December 2012

First the medical news: Call me "Scar Neck," "Good Eyes" or "Gimpy." Late July, had the right carotid artery cleaned out (hence the "Scar Neck"); early August, fixed the cataract in my left eye; & continuing to fight an inflamed tendon in my left knee. (The latter landed me in the hospital via a 911 call here in December as the anti-inflamatory drug I was taking caused bleeding in the stomach. But all seems o.k. now.) Fortunately, Mary remains pretty healthy.

Not an awful lot of news to pass on. I'm finishing up my second year as vice-chair of the Advisory Council of the Burke/West Springfield Senior Center Without Walls. That's a mouthful, but it's really a pretty neat public-private enterprise between Fairfax County and our group. (Check us out on the Web at www.scwow.org) The county furnishes the instructors and we find churches, community centers or schools to volunteer the space for some 14 classes in such things as line dancing, yoga and tai chi. The latter is where we get our exercise and help with balance.

Mary always asks me, "Larry, how do you do it?" And I always answer, "Do what?"

Our daughter Cindy paid us a surprise visit from Arizona over Father's Day Weekend with Derek, her youngest, and we took in some all star soccer games together. (By the way, Derek's marvelous smile took his grandpa's heart -- see at left plus check out pictures of the rest of the grandkids on my Website [www.ldmark.com]. Also, for you history buffs, there are links to some interesting stuff there including my "101 epic events that shaped human history," which now, with help, is up on YouTube! There's a link on the Website.)

My gardening was relegated to the back yard, but we still had a lot of good veggies. Mary continues her volunteer work at ECHO (Ecumenical Council Helping Other) while I am still League Director of U-19 girls soccer for the Springfield/South County Youth Club (46 seasons and counting).

From southeastern Virginia (Poquoson, to be exact), we had several visits through the year from Steve and Jenny and Teagan (who is just as cute as ever!) plus Sarah and Andrew, both of whom are shooting up like weeds.

Our fig tree outdid itself this year; wonderful figs! And lots of them.

The closest I've ever come to "seizing the day" was tearing off yesterday on my page-a-day calendar!

This year's license plates: Mine= UN42N8; &SO4TH plus ILBCNU; Spotted= PLA GLF; ILK2RUN; FISRMN; RELOC8R; 1 ITALYN; GO SAYLN; I TOUCHU; COWPIE2 (on Mow Cow landscape truck); TOYODUH & PWRTOY (two Camrys); LVLY TOY (yes, another Toyota); BZYQLTN; 2 PRAZIM; LUV2MIX; B POLITE; NACL H2O; NO RUST; ZIGGN; LV READN; LYVN LYF; &ERSUN; KREE8IV; R PONY (Mustang convert); MILR TYM (Mercedes convert); GO TOPLZ (red convert); & finally, M&D THX (on a "choose life" plate!).

Best wishes for the New Year from Mary & Larry (& the inscrutable Suzy)

PS -- Did we mention the "squirrels in the attic" problem?