2014 in review

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in California for a year and a half. We’ve really adapted to our new home here in Orange. Carolyn had a busy year at Chapman with several employees taking other jobs and one on sabbatical. She was finally back to full-staff in October. Rick had a good year running Project SAILS via our business, Carrick Enterprises. This is our third year operating it outside of Kent State and we’ve managed to grow the business nicely. Our cat family, Olive, Romy, Cassie, Remy, and Leo, has been healthy and has enjoyed the enclosing of the “catio” on the back of the house that we completed in April.

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The year was also filled with visits to and from friends and family and travel to some interesting places. Here are some highlights.

In April we made a short trip to Ohio to see Adiya, Erin, and Wynn. We flew into Cleveland and drove down to Columbus for the weekend. After the weekend, we drove up to Kent and had lunch with friends Dave and Carol. Then we visited Dave and Mary — who surprised us by inviting our friends Gayle and Jan. We finished the trip by driving to Amherst and having dinner with Carolyn’s family: Bill, Sue, Ron, Amanda, and Tony. We woke up the morning we were leaving to discover it had snowed overnight. Oh Ohio!

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In May Carolyn and her boss presented a paper at a library conference in Istanbul Turkey. We tacked on five extra days for sightseeing including mosques, bazaars, a subway trip (under water!) to Asia, and a boat ride on the Bosphorus. We were very lucky to visit with many members of Rick’s Turkish family, including Serdar, Muzeyyen, Gunsel, Emre, Erdem, Pelin, and sweet babies Duru and Uzay.

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Rick had not been back to Turkey since 1999, so it was quite a treat to be able to go again and be the tour guide. He even managed to remember some Turkish and was able to use it to get directions. We had a great time and highly recommend Istanbul as a travel destination.

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In June we had a booth at a library conference in Las Vegas. Since Vegas is only a four hour car ride from here, we were able to drive over and take our booth with us. We got to see some folks from Kent State that were attending and had dinner with our friends Ken and Taryn. While the conference was a real success for us, the heat was terrible. We loaded up the car and drove home in 111 degree heat. Maybe we’ll skip Las Vegas in the summer from now on.

SAILS booth with Nancy Birk

In July our friends Scott and Rick took us on a weekend tour of the Santa Ynez wine region, just north of Santa Barbara. Rick’s family is in the wine business and he and Scott know the area very well. It was a short visit, but we were able to squeeze in lots of wine tastings.

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In August we flew to Seattle for another library conference where Carolyn was part of a panel talk. As a sponsor for the conference, Rick was ableto give a lunchtime presentation on Project SAILS. We had very good attendance and were pleased that we had participated. After the conference we drove up to and toured the Boeing facility in Everett (fascinating!) and then spent two nights at a small inn at Mt Rainier. We love Mt Rainier and will always make time to visit when we’re in Seattle.

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In October we made another quick trip to Columbus to see Adiya, Erin, and Wynn — and to see their new house. While we were only there for the weekend, we had a fun time. Wynn took us to a park that we could walk to from their house. It was chilly but it actually felt great to be around so many trees — something we’re really missing here in SoCal. We were lucky to be able to have breakfast with our friend Janet before she took us to the airport.

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The big news in November was the birth of our second grandchild, Lola Sofia. She was a very healthy 8 lbs, 8 oz. We haven’t had a chance to visit her yet, but plans are underway!

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And finally, just before Christmas, we drove to Death Valley for three nights. Neither of us had been there before and we didn’t really know what to expect. It’s a spectacular national park. Driving down the valley with striking mountains on both sides is almost surreal. We did a couple of hikes into the canyons and walked out onto Badwater Basin, the lowest spot in the western hemisphere at 282 feet BELOW sea level. We also saw a roadrunner (the bird) next to our hotel parking lot – two days in a row! If you haven’t been, it’s a must see.

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We love having friends visit us in Orange (great to see you, Diane & Les, Pam, Paula, Gerhard, and Sue!) and hope to see you here soon.

We wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2015!

Carolyn & Rick