Joyce and I retired on September 30, 2006 so we have a freedom and flexibility we did not have before. 

We decided to spend the first month of the new year, not in Alpharetta, but somewhere in Florida.  Joyce scoured  the Internet and found a great beach house for us on the Gulf Coast, below Tallahassee. (Map)

Employment History
The Sandcastle
Gulf Pines Drive
(Cape San Blas area)
Port St. Joe, FL

We liked it a lot. The beach was directly behind the houses across the street, with an access path near our driveway.  The sun rose out of the water promptly at 7:40 AM EST (not changing much this time of year), and many mornings you could watch it come up while sitting at our breakfast table.

Temperatures were 10-15* warmer than in Alpharetta and we experienced a number of mid-70's days where it was again comfortable reading a book in shirtsleeves on the porch or even on the beach (with maybe the addition of a sweatshirt and windbreaker to cut the wind)

 Bicycling wasn't great though - no place to go except on County Hwy 30 and then Indian Pass Rd which dead-ended at a boat ramp and shuttle service to the St. Vincent Island Wildlife Refuge. However, just being out peddling in the warm sun this time of year was pleasure enough and the vehicular traffic was light.

Near the middle of our stay, we drove up to Mexico Beach and found these fellows patiently waiting for a fisherman cleaning his catch on the side of a boat canal to throw a scrap their way.

Another pelican photo here.

More Cape San Blas photos here.

In April we vacationed on St. Simons Island with Joyce's sister Lois.

In this photo, we're on a fishing pier off Jekyll Island and the St Simons beach front is across the shipping channel behind us.

More photos here...

Chelsea's Dedication at the First Baptist church of Mauldin, SC, was also in April. Here we are in waiting in the back of of the church before the service.

Back,row: Nancy Marks, Todd, Chelsea, Lori, Joyce, Ken, John, Linda.

Front: David, Daniel, Brandon, Jeremy, Ashley and Micki Swaggerty, Todd's niece and sister.

I began building the Carl Goldberg Electra sailplane in April of 2006.  Its maiden flight occurred a little over a year later - On May 12, 2007.

More photos here...

Complete build log at RC Groups here.

A week at the beach with the Marks family was rescheduled in 2007 from September to end-of-May in order not to interfere with school activities.

More photos here... 

Lori, Jeremy, Brandon, and Chelsea visited Alpharetta in August.  Because afternoon temperatures were hitting 100 (!) we got up EARLY one day to fly sailplanes at the River Green soccer fields in the Johns Creek Business Park area. 

Lori caught the action here as Brandon and I launched the Gentle Lady with a High Start (a 400 ft bungie!).  Jeremy is already downfield to try and catch the yellow parachute on the tow line before it hits the ground.

More photos here. (Mostly flying, but a few other visit related photos also.)

Our usual September week at the beach had been moved to May this year. But in August we started thinking maybe we should consider a week stay somewhere this fall anyway. Something to plan for and look forward to.  After all, we are enjoying the freedom of retirement, are we not?

Joyce found a good deal on a beach house at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, north of Jacksonville, FL.  The added attraction of exploring somewhere new helped us make the decision to go. 

We reserved it for Sept 2-9, then realized that summer was almost over and that was only two weeks away!

Additional photos here

Pat's first visit to Alpharetta was in early October. She came down to Greenville, SC on Amtrak and after visiting Lori's family we went to Charlotte to see Dave and his family before finally coming back to Alpharetta.

Of course we showed her Stone Mountain as well as the new Georgia Aquarium and all the Atlanta traffic!

When it was time to go back, she again rode Amtrak, this time boarding at Gainsville, GA and continuing on to Charlottesville, VA, where she changed to another train headed for Chicago. Boarding a third train at Chicago, she finally arrived at Wisconsin Dells where Jack, Stacy and her family were waiting to pick her up and take her home to Wisconsin Rapids.  

In 2002, after riding it for 10 years and 63,000 miles  I sold my Harley to Bill Reynolds, a riding partner and former neighbor from Johnson City.

Bill rode a Honda Gold Wing at the time, but his heart wanted a Harley.

Now, 5 years later, in late October while exploring the north Georgia mountains on "Magic Carpet" a.k.a "Blueglide", he rode down to Alpharetta to give me a chance to inspect her and determine that she was being properly cared for.

He's dressed her up in a little more chrome and in spite of an additional 15,000 miles on the odometer, looks great! 



We celebrated Christmas again this year at Lori and Todd's in Greenville.  Dave, Linda, John, and Daniel came over for the day.

Obligatory Kids-In-Front-Of-Tree Photo

2007 Christmas Letter

Previous Year (2006)
Next Year (2008)