Chris and Kara

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Christmas 2018
Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

We come to the end of another year, warm with cheer and remembrance as the weather outside encourages us to be cozy indoors. It’s a cold, windy rainy day outside here in New Jersey- although we’re comfortably writing this letter remembering all who receive it. I hope this letter finds you well- and if not, we’d like to hear about it.

This year saw our first anniversary in New Jersey. Late last year we moved from Holcomb, KS ( SW corner of KS, near Dodge City) to Union Beach, NJ into a 650 sq. ft. ‘cottage’. The move was undertaken to accommodate Kara’s new job teaching HS Chemistry at LREI in Manhattan. The move was certainly an adventure filled with all the stress you would imagine and a couple pitfalls as well- such as our home not being ready as promised when we arrived with our belongings.

A little over a year later we are in a house in the neighboring borough of Keyport with much more room. We knew the house was for us when we saw “NO CATS- dogs welcome”. Of course on the first full day of living here, our two Labrador Retrievers found the weakness in the fence and roamed the borough- right as Thanksgiving dinner was being prepared. After a frantic search and a kind stranger, both were returned, and a frantic bout of home improvement ensued before dinner preparations were resumed.

We experienced our first Nor’easter blizzard here with a resulting 18” of shoveled snow. Kara remembers it being less, but I remember shoveling 18”, so that’s what I’m going with. One thing that struck me over the winter is how fast they are to clear roads around here- prepped with brine before hand and plowed very quickly, even in our small borough.

Kara stays busy with Teaching- going on field trips, professional development, tutoring, and staff meetings. She usually leaves the house at 6 AM, sometimes not returning until 9PM. She enjoys many opportunities to explore with colleagues, students, and friends. Chris is exploring IT business opportunities and working on upgrading cellular sites. Right now advanced LTE (mMIMO for the geeks out there) and 5G are the main work. Some of the work requires driving over 250 miles in a day in locations ranging from Manhattan rooftops to remote mountain tops. One vehicle had 20 thousand miles on it in 5 months! It hasn’t been all work though- we’ve been able to do sightseeing, such as Mystic, CT (Yes, the one in Mystic Pizza), Boston, Sandy Hook, NYC of course, and even managed to drive through Rhode Island.

For the New Year, we hope to visit family and friends, and hope even more to have visitors. We were able to welcome Kara’s sister Elissa along with her friend Kelsey for a week. They were able to catch Broadway and off-Broadway shows almost every night, visit the Cheers Bar in Boston, visit the beaches around here (although the weather was horrible the beaches are very nice). NYC is 45-80 minutes away, depending on traffic. We’re less than 5 minutes from the Garden State Parkway, we live 10 minutes from a Commuter Rail station, and a very nice bus line using coaches to go into NYC is a 15 minute walk away. If you’ve ever wanted to visit NYC, or even NJ- you have a place to stay. Kara is the one to talk to about exploring NYC, and Chris is the one to talk to about… well, a ride? Lol. We live two lots down from the Henry Hudson Trail, a 24 mile long walking/biking trail built on an abandoned rail line. The beach is a 15 minute walk or a 30-minute drive to Sandy Hook, a U.S. Recreation Area with miles of incredible beaches and wetlands wildlife.

Come to see if New Jersey is as bad as they show on TV (it’s not; except for Newark), come to say ‘Hi’, come to visit NYC and save money on lodging; come to look for a job. You’re all officially invited and welcome.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Chris and Kara

Chris and Kara 2018

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