December 24, 2020
To all of our friends and family, Jinhee, Megan, Andrew and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2021!!
My sister Barb sends out a Christmas letter ever year, and I have tried to emulate a bit of that through the blog in the last few years. Hopefully this small snippet is a suitable review of our year and makes up for all of those calls, visits and notes that simply didn’t happen throughout the year.
We started 2020 in The Bahamas last year, enjoying the Berry Islands. We made our way to Highbourne Cay and loved it so much that we have opted to spend Christmas here again in 2020. The pandemic is leading us to a very secluded existence and we are looking to spend the next few months in relatively secluded places, with limited human contact but exceptional scenery and hopefully exceptional weather. Perhaps the world will heal a little bit, both in health and socially, in that time.
By a stroke of good fortune, we found what is very likely to be our forever house on Amherst Island in early February. We made a last minute decision to buy the house . . . the day before COVID began it’s frightening destruction of the North American economy. We held our ground and took possession in mid June and have been enjoying the house, its surroundings and some family and friends while observing the rules of quarantine throughout the year.
As lockdown rules and quarantines were dealt with, we enjoyed family, including my father and step mother, Rev. Rick Magie & Micheline Montreuil, my sister Barb & Harvey Tobey, my nephew and his wife and daughter, Chris Tobey, Jessica Sonnenberg, and Maddy. We had Jinhee’s family members, including her Mom, Tom, Chris and Abby Kim; Debbie, Patrick, Amelia and Elliot Croft join us as well.
We were joined by various friends as well, including Bob and Pat as they sailed through to the Thousand Islands, as well, Nick and Karen sailing through for their time in the islands. Our good friends Rich, Susan and Alex also joined us for one weekend as they sought some refuge from the city lockdown. Megan particularly has hosted some friends at the house too. It is nice to have the ‘kids’ using the place to get away and build their friendships new and old.
Unfortunately we didn’t have an opportunity to meet too many people on the island itself. Supposedly a bustling community normally, the restrictions on commingling prevented everyone from the normal social mixing. Perhaps next year!
The boat has been a bit of a distraction this year! With great plans on bringing the boat to North America, those plans were destroyed by Covid-19. We had hoped to run the boat up the East Coast this year, but that became impossible as the uncertainty of an unknown virus overwhelmed the desire to see new and fun places. Moving the boat out of hurricane zones was a necessity however and led to a number of exciting new things.
Moving the boat along the SE coast of the US exposed us (mostly me) to amazing views of nature, some interesting new and stronger relationships (thank you Nick K., Marianne S., and Paul F. for being awesome crew). The path also allowed us to meet a variety of interesting people along the route and on the docks. With particular thanks to those that have helped not just in the crewing, but keeping the boat a safe and healthy vessel for our exploration (Yacht Tech, Atlantic Yacht Basin and their various sub contractors). Perhaps 2021 will allow us to explore more, and we will continue to be surrounded by amazing people.
Andrew has been enjoying seclusion, perhaps more than most. He has consumed his time by helping with his niece and nephew, teaching them French, Piano and Chess.
Megan is creating her own path as well. Nearing the end of her second year at Kinross Gold, Megan is learning quickly about the business of mining which should serve her well as her career (she’s a mining engineer) blossoms.
Jinhee has seen a very tough year, professionally, with the COVID outbreak leading to an exceptional work load as policies, procedures and effort required vast adjustment across the whole world. One of the benefits of all of that though is that her commute has been drastically reduced (distance from breakfast table to office is less than 40 feet!!) and our serendipitous purchase of the Amherst island home has made her work environment very pleasant.
Overall, this year will remain one for the record books and while it didn’t go as planned, we made the best of it. We hope that you were able to enjoy as much as possible under the circumstances.
This year has been so difficult for so many people around the world we hope that your family and those close to you have not suffered due to the vagaries of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic shocks or any of the other negatives afforded a normal year. We certainly expect that 2021 will be better and wish you good health, the happiness of family and community and indeed, all of the best in the coming year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!