Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas 2016

With fondest wishes for a very
Merry Christmas
and a happy and prosperous
from the North Carolina branch of the Haslup clan.

Fathers Day in Tampa/St Pete
The past year has been a good one although there have been occasions to be sad as well. One of these was the death of my father, Dr. Allen Lee Haslup, who passed away at age 89, surrounded by three generations of family this past 16th of August. He had been in decline for a number of months and his passing was neither unexpected, nor untimely, nor tragic. Through the patience, care, hard work, and dedication of his care givers, Elizabeth, Ron, and Liz, he was able to remain in his own home until the end. There was a Service of Remembrance at St Thomas Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg on August 19th and he will be interred at Arlington on Friday, January 13th 2017. The service will start at the Old Post Chapel at 1:00 pm. Family members and guests should arrive 30 to 45 minutes prior. If you plan to attend the interment let me know and I will provide additional information. (

Getting rest of the sadder news out of the way while we are in a somber mood, our dog, Jaxon, and our cockatiel, Sugar, also died this year. This leaves Gypsy, our remaining dog, as our only pet.

Irene and I have had a busy year. This is something I didn’t realize until I sat down to write this newsletter and took stock. I had noticed that there was never any time this year but it is only now I realize that it is because I was busy -- really, really, busy. Since last year’s newsletter we have been to the following locales: Colonial Williamsburg, The Mariner’s Museum in Newport News (Irene’s mom’s home town), Sanford NC (Chris and Reid’s house), Pennsauken Township NJ (Lee and Amber’s house, just across the river from Philly), Florida (five different times), Disney world, LEGOLAND Florida, Tampa, St Petersburg (three times, once to spend time with dad, once to be with him at the end, and once to sort out the house), The Salvador Dali Museum, the western Caribbean on a cruise ship (Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya Mexico, Cancun, and Cozumel), Myrtle Beach, Brookgreen Gardens, The Apple Festival in Hilton NY, the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse on Lake Ontario, The North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina State Fair, Wilmington NC, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh.

Cypress Gardens area at LEGOLAND
I doubt I need to tell about most of these destinations. I mean, who doesn’t know about Disney World or the Hilton NY Apple Festival? But LEGOLAND and Brookgreen Gardens may be unfamiliar, so a bit of information: LEGOLAND Florida is located on the site of the former Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida – Irene’s home town. It is an odd hybrid of a kid-themed amusement park and an old-Florida tourist attraction. The kids activities are mostly quite well done and they have retained some of the famous gardens, of which parts are as lovely as ever and parts are a bit run down and sad. It’s worth a visit if you have the time and the kids. Brookgreen Gardens is a large sculpture garden featuring, among other things, the work of one of Irene’s favorite sculptors, Anna Huntington.

Lions Bridge in Newport News
Irene came to admire Huntington’s work when she was a child visiting her mother’s home town of Newport News, Virginia. Irene greatly admired Huntington’s colossal lions on the Lion’s Bridge on the grounds of the Mariner’s Museum. Brookgreen Gardens, just south of Myrtle Beach, is well worth a visit, especially if you like naturalistic American sculpture. Wear comfortable shoes; the gardens are spread over much of the 9,100 acre site.

Chris, Reid and Sombrero
The family continues to prosper. Chris and Reid are raising chickens on their 13 acres near Sanford. Last Christmas Irene insisted that I give Chris a chainsaw since she was convinced that all of Chris’ trees would take turns falling across his access road. Chris and I were skeptical – Irene worries about the oddest things -- but I never pass up a chance to buy power tools and, sure enough, about a week after Chris got his new saw he had to cut up a tree to get to work.

Amber finishes her Emergency Medicine residency in the late spring. She and Lee and the kids will be moving from New Jersey to Oregon for her new job which she is excited about. That will put them near Lee’s family and a number of cousins about the same age as Liam (5), Eva (5), Aurelie (1 ½), and my as-yet-unnamed granddaughter due early next summer.

The cast member in the back (in pink) is a relative of one of Amber’s friends and arranged this VIP meet and greet for us.

Liam at LEGOLAND / Eva at Bond Park in Cary

Lee at NC State Zoo / Irene in Hilton NY

Aurelie Teething at Disney World

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