Chapter 25
Christmas Letters

Christmas 2010

Karen and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on May 15th. We are both amazed we have put up with each other for so long. Every time I see cartoons about married life, I nod to myself in agreement. I guess we’re all alike in different ways.
Karen has a few more years to retirement, she can tell you how many days. She likes her current boss and the work that she does. It’s the Dilbert-esque qualities of the culture at FSCJ (Florida State College at Jacksonville) that makes her crazy. She takes a week or two off occasionally to recharge her batteries. She took trips to Washington DC and Sarasota this year, and is going to NYC in December with her sister Sandy, and great nephew, Hunter, and great niece, Ashley. This year Karen became a great aunt for the 5th time with the arrival of Hadley Grace Kreinest. Karen gets on the treadmill most mornings for 40 minutes and is pretty health conscious. She is a blessing in my life.
We didn’t take a Christmas picture this year. We are both on Facebook, and have photos there. I finished phase one of my memoirs,, and have photos there too. If you have any pictures of me or stories, send them to me (new e-mail address: so I can include them. I lost many of my photos in a fire in 1985. In the works is a genealogy website for the Stearns clan, with a page for each of us. Many of us got together for brother George’s #60 birthday in June, in Middleburg. Rosemary is back in town, and she, Karen, and I have been hanging out some. My web sites and, are still online.
I am still pool cleaning, tree climbing, lifeguarding, working out, surfing, and building web sites. I passed a battery of cardio tests recently and am green-lighted to keep on trucking. My friend, Mary Hess, gave us a hot tub this year and I am in it several times a week. I lay in it, look up at the sky, and think about what Dad used to say once in a while “I wonder what the poor people are doing right now?”
I went to Statesboro, GA, in June for my great-granddaughter, Laila Grace Parker’s first birthday. There were giant blow up water slides and loads of good food. I am always impressed by how interconnected the extended families are in my daughter Chris’ world.
I painted my pick up truck in the driveway this Spring and have scheduled my 1988 S-10 Chevy Blazer for early 2011. I have a compressor and spray gun, and rudimentary painting skills.
Love one another, be patient and kind, remember everyone filters facts through their belief system so we don’t always see things the same way. Who knows, the Mayans may be right?

Love - David And Karen

Christmas 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
Another year gone by already. We hope it was a good one for you and next year too.
Karen and I both took some computer programming classes to stay current with technology and enhance our work skills. We are building websites, some volunteer and some for pay. I put up a site for a project of Imagine World Health at Karen and I both have Facebook sites as does Let’s Move Ahead. Facebook is a fun way for us to keep up with family and friends. We don’t get too carried away with it.
I am still lifeguarding, cleaning pools, and climbing trees. Social Security checks will begin rolling in in December. My goals for the coming year include house maintenance and sorting through all that I have collected over the years. I am going to start writing my autobiography online in a website.
We had a nice and well attended memorial service for Mother and Dad in the mountains of North Carolina in May. We spread their ashes from a cliff with a view of the mountains. Pictures are at There is a link there to a Flickr site with more pictures. I miss them both and think about them every day. I try to do things that would make them proud of me.
I have a great granddaughter, Laila Grace Parker. Her Mother, Megan Johnson Parker, has a Facebook page with pictures. My grandson Bobby, has cancer and is in my prayers every day. So far his prognosis is good.
Karen is on the treadmill at 5 am most days, and is actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle. She continues to be appreciated at work and has a new boss, who she likes. She spends some of her spare time with family and friends. She enjoys curling up in her recliner and playing computer games. She tolerates my tv shows including sports, the news, the Daily Show, and the Colbert Report. She is counting the days (still 1800 +) until she retires.
I am recommending Escaping Plato’s Cave, by Mort Rosenbaum, for my book-of-the-year choice.
Happy Holidays
David and Karen

Christmas 2008

As we enter into this season of joy, there is sadness in the Stearns family. Mother passed away on November 13th. She was ready to go, but we miss her. She left right at 5:00 PM, which is quitting time and cocktail hour. It was also a full moon and it rained that evening. Rosemary felt it was tears from heaven. We had a nice beach side service for Mother on Sunday. We spread her and Dad’s ashes from a dory in front of the Jacksonville Beach lifeguard station on Monday. It was a beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky. Anna has pictures of this and other family pictures online.
Karen is hanging in at her job and will retire in six years. She is practicing several arts and crafts and learning new computer and internet skills. I sold my pool cleaning business in August and have started a web site design business. All of our immediate family gathered at the Cherry Street house in Neptune Beach for either Mother’s service or Thanksgiving. I am still life guarding, doing more training and less guarding. I did man a tower several times this summer. I surf and ride my motorcycle when I can.
Thank you to everyone who called, sent a card, and/or sent flowers for Mother. Thanks to all family and friends who helped with the logistics that were taken care of after Mother’s passing. I have visions of Mother and Dad dancing in heaven. They both loved to dance.
Happy Holidays to all and best wishes for a new year where we all move ahead.

Merry Christmas
David and Karen Stearns


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