----- Forwarded Message
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 23:27:11 +0000
Subject: Christmas letter 2007
Holiday greetings from the Harthcocks in Mexico!
We hope this finds you feeling great. This past year, Marvin has been troubled with heart palpitations. His medications have been changed; and, fortunately, all of his EKG’s have been OK. Helaine has been going to physical therapy and it’s helped a little. But, things could always be worse!
As we wrote last year, we put our house on the market. It didn’t sell; so, we didn’t renew the sales contract. We decided to stay a while longer even though the stairs are difficult for Helaine—it is good exercise for both of us!
For our 37th wedding anniversary in August we went to a resort in the mountains, about a three-hour drive from here. There’s a nearby village where knives are hand-made. We also went there and bought a few. We had a very enjoyable trip.
As before, we continue to be involved with The Golden Strings of Lake Chapala. Marvin is now the President and Helaine continues as Secretary/Treasurer. As you might recall, we provide music lessons and instruments to indigent children. Under the auspices of this program we’ve also established a scholarship program for needy students entering high school (which isn’t free). The junior hi student must have at least a scholastic grade average of 80 in order to be eligible. In order to remain in the program they must also maintain at least an 80 average. We currently have many in the program who have averages in the 90’s. Our scholarship program includes the cost of tuition, books, lab fees, lab coats and uniforms. It doesn’t include food nor transportation costs (no school bus service is available; they must ride the regular bus). It’s a very gratifying program.
Our grandson recently returned safely from Iraq serving as a medic. We’re hoping he’ll have an opportunity to visit us before he returns to Camp Pendleton on January 7th.
We don’t have any special plans for the holidays other than we’re invited out for dinner on Christmas Eve and dinner on New Year’s Day.
We have new e-mail addresses: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org OR
email@example.com. If you’re interested, we have a web site: marvinsblog.net We hope to soon establish a web site for The Golden Strings. Our snail mail address remains the same: Apartado #821, Chapala, Jalisco. Mexico 45900. Our telephone number also remains the same: 011-52-376-763-5093 (from the U.S.)
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Helaine & Marvin
From: marvin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 12:14:34 -0600
Subject: Christmas letter - 2006
Merry Christmas (2006) & Happy New Year (2007) from Mexico!
The year started out by celebrating our birthdays. Marvin hosted a surprise birthday party for Helaine at our favorite little restaurant in the nearby village. Then, in February, Helaine hosted a birthday party for Marvin in the same restaurant. The unique thing about it was his gift from our maid—a German shepherd puppy. The bows were larger than the puppy. But, you should see her now; she’s about the size of a miniature horse & her name is Princess. She & our Chihuahua, Rubio, get along quite well; but, he lets her know that he’s the alpha animal! Both are outside dogs. The cats continue to rule the roost in the house!
Much the same as with previous years, we’re continuing our involvement with The Golden Strings. We had a successful fund-raising concert on Dec. 10th. In February and March, Marvin had both eyes operated for cataracts. He says he can see better than ever before.
We cooked an enormous Christmas dinner for our maid, Luz, and all her family and some other guests. There were around twenty altogether. Marvin roasted a turkey with all the trimmings. Some had never had that before!
Marvin continues to teach in the nearby village junior high school, (down to two days a week.) High school in Mexico is not free. Marvin manages a program to support (currently 25) students with scholarships to high school. They must be poor and maintain a scholastic average of 80 or better. We only want to provide an opportunity where none existed before.
Now for a touching story. Mary Lou Manzie, a divorced lady from Maine, (then 58) bought a house last November in our sub-division to start a new life. Shortly thereafter, she asked Marvin to show her the computer lab we’d built at the local junior high. While there, she asked what he needed. He told her that since they had no phone lines, there was no internet which he thought the students needed. She said “Consider it done!” She went to the wireless provider, paid for the installation & a year’s worth of monthly fees. In October, she passed away due to a brain tumor. A good friend of hers from Chicago wrote to friends & acquaintances requesting donations in Mary Lou’s memory for the local junior high. She also said that she would match all donations! We’re looking forward to her visit the end of December. We’re already receiving donations.
We’ve put our house on the market for sale. The steps have become so difficult for Helaine. If the house sells, we’ll relocate somewhere in close proximity but in a one-story house.
We look forward to hearing from everyone—better still, come to visit.
Have a healthy & prosperous new year.
Helaine & Marvin
Mailing address: Apartado #821, 45900 Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico
E-mailing address (new this year): email@example.com
Telephone no. (from the US.). 011-52-376-763-5093
----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom White"
Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 8:53 AM
Subject: Your Christmas Letter
Hi Marvin and Helaine,
Darrell was good enough to forward your Christmas letter to me. I really enjoyed reading about your year. Sounds like you are enjoying life down there while doing a lot of good for the community and kids.
I would like to put your Christmas letter on the Retirees web page if you have no objections. It would be added on to http://homepage.mac.com/esyrayretirees/LettersFromRetirees.html. Since you already have one letter there, I am pretty sure you would not object, but thought I should ask.
Marvin & Helaine Harthcock
Sure' if you think anyone would be interested in reading it.
If you need further clarification on anything, please let me
know. As you probably know, I have multiple sclerosis; so, my
mobility is very limited. Whenever we go out of the house, I use
a wheelchair. Around the house, I can get by with a cane--I have
one upstairs, one downstairs & one by the door for whenever we
leave the house. I no longer drive because I have very little use
of my left side; therefore, I just don't feel comfortable behind the
wheel. All of my typing is done with my right hand. Well,
enough about that!
It was good to hear from you.
Happy New Year!
From: Marvin & Helaine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Thanx & greetings
Thanks so much for sending the picture and info on ESY retirees. Do you think it would be appropriate to mention something about us in the info about retirees? We are retired in Mexico (the Lake Chapala area--one of 2 of the most temperate climates in the world according to the National Geographic because a temperate climate is what my neurologist in San Antonio recommended because of my MS. And, we would love to hear from any of our co-workers via e-mail, mail, telephone or what have you.
Last month Marvin did substitute teaching in the 5th grade in the little village near here. He had 28 students. Of course, all of the classes were taught in Spanish (subjects: Spanish, math, natural science, geography and history). He really enjoyed it. Since he does not have a work permit, all of the work was free! A mastodon was recently uncovered near here; so, one day he took his students to see that--which should be a very historical, memorable occasion for them.
Just last week I started taking a new medication for the control of MS.It is not approved by the FDA; however, the nurse who developed it had almost the same symptoms as I do. Unfortunately, it is not available here and costs $250 a month. I had a telephone interview with a doctor in Washington, he forwarded the prescription to a compounding pharmacist in McAllen and a doctor from here picked it up for me. I was able to get a 2-month supply because it has a shelf life of only 70 days.
Do you know much about MS? It ain´t much fun! I´m lucky that Marvin likes to cook cause I don´t usually have the energy. He gave me a dishwasher for Christmas and most of the time it´s all I can do to load it. The maid empties it. How much does it cost for a maid? We pay the going rate, it´s about a dollar an hour; she works three half-days per week. We also have a gardener & he makes a little more--about $10 for 8 hours of work!
We sure would like to have you come to visit sometime. Our house isn´t anything fancy--a small 2-story, 2-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath but it´s adequate for us. Most people ask about the fact that we bought a 2-story house with my having MS. Some days it´s very difficult but it is good exercise for me. I´m sure hoping that will soon change. I´d also like to be able to be more independent and be able to drive again.
We hope to hear from you again real soon.
Helaine & Marvin
To: John McAdam <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, February 05, 2001 7:46 PM
Since retiring in 1995, Bonnie and I have taken four international trips to Turkey, Israel, St. Maarten, and Greece. The Greek trip included an Aegean Sea cruise which brought back memories of when I used to work on missile tracking ships for RCA. Also, we sold a house in Texas, built a house in Missouri, and tore down an old farm house. In the midst of that, we spent a winter in Florida near where we used to live in the late sixties. Last year, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.
We have been rather healthy except that I severely twisted my ankle in 1998. It has taken over two years for my ankle to get back to normal. Jerry Bryant told me it was a sign of old age. However, that ankle has slowed me down by keeping us from traveling to Wisconsin and Alaska which would then allow us to say we have been in all 50 states. I got back into writing software programs while my ankle kept me in the house.
We live on an 80 acre hill farm about 25 miles from where we grew up, so we know a lot of people. This is the farm that we bought upon returning from Australia in the early 80s. Our home is one mile off the paved road, on a county gravel road, and our nearest neighbor is over a mile away. We can not see any houses because of the trees and the hills. The wildlife includes deer, turkey, coyotes, geese, and ducks. By the way, John, I have gotten a couple of shots off at coyotes, with a 30-06, since moving up here. People seem interested in the weather here, but the last three winters have been mild as is usual for the southern area of Missouri where we live, but this winter has been unusual everywhere.
We restored an old 1951 Ford 8N tractor (new wheel rims, clutch, paint, radiator, etc.). It is a working tractor, and I use it to mow about seven acres in the summer. Enclosed is a picture of how that tractor looked while it was tore down last year. We have had a bumper blueberry crop the last couple of years (145 + gallons per year). Last summer, we sold Wal Mart 400 pints of blue berries. I am enclosing two pictures of the blueberries. One picture is of blueberries on the bush and the other picture is of blue berries in the store. Our blue berries are in in the green pint boxes to the lower right of the "2 for $5" sign. In the last few years, we have just about got the farm to where it looks like someone lives here again.
I still read a lot, and I am currently on volume four of Winston Churchill's A History of the English Speaking Peoples. In addition to the above, we write, speak, and show slides of our travels to religious sites in Israel, Turkey, and Greece. Bonnie and I are on our 24th reading of the Bible (48 times completely through from cover to cover for both of us).
As you can see, John, we are probably busier now than before we retired, but we are happy. We even found a good BBQ place in town and a nearby country store has ice cream that has made us forget how good Blue Bell ice cream was. There is even a decent airshow at a nearby town each year.
I hope this brief summary fills you in on what we have been doing. My phone number is (573) 568 2418.
To: "Tom E White" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: General Update
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 10:09:27 -0600
It was great to hear from you after all this time. Ken had notified me that you had asked for my email address. A lot has happened to both of us since we last talked. I could certainly undestand why you sold your farm and moved back to Richardson. Having been raised on the farm, I couldn't wait to get away from it. After leaving I never had a serious thought about going back. There is an old saying: "Don't be enslaved by your possessions." I think they had owning a farm in mind when they said that.
In February of 1999 I had major surgery to repair an aneursym in my abdomen to the main artery going to the heart. This was a time when the Springtime yard work needed to be started. By the time I recovered enough to start that Ann had already started looking at retirement homes in the area. I admit it was becoming harder each year for me to keep up our yard but I wasn't ready to go back to apartment living. We found a Baptist Retirement Center in Burnet, Texas where you could have a house built on their land and all yard and house maintenance work were provided. Of course this required a monthly maintenance fee. The house could only be sold back to the Retirement Center. This could be at any time while we were living or by the estate after our passing. This seemed to be exactly what we were looking for. So in May 2000 we sold our house in Rockwall and moved into our new house in Burnet. Ann informed me shortly after we signed our contract for the new house that there was no way that our furniture would work properly in that house. These women can be pretty tricky sometimes. Ann certainly enjoyed furnishing the house and I keep asking if she is finished with it and she keeps insisting that she has just a little more to go.
I have been playing golf as often as the weather will permit. The preacher and a couple of other men at the church try to play about once a week and I have been playing with them. I still hit the ball pretty well but my score is usually determined by how I putt which usually isn't very good.
Our address is 701 Applewood Drive North, Burnet,TX 78611. Phone is 512-715-9830.
Hope to hear from you soon,
To: <email@example.com>John McAdams
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2001 6:40 PM
Just heard from Bill Ersthather and received your E-mail address and the ESY retirees web page address. Your web page is very impressive.
After 15 years at Garland working under Chuck Farmer, Bill Hooker, and Gene Stapp, I retired just ten years ago and my wife and I moved to the Naples-Ft. Myers of Florida. We built a new home on a golf course called Wildcat Run and have lived there ever since. We love it. I play a lot of golf and my wife and I play duplicate bridge 2-3 times each week. We both recently achieved the status of Life Masters.
As we have 4 children who live in various cities around the country, we also spend a lot time traveling to see them and their children. Presently we have 10 grandchildren.
We also do quite a bit of time traveling out of the country. Our latest we were gone for about 6 weeks, which included a 30 day cruise from Singapore to Auckland, NZ.
Your monthly meetings sound very nice and I would love to attend them to see some of my former ESY friends. Keep them going.
Please put my E-mail address in your mail box.
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 4:14 PM
Subject: New address for Mary
We moved across the street (don't ever do that - Have you ever tried to carry all your belongings one at a time). You would think anyone who was in charge of moving all those employees over the years would have better sense! At any rate this feels more like home each day. When Jim and I stop working contract maybe we will decide where will build!! Neither one of us like to clean or do yard work, so this is great living in a condo! I just finished a 14 month contract with Motorola in Global Immigration. YOu can teach on old dog new tricks. It was such great fun, especially after Sept. 11th. Think I will travel with Jim for a while if they will let me. The Texas Land Board wants me to work for them now, but think I will take a rest. Here is the new address:
12340 Alameda Trace Circle #1904
Austin, Texas 78727
Subject: Greetings from Florida
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 08:14:35 -0400
As you may remember, I retired from ESY in May 1992. We sold our home on Lake Ray Hubbard along with all of our furniture, stored much of our personal "stuff" and left for sunny Florida in our pickup, packed full of what would need for life on a 40 ft twin diesel trawler. We moved aboard near Sarasota, and for nearly three years, we cruised nearly 3000 miles including the East Coast to the Chesapeake Bay, east to the Bahamas, south to the Florida Keys, and west to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
In 1995, we docked at Burnt Store Marina in Charlotte Harbor, ten miles east of Boca Grande Pass, near Punta Gorda, FL. It didn't take us long to realize that this was where we wanted to settle down. We built a house, sold the boat, and joined a new community of friends, mostly retirees. Since then Millie and I have done some travel: Canada, the Pacific Northwest, Cruises, and frequent visits to the Virgin Islands where 2 of our children have lived and worked since 1989. Also our annual visit to Texas to visit our son and his wife in Garland.
In the spring of 1996, we discovered a grapefruit-size mass in my left chest cavity, attached to the outside of my lung. It was promptly removed and found to be benign, thankfully. In 1998, lower back pain resulted in additional surgery for a herniated disc. Millie suffers from atrial fibrillation, Macular degeneration, loss of hearing in one ear and has short term memory impairment. Other than that, we're in pretty good shape for the shape we're in.
We keep busy in various ways: We now have a 26 ft. diesel lobster boat for fishing and cruising nearby. We participate in sail boat race management at Platinum Point Yacht Club. I'm completing my second term on the BOD for our condo association. Also I write articles for our community newspaper and play keyboard with a group of septuagenarians.
We'll look forward to attending the December meeting of ESY retirees and visiting with you and our many great friends in Dallas.
Best regards to all,