Santas Sleigh


2009 Season's Greetings from the Illinois Dooleys

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Dear Family and Friends,

     All of our best wishes to you and your family for this 2009 Christmas holiday season and all our best wishes for your 2010! Sarah and Carol are at home with us; a beautiful Christmas flower arrangement arrived this morning from James and Crystal so they are very much with us in spirit; and, we will all be together in St. Louis on December 30!!

     We have had a busy, good, year – some things the same, some things changed. In our extended community, we celebrate the births and all of the other good news of the year and are saddened by the passing of some dear family and friends; job losses; and other complications of this life.

The basics

  • Jeff continues as one of the athletic trainers at Lake Forest high school. Sometimes he drives back and forth daily; sometimes he stays over for a night or two at a motel. He worked some of the school’s football summer camps and continues doing web work for the local sea cadet unit and a couple of others.

  • Anne continues to teach anthropology at a local community college; goes back to Maine every couple of months to visit and help her 89 year old mother; is still with the high school PTA; does a few tours at Schingoethe Native American center; a few church activities; walks and roller skates regularly, and keeps in touch with several friends, cousins, and extended cousins but does not have time to do any actual family history work.

  • From Sarah – It has been an eventful year! I completed my first year in medical school at AT Still University in Kirksville Missouri, including two weeks in rural Missouri shadowing a family practice doctor. I am currently in my second year of medical school and preparing to take part one of the big nasty scary doctor exams. School is challenging but rewarding as always. Then in June, I will be moving to Canton, Ohio so that I can complete two years of hospital-based rotations before graduating from school. I am currently attending school courtesy of the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program and will begin active duty upon graduation. Last year, I adopted a 6 year old beagle named Daisy while in Missouri, and she has made a wonderful addition to my life. She spends more time in my bed than I do, loves car rides, and keeps me sane (relatively).

  • James and Crystal are still stationed at Kodiak Alaska but will learn the location and specifics of their next 2 year assignments in March. Crystal’s longer boat patrols keep them separated for 2-3 months at time but in the spring both of their boats were in Hawaii at the same time. They both love Alaska and have done much hunting fishing, hikes, and James has been come a very proficient scuba diver. They are both doing some school types of items, also.

  • Carol graduated in the top 10% of her high school class in May and started at Beloit College in Wisconsin in August. Due to her year in Thailand it took some extra work to complete all of her graduation requirements on time but she did it and walked in the ceremony May 22. Jeff, Sarah, and I were in the audience, and James watched it over the internet. At the school’s Thespian awards she received Best Supporting Actress. In June she went to Maine with Jeff and me and in July went to Colorado with Sarah.

  • Curly the dog has now been with us 11 years. He is probably about 13 and is stiffening up but overall doing well and likes to steal chocolate when we leave any in reach.

Special news and stories of the year

     From Sarah - The highlight of the summer was getting engaged to my boyfriend of two years, Jonathan. We met in EMT class and things blossomed from there. Jon is a firefighter with Bristol-Kendall Fire Department in Yorkville Illinois. Jon half-proposed while we were vacationing in Colorado with Carol and my good friend Londyn (I packed the bag and he forgot to sneak the ring in) and finished proposing when we returned to Illinois. We will be getting married in March – a short three month away…..

     Carol went to Alaska last Christmas to visit James. We assumed that Anne and Jeff would make it at another time of the year. In the spring, we checked with James on when his boat would be in port during the summer and were just about to book tickets when Jeff decided to do one more check with James. “Well, ah … Mom and Dad – I am being sent off to Juneau and South Carolina for trainings ….”. Arg – major disappointment … so we book tickets to Maine. Few days later – from James – he booked his South Carolina flight with a 2 day lay over at home. Arg#2 – so … Jeff stayed in Aurora to visit with James and Anne continued with the Maine trip … ‘Militaried” again.

     From Carol – my first semester at Beloit has been a little tough, but that’s the way of college and I made it through. I have made some great friends and am looking forward to getting back to them. My friends and I have been enjoying some Nerf guns that they own and at one point they bought me my own. It was like an early Christmas and it was wonderful. My favorite course from the year was Introduction to Literary Studies with John Rosenwald. His class helped to keep me sane … at least as well as anything can. John himself even helped to make things easier. I had several things to work through and learn, but I’m getting there.

Looking ahead

     We assume that Jeff and I will be in Aurora for another few years and continue our juggling between Jeff’s drives for work and Anne’s trips to Maine. We will continue to develop the new kinds of relationships with our kids as they move in various directions in their lives. It may or may not happen but I have a goal of Jeff and me walking up Mt. Washington at some point in the summer. James’ gave us hiking boots for Jeff’s birthday and we are both working on our health and fitness levels.


     From all the Illinois Dooleys, our warmest thoughts and best wishes for all of you in 2010.

Anne, Jeff, Sarah, James, Carol, and Curly


Note:  Just in case you're a packrat like Anne and like to keep a copy of Christmas letters received, click below to download a printable version of the message above. The file is in Adobe PDF format. To view and/or print it, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, you can download it free at or by clicking on the first button below.


Get Acrobat  [ Printable Christmas 2009 Letter ]


Red Line

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Merry Christmas