Santas Sleigh

2010 Season's Greetings from the Illinois Dooleys

If you enjoyed listening to the holiday music that used to play when you were reading our letter, click here which should open up your media player in a different window. Switch back to this window to read on while the music continues to play.Dear Family and Friends,

     New Years Day Greetings from Aurora. Jeff and I have had a too quiet day as all 3 of the kids are elsewhere. Many things in our lives are still the same and some have changed – sounds about par for a year. Jeff and I are still at the house in Aurora juggling jobs and lots of family doings some of which are below. Jeff continues to work with the Sea Cadets on the Internet Development Group as a consultant to units setting up their own websites, and maintaining the International Exchange Program website. He was just promoted to Lieutenant Commander, which is the highest rank in the Sea Cadets. He also continues a side business developing and maintaining websites (only 3 clients right now, just enough to bring in a little extra cash but not enough that he doesn’t have any free time). Thanks to a gift of a handgun from James last Christmas, he has been doing some shooting at the local range and enjoys putting holes in paper. Besides my teaching at College of Dupage, I continue to volunteer with the East High PTA and the Schingoethe Center for Native American Studies. My recreational/exercise program is roller skating at the Aurora Skate Center, usually a couple of times a week.

     On March 19, Sarah got married to her beau of 3 years Jon Sebby. Sarah did a great job on the planning and we were all able to have a meaningful and fun day. Several of her friends from college and med school were able to come and the very special guests were her Danish host parents who were able to spend the week and help with many of the preparations. And the technology of Skype allowed Sarah’s grandmother and aunt in Maine to watch the ceremony!! Sar squeezed it into her tight med school schedule. After a weekend at Lake Geneva, Sar returned to Kirksville and Jon to his fire department job here.

     In May we lost sort of an old friend – the > 70 y.o. maple in the backyard. The kids spent years climbing in it and enjoying the shade. But the ants inside it were weakening the tree, and it was just way too big for the space. So down it came. You can see before and after pictures in the photo gallery. We were amazed afterward how easy it was to see all the way to the back fence from the kitchen window, and how wide open the space is. There are now no trees on our property, but this fall we still had several bags worth of other peoples’ leaves to rake up and clean out of our gutters (but not nearly what it’s been in the past).

     In June Sar and Jon cleaned out her apartment in Kirksville, returned to this area for her to take a major med school test, for a Sebby family picnic to celebrate the wedding, then they headed off with 2 vehicles and a rental truck for a move to Canton OH where Sar has 2 years of hospital rotations. Carol went with them to help with the move.

     The National Athletic Trainers’ Assoc. annual meeting was in Philadelphia this year so we headed east. Jeff, Carol, and I left Aurora shortly after Sar and Jon and stayed with them for 2 nights in Canton and went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We then drove to Philadelphia. While Jeff attended meetings, Carol and I went to the art museum and some other places. On Friday the 3 of us went to the Independence Hall area historic district and had a great day. We then drove to NYC and spent a great day with my sister and brother-in-law. We walked and walked and walked, including to the neighborhood where Mum and Dad met during WW2 (there’s a photo in the gallery of Carol, Jane, and I on the steps of what used to be the rooming house where they lived and met). We then drove on to the Coast Guard Academy to help with the reporting-in day for the new class of cadets. Then on to Boston to drop Carol with a cousin – driving in Boston is not fun. (Jeff’s note:  We drove in/thru 3 major cities [Pittsburgh, NYC, and Boston] that were ALL nightmares.) Then Jeff and I headed to Maine and Carol followed a few days later.

     Our time in Maine was a combination of much work and some play. We had had increasing problems with basement flooding so made arrangements to have a basement drainage system installed. Unfortunately we had a lot of work to do as everything had to be moved away from the basement walls – including built-in shelving and cutting away parts of walls. Jeff did much of the basement work while I did various things with Mum. Our fun was that a January graduate from Jeff’s work had been hiking the Appalachian Trail and we had him up for the 4th of July weekend. He had started on the trail in Georgia in January and it had snowed there his first night on the trail. He completed the 2,179 miles of the trail at the summit of Mt. Katahdin in Maine in mid-August.

     At the other end of the United States in July, James and Crystal were moving from Kodiak to Juneau, Alaska where they are assigned with the Coast Guard for the next 3 years. Crystal is in the District command center to coordinate search and rescue efforts. James works in the same building but in a different part of the organization in law enforcement and has a variety of duties. They have bought a house and have adopted a cat (Snackpack) and a dog (Loki).

     At the end of July I went back to Maine to be there with my sister while the basement work was done while Jeff and Carol stayed in Aurora.

     The major event of August was that the health of our dog of 12 years was failing and we made final decisions. Jeff, Carol, and I were with him. Still does not seem right that he’s not nosing around. Then all of us were back to school with Carol going into her sophomore year at Beloit.

     We actually got to see James a surprising amount this year for his being in Alaska, We saw him in St. Louis at the very end of 2009, he was home for Sarah’s wedding, and he was able to stop through for a night in early December between trainings in Alaska and South Carolina.

     The year ended with our family spread across the USA. Carol went to Ohio to be with Sarah and Jon and then went on to Florida to visit a friend …

     … and James and Crystal arranged for Jeff and I to be with them in Juneau for 5 days over Christmas!! Thank-you again so much James and Crystal!! The weather was overcast much of the time but the temperatures were very reasonable for December (no colder than Chicago!). Just flying into Anchorage over the miles and miles of mountain peaks was amazing. We had a few hours in Anchorage and saw some Alaska history displays, ate, and went into some shops. We arrived in Juneau about 9:30pm and were met by James and Crystal. They have a very nice house on a hill on Douglas Island. To be honest, almost EVERYTHING in the Juneau area is on a hill; the mountains go straight down into the water. Most of downtown Juneau is on fill land from the tailings from the gold mines. We went out to Mendenhall Glacier. James and I did downhill skiing at Eaglecrest Ski Area (about 5 minutes from the house) – my first time in about 40 years. James and Jeff went shooting (shooting James’ M-1 Garand was cool!), and we did some just chilling. And we ate well thanks to James’ and Crystal’s cooking.

     And now a final piece of news. Sar and Jon have a baby due in February. At the beginning of December Jon’s mom, godmother and I drove to Ohio for the baby shower. One of Sar’s medical school friends did a very nice job of the planning and a good time was had by all.

     So quite a year. We have been enjoying the cards and letters that we have received.

     From all the Illinois Dooleys, our warmest thoughts and best wishes for all of you in 2011.

Anne, Jeff, and Carol, and our now extended family of Sarah & Jon and James & Crystal


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 2010 Letter ]


Red Line


Click here to view Our 2010 Photo Gallery

Click here to view Jeff & Anne's Christmas at Juneau


Other Galleries from 2010:

A Dooley Family Visit to St. Louis (trip was December 2009 but not posted until January)

Sarah's Engagement and Wedding



Merry Christmas