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2013 Season's Greetings from the Illinois Dooleys

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Seasons Greetings to Family and Friends Near and Far

Christmas 2013

We have reached the holiday season of 2013 and the time to send and receive greetings from family and friends far and near – my favorite part of this season!!

The Dooley family has been in flux and on the move this year. Jeff and I are still in the house in Aurora but all of the kids have had a graduation and changed some part of their lives during the year – all for the good!

Moving VanSarah completed her intern year at Portsmouth, Virginia Naval Hospital and has moved with her family to Jacksonville, North Carolina where she is doing a GMO (General Medical Officer) tour assigned to a Marine battalion at Camp Le Jeune. They made the move in June with Jeff and I each helping at different points due to our schedules. She is settling into her duties and they are settled into a nice house. Son Jack is a boy on the go and doing well. The other part of their news is that child #2 is due in February. They drove to Illinois for this holiday season so we are thrilled with that. They are staying with Jon’s family but we are seeing them quite a bit also.





James, Crystal, and SnackpackJames and Crystal both separated from the Coast Guard this year. James did a major job search with various law enforcement agencies and is now an officer with the Juneau, Alaska police department. They like Alaska and had bought a house there at the beginning of their three year Coast Guard tour so are Jack and Jamessettled in there for a while. Crystal is working for the state in what is not her dream job but it seems to give her good time for her running including being in the Boston Marathon this upcoming April. In January James did a trip to Australia and in October he flew to North Carolina to visit Sar and family and Jack is pretty impressed with his Uncle James as James had rented a motorcycle for his transportation.






Carol and AndrewSo Sar and James are at each end of the United States (except Hawaii) then Carol trumped them both.  It all goes so fast – she graduated from Beloit College in May with a major in history and a minor in museum studies. She is now in Guam where her Coast Guard boyfriend is XO of one of the cutters. Guam is not their dream location but they are together after three years of a long distance relationship and just putting a life together for themselves. Thank goodness for email and Skyping with all of them!!

As we have written for the past umpteen years, Jeff is still an athletic trainer at Lake Forest High School and doing the long tollway drive back and forth five or six days a week. This past year he again worked summer camps but hopefully for the last time. I am still teaching anthropology at a local community college then most breaks am on the road between Maine for my mom and helping out Sar and family.

Carol GraduationThe summer had a lot of comings and goings. May 12th Carol graduated from Beloit. About a week later she and I headed to Maine. We were together there for a few days then she joined Andrew to visit his mom and a few other items together before he headed to Guam. She then followed at the end of August. I then drove to Virginia for watching Jack and generally helping withAnne and Jack the moving out process. While driving to North Carolina to help for a couple of days there I got a call that my mom had fallen and broken her arm which meant she could not use her walker and was in major pain from the break. I had already been planning to head back to Maine 2 days later and fortunately my sister Jane was able to get up there within a few hours to cover the weekend. For recovery mom was moved to the nursing home portion of the place she has been living for seven years and the decision was made that she would stay in the nursing portion. At this point she has recovered well and adapted well but the summer was a rough go. I met my challenge with swimming every day in Maine. Jeff flew out a couple days before the end of my Maine stay and on the way back we spent an overnight at the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park in Pennsylvania just off of I-80 – very nice.

A great confluence occurred in September. Carol and I had lunch with a good friend of mine from Beloit in August and we realized that Elizabeth and I were planning to head east at about the same time in September. We had sold the Maine car and Jeff was getting a new gently used car so I was taking his old car to Maine. It was a great two day road trip out! We met her sister near Holyoke, Mass, had a nice dinner together, then she went to Vermont and I headed on to Maine. I did various things with mom and went for a swim on both the last day of summer and the first day of fall.

For Jeff’s birthday the kids gave us reservations for an overnight and a theater show at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles about 25 minutes from the house. Again, a very nice outing. The show was Making God Laugh, a comedy but centered on real family complications. The title comes from a Woody Allen quote:  “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” We had the included breakfast buffet the next morning then headed home – and to snow shoveling. Sigh.

Jack on the TrainAs per above with us seeing quite a bit of Sar and family, the past couple days have been a whirl wind. Monday was taking Jack on his first train, a good time at the Dupage Children’s Museum, then a pizza lunch out. Christmas Eve day was here at our house most of the day Jack non-stop playing with Jeff and Jon minding him while Sar and I cook a dinner – so good! Jeff and JackThen off to a church service followed by driving thru an Aurora lights show then back to the house for dessert and presents. A good day.

We have already had three snows which has meant much shoveling for Jeff, my back is on the outs these day, and will just have to see what the rest of the winter brings.

We wish you and yours the best of this holiday season and the year ahead in this wonderful and complicated world.

                          Anne and Jeff  


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.


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