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Merry Christmas Everyone!

One of our goals this year was to get a holiday card out to all our friends.  We made a gallant effort, but I feel we missed several of you.  I am sorry and it in no way indicates how dearly we hold all our friends.  You all make our lives what they are - complete and fulfilled.

2008 has been one of the best years for Mary Jane and I.  In addition to our good health, so many wonderful blessings - both great and small have graced our lives.

The joy began early in the year, especially for Mary Jane as she started a new job as a legislative aide in the Maryland General Assembly.  Despite being hit with three rounds of a terrible flu, she persevered and accomplished quite a bit.  Maryland's state legislature meets for only 90 days each year and everything happens - non stop - for the first three months of the year.  Maryland's 426th Session opens this coming January 14th.  Mary Jane loves this job and she is very, very good at it.

In February - on one of the coldest days of the year - Mary Jane was elected to serve as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention.  She and I worked our neighborhood poll on Primary Day in an ice storm.  Her final official vote count was 83,562 voters.  Second highest total overall, top female vote getter.

Knowing we had a trip to Denver in our plans, we stayed close to home in the summer.  We did get to a few Washington Nationals ballgames this year.  We did not get up to Oriole Park or Wrigley Field this summer.  My parents, Carol and Ed, came into town one weekend and we went to a Nationals game on one of the hottest days of the year.  Still, my dad had a good time watching his Mets play.  Another ballgame, we ran into Governor Dean.  He got us really excited about the upcoming Convention.  But first we had to make it through August.  The whole month seemed booked with activities.  First, our dear friends from Seattle (Lori, Gianna and Randy, along with their nephew Nick) came into town in early August and we served as host.  We all went to New York City for a few days (saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Broadway and did the tourist thing), and then toured the sites of Washington.

Then we were off to the week-long Coolen Summer Fest on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  From sea-level, we packed-up and drove west 1,800 miles (and up 9,100 feet) to Pike's Peak, Colorado.  (Thanks to Dannette and Steve for graciously allowing us to pit-stop in St. Louis.)  There we spent several days exploring the Rockies, including  a visit to a wolf refuge.  (See photos below of Mary Jane and Ed with arctic and timber wolves.)  Then on to Denver for the convention; spending time with our dear friends Valerie and Bryan.  It was our first trip to the Rockies and it was wondrous.

Once back, we began working the Obama campaign in northern Virginia.  Many weekends spend knocking doors, sending e-mails and working on the Maryland for Obama website.  Needless to say, Senator Obama won both Maryland and Virginia.  I am sure he'll send a thank you card once things settle-down.

Also in the fall, Mary Jane joined the Board of Directors of Joe's Movement Emporium.  Joe's is the premiere arts and dance studio facility in suburban Maryland.  I know she'll be busy there.  I have begun assisting Prince George's Heritage with their web visibility.  Heritage is an historic preservation effort, focusing on renewal and preservation of the physical history elements in the County.  I also finished my second term as president of the Eleanor & Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club of Greenbelt.  It was a great experience leading the club through this election year.  Our club did several community outreach events this year, including rehabing a house with Christmas in April and the Crop Walk in May.

The Coolens reprised their Summer Fest on the Outer Banks this Thanksgiving.  We ended-up with 21 for Thanksgiving dinner (plus 5 dogs).  It was a great week - lovely weather and deserted beaches.  Now we are gearing-up for Christmas.  Our friend Terry is having us to Christmas dinner and then we will spend some quality time with our long neglected animals.   I am in the middle of a major project at work that is keeping us in DC this holiday.  We never did make it back to Canada this year - but we will fix that in 2009.

Both Mary Jane and I have Facebook pages that we try to keep current and invite you to befriend-us there.  Also, please note our new e-mail addresses.  We wouldn't want to miss your messages.

Let's hope for peace in 2009 and let's find time to get together and catch up with each other.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

Mary Jane:  MJ@MJCoolen.com     MJ's facebook

Ed:   Ed@EdTerry.net      Ed's facebook


Scenes from 2008



2008 Edward Terry
Last modified: 06/29/08