December 23, 2014

The Holland 2014 Christmas Letter



Below is the Monte and Carolyn Cornell Holland 2014 Christmas letter, a summary of the year past.  NOTE: Because Monte sliced one of his fingers with a utility knife his contribution was relayed to me to incorporate in the newsletter, a departure frm his writing his own summary. His finger is totally healed at the time this is posted.

January and February were relatively calm, allowing me to work on two activities, cleaning and writing. The biggest event was discovering that many symptoms I had were related to an iodine deficiency posted at Iodine Deficiency: My Story

In March I had successful cataract surgery on my right eye—the other eye will be done later.

Monte was asked to perform a wedding on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. We planned to stop in to visit my brother in eastern Pennsylvania en route, and after the wedding we planned on visiting my New Jersey sister Kitty and then visiting Baltimore, Maryland, to do some genealogy. However, the flu bug hit Monte and he had to cancel.

In late spring several problems arose with some property we own in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. This meant Monte and I constantly burned the rubber over the 82-miles between our current home and Slippery Rock.

On July 5, in Lakeside, Ohio, we attended the 50th wedding anniversary of Alice and Dwight, friends of mine I hadn’t seen in 50 years. Alice reminded me I had shopped with her for fabric for her wedding night lingerie—a print of Adam, Eve, and the snake. She also reminded me I gave her a snake with a music box for a wedding gift, which is among the toys she has for grandchildren.

On July 12th we joined Monte’s two surviving siblings—Marge and Grace—at the Holland family reunion in DeKalb Junction, New York. Monte is the youngest of 10 siblings,

En route back home we stopped for a night at my sister’s Buffalo home, where we picked up our Singapore friends, Hung Pheng, Bee Oon and Chen Zhen. When Monte taught at SUNY Buffalo, we were Hung Pheng’s none-live-in host family. Perhaps the highlight of their visit was stopping at the Amish wheel-maker’s (read that story at Revisiting an Amish Wheelmaker in New Wilmington, PA., home. I’d written a story on him in the 90s. Remembering the story, he opened his shop for a mini-tour, mostly revolving around a century-old Amish buggy he was reconstructing.

In September the Westmoreland History magazine published my story on Flight of Valor, a music piece written to commemorate the 2001 crash of Flight 93 in a Somerset field.

September included a word of warning to anyone planning on using Restore 10X, a special deck paint: if you are sensitive use something else. Just the odor from Monte’s clothing gave me an immediate headache, closed my throat, and hallucinations of taste and smell that lasted up to 6 weeks.

In September we lost a good friend, Pat Roy from Jamestown, Pennsylvania. We traveled to Jamestown to attend her funeral, and visited several people while there. Earlier in the year Donald Winnie, Monte’s nephew-in-law, died in Florida. The losses were felt here in Laurel Mountain Borough.

In October we visited my step-brother David and his wife Kim in Fayetteville, PA. Kim served the most delightful butternut squash soup, and David took us for a tour of their town.

En route home we visited Minersville where I met Michael, a Lithuanian descendent in my grandfather’s family and my 4th cousin. We walked around the Lytle mine site where his great-grandfather died in a coal mine accident. Continuing home we stopped at Centralia where a mine fire ruined the now non-existent town. Monte stood in a pothole half-way to his hip.

We also stopped at Gravity Hill. Monte put the car in neutral and it drove itself UP the hill, reaching 10 m.p.h. He thinks it’s an optical illusion.

In November Sandy, Michael, Nolan, Tammy, Vince, Marcus, Monte, myself, and a friend of Jordan’s went to a Pittsburgh restaurant/game room for Jordan’s 17th birthday.

In December Monte stepped out of his comfort zone to approach a stranger who owned a Smart car. He roused me from a nap to “see what was outside—” the red Smart car I’d seen around town. The owner, a gentle man, drove me around our Borough and explained all about the car. Then, for my (December) birthday we dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus and went to a luncheon buffet. Our next gig as the jolly pair was while ringing the Salvation Army bell at our local grocery store.

Sandy is attending nursing school. Nolan still teaches at Cleveland State University in Ohio. The grandkids are doing well.

And so 2014 ends. It’s been an interesting year.

2015 will bring some real changes. After 8 years CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is coming to an end. With nearly 1320 articles and accompanying photos the space allowed space is close to being used up. On January 1st I will begin again with CAROLYN’S ONLINE MAGAZINE. The new title is truer to what this blog has evolved into.

Notice will be posted on this blog when the change is made. I invite all my current subscribers to re-subscribe to the new site. I appreciate that you have been true and loyal in support of my efforts to produce an online writing site.

We await to see what other surprises 2015 will bring.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year, 2015.

Carolyn & Monte Holland


  1. I love this post, it made me think of some of the articles I read during the year and how interesting your lives are. I hope I am just like you when I grow up, lol. I look forward to reading your online magazine and Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Year… Hope to see you soon.

    Comment by Carol Demi — December 23, 2014 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  2. Carolyn & Monte…Merry Christmas!
    Look forward to the new magazine.

    Comment by merry101 — December 25, 2014 @ 1:24 am | Reply

  3. Carolyn you will always be a writer, online or offline !

    Comment by Grace (&Fred) — December 25, 2014 @ 5:58 am | Reply

  4. “EXTRA – EXTRA – READ ALL ABOUT IT” Merry Christmas

    Comment by Grace (&Fred) — December 26, 2014 @ 10:40 am | Reply

  5. […] THE HOLLAND 2014 CHRISTMAS LETTER  I love this post, it made me think of some of the articles I read during the year and how interesting your lives are.   I hope I am just like you when I grow up, lol.   I look forward to reading your online magazine…  Carol […]

    Pingback by Out of the Old Blog, a New Magazine is Born | Carolyn's Online Magazine — January 14, 2015 @ 4:38 am | Reply

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