Wittmann Family Christmas Letters

Christmas 2000

Florida's weather does not respect the season. Even on Christmas temperatures are around 70ºF, the sun shines, and it is difficult to find the right mood for writing Christmas letters. So we choose Christmas pictures from 1998 in Brookfield, left and 99 in Baltimore right to bring our thought on tract with the season, and to formulate our annual note to our dear friends. Christmas Eve's candle light atmosphere, opening presents and speaking over the phone with family and friends in northern snowy and icy regions brought about the change signaling: Christmas is still alive!
unser Weihnachtsbaum in Brookfield {short description of image}

In last year's Christmas letter we talked about the euphoric sentiments of the ending 20est century. Not much of it remains these days. The Florida election disaster, that we were so unfortunate to experience from where it happened, left a bitter after taste, no matter how you turn the leaf. It will be difficult for the new government to reestablish confidence. On the other hand we must admit that Venice seems to have the lowest crime rate converging to a zero level as a local police detective told us last summer. Consequently we do not see any of the usual homicide stories on the front page of our local newspaper the "Venice Gondolier".
Venice with its surrounding suburbs Nokomis and Osprey and the small island Casey Key is indeed a left over paradise. The picture shows Casey Key with its long white beach just north of Venice and the "Jetty", a connection between the open Gulf and the Intracoastal Waterway. Jetty has nothing todo with the known Volkwagen; no, it stems from the French word "jetter"=to throw ( see below).
 
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It is here where we bought some land (just behind the tennis court on the picture below) and where we plan to complete a house by the end of 2000.
We moved to Florida for retirement on July 1st. The summer here was the best, we ever experienced. Often we had dear friends visiting and time went fast.

We live temporarily in a rental house and plenty of our belongings are in a storage place. This fact does not help us to get easily organized and accustomed to our new life .

Other features of this year were the selling of our Brookfield house, the move over 2000 miles south with Dietmar's brother and Ingrid helping, the acquisition of the lot on Casey Key, the design and planning of our new house, and most importantly the goodbye from our Wisconsin friends and colleagues. 

On two trips to Europe we enjoyed meeting old friends we had not seen for 25 years or so. Being with them was almost like having traveled back into the past with the time machine. Everything was like in old times, and we were amazed to experience a situation where time did seem to have stood still.

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Time, however, marches on. We were reminded to the fact this year when our granddaughter Frederike proudly showed her school' "Tüte" (see picture) on her first school day at all girl Bryn Mawr elementary school in Baltimore. In her first year she learns already a foreign language: French. Annemarei moved from Downtown Hospital of New York University to University of Virginia in Charlottesville to complete her residency training in neurology. A big move from the city of all cities to plain country and nature!  

This year's letter is a bit short. Its main purpose, however, is to stay in contact with you and send you our greeting for the season including best wishes for a Happy New Year. Hopefully we may spend some time of 2001 together to watch the fascinating sunsets on Florida's Gulf coast

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