January 2008 Dear Friends, The last thirteen months have provided many firsts, much entertainment, a bit of anxiety (ok, more than a bit), lots of joy and a few bittersweet moments for our little family.We’re going to take you through a few memorable things, but not everything because we’d like to keep it to a single postage stamp!!There is no really good place to start, so we’ll begin with a quick apology about it being January before we even write this – we think you’ll understand after you get through this, but it is the first time in 22 years of doing a holiday letter that we missed the holiday season!!PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE LAST (PROBABLY) PAPER HOLIDAY LETTER THAT WE WILL SEND – from now on, we plan to be completely digital, and post our holiday greetings on our website – www.carylota.com – so please send us your e-mail address so we can keep you up-to-date.Ours are:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com .This effort is our modest attempt to get “green” and maintain maximum “location flexibility.” Just to make it easier on everyone, we have organized our letter in the following categories:Lovelle (Lota’s mom), Lota’s Work, Cary’s Work, Where DO We Live? (Maryland or Texas or in the “Waggin’ Wagon”) and Miscellaneous (other important things).So here goes…. Lovelle Many of you already know that Lota’s mom, Lovelle Zoth, has been in ill health over the last several years.2007 brought both the blessing of celebrating an 85th birthday in May, and the sadness of her passing from this earthly world in September.Fortunately, we were able to be with her during July and August, and participate in the caretaking that allowed her wish to remain at home during her final days come true.We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who supported us, and we humbly say a very inadequate “thank you” for everything you’ve done, said and written during this time. Lota’s Work While Lota would prefer to talk about Cary’s work first, there’s no way around addressing Lota’s work first since the ramifications of 2007 events at MedImmune were (and are) enormous.In June, MedImmune completed its merger into AstraZeneca, a very large U.K.-based pharmaceutical company probably best known by the average person for “the purple pill.”MedImmune is now a division of AZ and no longer a separate, publicly traded company.Because of her seniority and tenure with MedImmune, we were able to enter in July into our “first retirement,” a phrase coined by Cary to describe this nebulous phase in which we now find ourselves.The timing of this allowed us to spend time with Lovelle in her last few weeks, and for that we will always be grateful.We would both like to say “thank you” to all of our MedImmune friends and colleagues for making our transition go so well – we miss you all, and hope that we can remain connected in the digital age in which we live. We’ll talk more in the next sections about what we plan to do, but Lota is already actively looking at board opportunities.She also remains connected to the Washington DC area through the Executive Summit (thanks for your support as well) and the life-long friends we both have made.2008 surely holds some R&R opportunities, and perhaps getting another stroke or two off the handicap! Cary’s Work After ten wonderful years of Lighthouse Photography in Maryland, Cary decided to close the studio as of the end of September.But that doesn’t mean that the cameras are packed up – it only means that the travel lenses are on and he is raring to “photograph America”!The first nine months of 2007 were jam packed with clients and photo sessions, and financially the best year ever for the business.We would both like to say “thank you” to all our clients, BNI friends and colleagues and the Gaithersburg community for making our time in Maryland truly delightful and meaningful. From all of our prior holiday letters, you know how we love to travel.2008 promises to be a year that we return to that love and see all the places in America that we want to see for the first time, or return to a place that we fell in love with in prior travels.How we do that will be covered in the next section…..have we piqued your curiosity?? Where DO We Live? Until Thanksgiving, this was a question for which we didn’t have a clear answer.So, let’s start there and explain.We signed a contract on our Maryland house the week after Thanksgiving, and closed on December 7.Yes, for you math whizzes, that is only about 10 days.The new owners allowed us to have an extra seven days to complete the packing and moving process, and we were out by December 14.Our story here is so special in that we put our house on the market on October 1, and had very little traffic – given the macro economic conditions in the mortgage arena, we expected in might take up to one year to sell our home.So, when Tom and Sonia fell in love with the house, we were so happy that we worked 24/7 to meet their timetable.While we’re too old to do that again, we do know how fortunate we are to have that process reach a successful and timely conclusion!! So, if you’re still awake and trying to follow this, you may be wondering where was all the “stuff” in our Maryland house going, particularly since our house in Texas was already fully furnished?Ahhh, that made it more interesting – we had four moves, really – some to friends in Maryland, some to family in Atlanta, some to family in Houston and the rest to the “Compound” in Texas. Our second home in Texas has now been nicknamed “the Compound.”Prior to this past summer, our 5 acre place consisted of a home with three separate suites and a great family room, office and kitchen.We also had a barn, which doubled as a dog house, storage facility and lawn equipment area.We sat down with Ruth Ann and Tom, and designed four major additions to the grounds to allow us all to comfortably share the same space and add some storage capacity as well.But that wasn’t all – we wanted to give Ruth Ann something special for her milestone birthday in January 2008 – so one of the additions is a lagoon pool and outdoor kitchen in our backyard.Another is a greenhouse for Ruth Ann to practice her love of gardening.The last two are garages/storage facilities, one of which is for the “Waggin’ Wagon.” Here’s where the story ties together (we hope)!In November, we took delivery of our 2008 DynaQuest 36XL – a 36 ft. recreational vehicle.We have put about 5,000 miles on it so far, and we love it – this is how we plan to travel in and photograph America in 2008.There are pictures on our website if you’d like to see it! Our new contact information is: Cary Corthron and Lota Zoth 334 County Road 692 Buffalo Gap, TX79508 Home:325-572-3911
Miscellaneous It wouldn’t be a holiday letter if we didn’t mention Molly and Jordan – they both will be 9 years old in 2008, and really are looking forward to “settling” into the “Waggin’ Wagon” and seeing America (as long as the treats and the cuddling continue)!! A special thanks to Nancy and Gene for their help with the move, to Lori for her hospitality and friendship, to Kristi for her support during September, to Ruth Ann for her loving care of Lovelle, to Tom for being the best general contractor ever, to all our family and friends for being there always for us!! All our best wishes to each of you for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2008!