Note: This is our annual Christmas card and letter, sent to friends and family each December. Want to be added to the list for future years? Drop me a line!
Greetings to our friends and family,
We hope that this letter and the holiday season find you and your family safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous — especially so during this crazy year. While the pandemic certainly is not something that was expected or welcomed, we have used these past several months to really appreciate the things that are most important to us in our life together.
Here’s what 2020 brought us:
After a decade of enjoyable and interesting work through transitions of all types, Katie was promoted to Executive Director of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at UW-Whitewater. In this role, she manages a team of superstars and oversees private giving initiatives for her alma mater. This promotion was well-deserved and the result of years of hard work and dedication to the university.
Katie is also hard at work, completing a master’s degree at UW-W. She is scheduled to complete the MBA program in late summer 2021. She started this educational path in July 2017, one class at a time, completing a certificate degree in business foundations before the MBA classwork. We are very proud of all her hard work and look forward to celebrating her impending graduation (in whatever way is possible at the time).
Eric feels blessed to have another year of self-employment under his belt as the owner and operator of his home-based website design and development business, Why The Fuss? Technical Solutions. The business continues to add clients and grow, and there is always an issue to troubleshoot or a new skill to learn.
A strange year indeed
In early March 2021, he will celebrate nine glorious years of not having a traditional commute to a 9-to-5 job. People have told him for years that he would get tired of working from home, but he never has. And now, with the pandemic forcing many others into the same situation, he feels like an experienced veteran of the work-at-home culture.
A new adventure
While COVID-19 really put a quick end to our regular travels, we were still able to find safe ways to relax and have fun. In July, we decided we needed to get away for a week and found the safest bet to be a clean Airbnb in DeSoto, a tiny village in southwestern Wisconsin nestled between the Mississippi River and soaring 400-foot-high bluffs. To say we fell in love with the area is a gross understatement!
While exploring the area and its history, we stumbled upon 5.63 acres of vacant, overgrown, and underappreciated land for sale. On September 11, 2020 (one day after our 15-year wedding anniversary), we became the official owners of this beautiful wooded property, which includes a large rock outcropping overlooking the Mississippi River.
You can see a slice of our newfound heaven in the background of our holiday card photo. Since that photo was taken in mid-September we have put in dozens of hours of work to improve the view and return the land to its natural state. We’ve taken down several large trees, and Eric is quickly becoming a master lumberjack thanks to his father-in-law Ole’s guidance.
As the pandemic (hopefully) ceases in the coming year and gatherings once again are safe, we invite you to visit us if some weekend you find yourselves between Prairie du Chien and La Crosse. We are located at the end of DeSoto Ridge Drive in the town of Freeman. It’s still a “rustic” environment so bring a tent, a shovel, and a chainsaw if you have one!
Harmony Ranch updates
We were also very grateful in 2020 to continue work to improve our home in Janesville. A large part of this year’s project included replacing our front door and living-room bow window with a brand-new, custom-built Andersen Window. We also removed all of our old mulch and replaced it with 3 cubic yards of new mulch and 1.5 cubic yards of black dirt to fill in low spots.
All of this work was completed prior to the Fourth of July, giving us the second half of the summer to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We continue to enjoy our garden and had another bountiful harvest of tomatoes, carrots, herbs, peppers, and ingredients for Katie’s homemade teas.
Happy New Year!
We hope the year of 2020 has been kind to you; and we hope this note finds you healthy, happy, and well. We wish you and those you love the very best this holiday season and into 2021!
Merry Christmas! Winter Solstice Blessings! Hanukkah Sameach! Happy New Year!
Eric & Katie Kuznacic