Dear Friends and Family,

This year’s letter is really to celebrate life new and lost.

Merlin’s father Julius died December 4 at age 95, and my beloved aunt Cleo (age 103) followed two days later.

They were both motivated by love of family and had the ability to face life head-on.  God granted them both full lives surrounded by loving family and friends.

Merlin and I were blessed this year with a wonderful new son-in-law, Ryan Sur, and Julie was able to travel to Mexico for the wedding where he was the life of the party.

On July 3, Jenn and Mark presented us with our newest grandbaby, Kathren Alexandra Wagner, fondly called “Katherine the Great.”  This delayed our family celebration of Julie’s 95th birthday.  The party took place August 17th on Cape Cod and he was truly a great host.  Emily turned into a great sailor and fell in love with her new uncle Ryan.

During April we went to Milwaukee to baby-sit Emily Grace so Jenn could join Mark in Maryland to house hunt.  However a huge snowstorm kept the airport closed and Merlin shoveled three feet of snow.  It made him remember why we left Colorado.

During May I joined Merlin’s family in Nebraska to celebrate his cousins Miki and Andrew’s college graduation.  Miki’s mom Judith and aunt Myra filled out the rest of the Dorfman/Cohen contingent.  I also got to spend time with Mark’s family, Ray, Gail, and Gary and his wife and children.

This year I got to throw three wonderful parties in my home for my surrogate daughters Rose and Tessa Robinson.  For Rose a baby shower, for Tessa a wedding shower and rehearsal dinner.  I really loved filling my house with good food and great fun.

During September I was in Denver to spend time with my brother and attend a beautiful wedding of my cousin Sara.  Aunt Cleo was there and had a glorious night.  Gene and I took her to the Red Lobster where she devoured a large plate of lobster, shrimp, and crab, and had a cocktail.  We laughed, she told great stories and jokes.  If you never heard her describe Uncle Lou’s and her first kiss, you missed a moment as great as any fabled love story ever told.

In November we had two Thanksgivings as Steph and Ryan came here on the 22nd and proclaimed to both sets of parents that she is expecting about July 1st.  Way to go, Ryan!  We then went to Maryland for the Thanksgiving feast with Mark and Jenn and Mark’s wonderful family.  Also Merlin’s Aunt Jeanette and Cousin Ira came to see the new baby in July and my cousins Paul and Kathy came down from Philadelphia to see us at Thanksgiving.

Both Aunt Cleo and Julie were thrilled about Steph’s pregnancy.  I am so glad we could share such good tidings.

I think the most important lesson Aunt Cleo taught me was no matter how far away one moves or how long you have been gone, your heart can always be big enough to care about every member of our extended family, and something as simple as a birthday card says you are not forgotten—you are truly valued and loved.

I hope for all of us long lives filled with the simple yet most important joy of family and friends.



                                                                                          Sandy and Merlin







                                         Cape Cod in August—Julie’s 95th—the whole Dorfman clan




Newest grandbaby Kate             Steph with Julie at her                The smiles show you the

with sister Emily and Mom          wedding in Mexico                      proud announcement




Our new son Ryan with             Marsha’s South African         Sandy with her grandbabies on

Emily.  She stole his heart.       Grandbabies Byron and       Thanksgiving in Maryland