2014 - Year in Review

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We write this for our own posterity - to remember these times when we are far past them. All others are welcome to read it.

Year in summary
Buy a house, Linda retires, sell a house, pack, move, unpack, settle into new home & lifestyle. Transition and change characterized our year; too much change really but here we are at the end of the year that roared. Now, as we begin 2015, we feel rested, relaxed and ready for new experiences. For more about our new home, … (More)

During the summer, we traveled by car throughout the USA, first to NC (returning thru Nashville), then Gamso Reunion at Gulf Shores, AL (where Brett & Ryan joined us), last to Phoenix (thru Santa Fe). Our return from Phoenix took us to National Parks near Moab, Utah, driving many of our 3,000 miles on non-interstate roads and using old fashioned paper-maps. We turned on our Phones for search (e.g., tonight’s hotel) or directions (e.g., finding an address). We enjoyed better scenery, with drives along the Colorado river and through small-town America. Lots of solitude and time together on the road. For more about our summer travel, including the
Gamso Family Reunion, … (More)

We spent many hours with our close friends in our old neighborhood, announcing our decision to leave 6-months before we exited. It made the traditions we’ve all adopted special. For more about our traditions, (e.g.,
War of the Grills), read the Friends section, … (More)

For more about our fall
Southwest USA travels, … (More)

Linda: Brett faithfully followed the KC Royals through to their spectacular World Series Game 7. After a particularly gratifying win, he called it the happiest day of his life. The excitement in KC was palpable and we all enjoyed the thrills the Royals delivered. Ryan had to commit to season tickets next year to get access to World Series tickets at list prices. Brett bought tickets on the open market. The town was full of energy from mid-September to the last pitch of World Series Game 7.

Ryan brings us pleasure with the Bow Tie Affair functions we ALL attend. We feel like we're young again going out to bars at 10:00 at night, paying cover fees, dancing in the background, and hanging out with our kids’ close friends, plus their parents. For more about our year with Bow Tie Affair … (

Our new neighbors have been so outgoing with invitations to the American Royal (first time for us), Halloween Party, dinner at the Bistro, dinner at their home. They joined us for a BTA gig in Westport. We gathered December 30th for a holiday get together at our house. We couldn’t ask for a warmer welcome from our new neighbors.

Patricia and I spent 10 days together in May while Patricia was stabilizing for her third hip replacement surgery in ten weeks. We took her deposition while she was at the rehab center in limbo waiting for the next try. We cried but it was therapeutic. Patricia had such grace under difficult circumstances. I was so glad to spend those days with her.

This Christmas, Brett and Ryan stayed the night for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It was so comforting to wake up in the morning with the boys at home. We watched home videos with Ryan and Mariela who was so gracious to sit for the whole hour and 45 minutes. I was transported back to the 80’s with so many sweet memories; my favorite – “I love Mommy” Brett, at age 3.

Gary: I traveled to Botswana, Africa with a fellow photographer (Steve Lumpkin). We spent 11 nights in the Botswana "bush" on a tent-safari, camping among the animals. Steve organized the trip. Steve selected Moses Ntema (Unlimited Tours & Safari's) as the professional guide. We spotted 20+ lions, 3 leopards, 11 cheetahs, and numerous other game on 21 game drives. For more on my Botswana experiences … (More)

Brett volunteered to caddy for me at the Ironhorse Match Tournament Championship. I won and agree with Linda that all the family support had something to do with it. Linda, Ryan and our new family friend Mariela Medina Castellanos joined as spectators. Counting Ironhorse match play, I won 3 tournaments this year (for my flight). I played fewer rounds than last year and enjoyed each and every one.

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A move into the new home we’ll age into over the next 25 years, right here in Prairie Village, KS.

Call or visit us at:

7909 Granada Road Prairie Village, KS 66208

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Linda’s reflections on 2014

February 21st I finished a 4 ½ year assignment culminating in the successful migration of data from one set of client systems to another. February 24th I started my next assignment doing the same thing for a new client. While we were doing the first migration, EMC offered a Voluntary Early Retirement Plan to eligible employees of whom I was one. I took it and retired April 30th after six years with EMC. The timing was perfect as we signed a contract to sell the house that same day.

I started piano lessons in September at the same place where Brett took trombone and Ryan took piano lessons years ago. It’s very difficult for an aged adult like myself to learn a new skill such as piano but I practice for an hour and a half each day and make measured progress on the keyboard. I can see making this a lifelong pursuit as long as I continue to get as much pleasure from it as I do now.

I’m working diligently to accomplish two piano goals: 1) play Christmas carols for my grandchildren to sing, and 2) play about 20 pieces that I love and enjoy playing for myself. So far, I play one piece I like (Moonlight Sonata) and one Christmas carol (O Holy Night).

Retirement Luxury

One of the better decisions we made this year was to join the Country Club of Leawood (CCL). We had several good reasons for joining: 1) new club house, 2) new gym and exercise classes, 3) sauna, 4) summertime pool, 5) golf home. It’s also one mile from our Leawood home where our neighbors still live. We anticipate stopping by our former neighbors for driveway chats on our way home from the club. We expect to invite them to the club for a beer or dinner. The proximity to our former neighbors definitely influenced our decision.

Since we joined, Gary and I go to the gym several times a week. I take Zumba Gold; Gary and I take yoga classes. I do the tread mill for 15 minutes to warm up before class and try to include high intensity interval training while doing it. I do back and arm weight machines after class. The gym director advised me to add push-ups to my routine after I do the bench press. He said that combination is good for building the core. That’s what I’m doing, building my core.

Muscle Activation Technique (MAT)

November 1st I wrote in my health journal “I’m having more and more trouble with my right hip. I sometimes have to take two Alleve to sleep at night. I can’t rest comfortably on my right or left side. I don’t sleep well on my back.

“I’m getting concerned about a chronic, disabling condition.”

That is also the day we joined CCL. On November 4th, we attended a new member social at CCL where the gym staff promoted their program. They brought in staff from a local MAT practice to introduce their members to this service. I received a demo of the method that night and my right hip didn’t hurt for a week. November 12th I received a one hour free evaluation of MAT at their facility. I received three more treatments and I no longer am concerned about chronic, disabling condition.

What a relief both for the immediate fix and the potential for future treatment if necessary.
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Gary’s reflections on 2014

We entered 2014 having made a choice to change our lives substantially, and for the better. We made the choice to travel together more. We traveled to nice places with family and friends. We changed homes together. We asked our boys to give up the home in which they were raised, and move on to the new home we chose with their participation.

Recently, after our 2014 Christmas together in the new home, both Ryan and Brett confirmed they’re comfortable with our family evenings together in the new home. They visit often, we laugh and relax together. Together, we have a new sanctuary from the outside world. We enjoy staying home.

Our hearts continue to be broken as the boys fall in love, then out, then in again. I remember the rhythm of loves gained and lost throughout my 20’s, as I discovered lots of cities & dated the variety people I met.

Lessons learned from life, my family, and many fine friends during 2014,
  • I’m diving deeper into my passions - photography, golf, marriage, lifelong learning.
  • From Mark Demers, an old friend of Linda’s, i learned the importance of telling your friends how much you enjoy hearing their stories. If Mark had not contacted Linda with comments about our blog, she would have come close to stopping her blog work. She and I re-connected on the importance of blogging for our own personal benefit. Thus Linda’s comment,

We write this for our own posterity

  • I have a few good years of high-intensity travel, requiring lots of time on my feet or visiting slightly hostile environments, like the Bisti Wilderness Area (Arizona), coming later this year. Always, I go with a travel mate. It forces me to train for the event. All travel still qualifies as adventures worth planning and executing with precision + calling a few audibles.
  • I’m finding my voice in my writing and my feel with my golf and photography.
  • I enjoy being the observer over the entertainer. And, I enjoy engaging with lots of people, family, friends and mentors.
  • As always, I have a wonderful wife & soul mate, to whom I dedicate my good times and with whom I share them. It will be a year of positive change, together.

For 2015, maybe we’ll see more of our family and friends.

Gary & Linda Gamso
May you achieve good health, live a long life and gain the mercy of a painless death

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