Sunday, December 31, 2017

Archives from the Original: Peace on Earth 2001-2009

Hi. While I was at Mom's house last week in Louisville my Uncle Bill handed me a flash drive he had found in my mom's boxes while unpacking. I told him to throw it out, it was probably trash. He handed it to me anyway, and I planned to throw it out later. I decided to glance at it for a quick check before I trashed it and of course, it is a gold mine. Thank you Uncle Bill!

The flash contained the original upon which my annual imitation is based, the Mike Kelly Xmas letter from 2001 through 2009, his final letter. I'd never read them through in one sitting, rather each year when the new edition came out. Read sequentially they reveal what we all already know, he was a man who loved has family deeply, valued his friends, took his work seriously and was so, so funny.

The measure of any year for me was the mentions in the annual letter and I'm proud to say I make most of these, but of course cannot compete with the granddaughters.

I can't get his permission to republish them, but I am pretty sure he would be okay with it, as he mailed these out to hundreds of people each year.  Here, unedited, are some Mike Kelly Xmas letters 2001-2009:


Peace on Earth 2009

(Unedited Xmas letter from Mike Kelly)

     Peace on Earth

                                                                                              December, 2009
Merry Christmas to all from Barbara & Mike.

   Hello and best wishes to all our good friends. We had a wonderful year, and we hope you did too.

   Lucas Wheatley visited us again in the spring and brought his Mom & Dad with him. Kate, Lindy, Lynn & Robbie visited in July. The girls really enjoyed Gettysburg and Land of Little Horses. In July the Corcorans and the McElwaines from Belfast came to Myersville for a fun visit. The children played all day with the dogs and the mini horses, Belleek & Ash. Tim, Mary Helen, Sam & Lucy Blue also visited us; the children really enjoyed the day.  Courtney and her Ultimate team stayed with us in August. We never did get a good head count, but there were more than a few players.

     Barbara and I went to Oak Island twice this year, once with the “big family”. We also traveled to Raleigh for the Annual Oyster Roast. We drove to Louisville for Thanksgiving where we had an awesome visit. Thanks to Cathy, Joe, & Lucas for the hospitality.

This year we lost our beloved Golden, Maggie May, after 14 & 1/2 years; we really miss her. We rescued two new dogs, Goofus and Penny Too. Our current animal count is 4 horses, 3 dogs & 2 cats.

   Our jobs have changed this year. I got tired of being unemployed, so I retired. I’m still not having any problem with the spare time. Courtney left Accenture and is now working 3 days a week for Perfect Sense Digital. She has moved to Brooklyn and is very happy with both changes.

    Lindy’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Research Project has developed a drug that is being tested in a clinical trial at Chapel Hill. We are all very hopeful that it will produce positive results. Thank to all of you who helped make this possible.

    Thanks also you all for your prayers and good thoughts for Lindy. She is continues to do well & is enduring second grade grade. Our Kate is doing very well in 6th grade and is enjoying her dance company. She is beginning to act like a teen.

Barbara & I are both doing well. Barbara had some new injections in her knees, and she is much improved.

Come see us in Maryland.. We live near Hagerstown; 11908 Woodland Way Rd, Myersville, MD 21773. Phone 301-293-4375. Email: & .

Peace and love,

Mike and Barbara

Peace on Earth 2008

(unedited Xmas letter from Mike Kelly)

Peace on Earth

                                                                                              December, 2008
Merry Christmas from Barbara & Mike.

Hello to all our dear friends. We value your friendship greatly, and we hope to see you all in the future.

We are fortunate to have had several family members visit our home this year. Joe, Cathy & Luke Wheatley along with Matt, Mary, Claire, Gracie, & Elise Elder visited in April. Luke also played is a jazz festival in D. C. in October.  Kate & Lindy along with Lynn & Robbie visited us twice this year. Courtney spent Thanksgiving with us. She is working in Minneapolis for the winter (brrr).  We also spent several weeks at Oak Island..

This year we added 2 mini horses, Belleek & Ash, to our family. That makes 2 horses, 2 minis, 2 Goldens, & 2 cats.

My news is that last December I had a seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy. It is under control with medication now, but I spent 8 months unable to drive myself; your sympathy should go to Barbara.  Second, I am part of a RIF at EDS. My last of work was December 1, 2008. I am deciding now whether to retire or find another job.

                Lindy continues to have clean scans, so we are truly blessed. Barbara continues to be heavily involved in fund raising for Lindy’s Neuroblastoma Research Project at UNC Children’s Hospital. This year we had a memorial auction in Myersville as well as the traditional Oyster Roast in Raleigh to raise funds. A new drug combination has been developed for children who have relapsed with neuroblastoma; results are promising. A full clinical trial should begin soon. We pray we will never need it.

               If you visit Maryland, please stop in. We are located near Hagerstown, MD.          11908 Woodland Way Rd, Myersville, MD 21773. Phone 301-293-4375. Email: & .

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts for Lindy. She is continues to do well  & is taking over her first grade. Our Kate is beautiful and is growing up too fast.

Peace and love,
Mike and Barbara


Peace on Earth 2007

(unedited Xmas letter from Mike Kelly)

     Peace on Earth

                                                                                              December, 2007
Merry Christmas from Barbara & Mike.

Hello. We hope you had a great year. We were blessed this year with some memorable family  time and an epic trip to Australia.

In March, the four Gnau sisters (aka the coven) gathered in Myersville for a weekend. Madison and Lucas came along to moderate the frenzy.
Kate & Lindy spent a week with us in June and again in August. We discovered the Thurmont Zoo and also revisited the Land of Little Horses in Gettysburg.
Barbara & I were able to spend 10 days at Oak Island in March and again in July. I have determined that when retirement does come, I will be able to handle it just fine.
The highlight of our year was a 12 day trip to Australia to visit Courtney. John & Vicki Cadden joined us on the memorable trip. We flew from Dulles to LAX to Sydney. Spent 2 days touring Sydney. Then we flew to Melbourne. We stayed at the Citigate Hotel in the center of downtown Melbourne. Melbourne is a great metropolitan city with a multinational culture; we met some really nice people. We spent 3 days driving the Great Ocean Road along the coast of the South Ocean. The scenery along the coast is unforgettable, and the people we met at the B&Bs and bars were interesting folks. One amazing day, we walked through a rain forest and watched Koalas up close in the wild. We also spent 2 days touring the Yarra Valley wine country. Again, the scenery was amazing and the people were even better. We flew Quantas both ways and were pleased with the flights.

The Guptons visited Myersville again this years at Thanksgiving. Both Kate & Lindy are becoming very good riders. McKenzie, their 22 year old pony, is going strong.

                Lindy has continued to have clean scans, so we feel truely blessed. Barbara is heavily involved in raising funds for Lindy’s Neuroblastoma Research Project at UNC Children’s Hospital. This year we were informed that the research has found an existing drug that may be effective at killing neuroblastoma cells. This is great news, because a new drug can take many years to be developed and licensed.

               If you visit Maryland, we would love to see you. Our house is located near Hagerstown, about an hour from Washington, DC and Baltimore. 11908 Woodland Way Rd., Myersville, MD 21773. Phone 301-293-4375. Email: or

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts for Lindy. She has scans scheduled for late December, so please continue to include her in your prayers. We truly value all the time we get to spend with the girls.

Peace and love,

Mike and Barbara Kelly