Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2023 absolutely flew by. This will literally be the fastest Garage Christmas letter I’ve ever written as we’re currently cruising at 650mph via a Boeing 787. We’re headed to Maui for Thanksgiving with all of the kids and grandparents in tow. In 19 years of The Garage”ing” I’ve never taken off for Thanksgiving week so this will be a new experience for all of us.  

So, here we are. We find ourselves in the culmination of another tremendous year. Record inflation gets part of the credit, but the majority of it is at the hands of our great staff. Our office and shop guys alike work really hard, sometimes after hours, to be sure you guys are taken care of and treated fairly. Many thanks are also due to our customers as well that just continue to flood our drop box and emails with vehicles and appointment requests.  

Speaking of vehicles, we bought our oldest son a worn out 250k mile truck this year. We officially have a 16 year old driver with 16 year old driver insurance rates. I always thought I would dread the day of him behind the wheel but honestly the carpool assistance is pure gold. With four kids, involved in six sports, schooling, and social activities; it’s just been pure chaos navigating with just Greta and me. Most of our nights after work are spent shuttling them around until 9 or 10 at night. BUT. NOT. ANYMORE! It’s so wonderful having Sam as a chauffeur. I’m certain his siblings trepidatiously agree. 

As for the family, I’ll provide a quick update. All three boys are now at Westminster together. Hence, Sam can now drive all of them to school! BONUS! Sam is actively involved as goalkeeper at Briarwood soccer club and his school team. His 07 club team is one of the best in our state. He also plays varsity basketball and manages all the A’s in school. Really, all the kids manage the A’s. So proud! Grey came out of goalie retirement this year and pulled out a banger of a season at Briarwood. I had the privilege of assistant coaching his team this year and it was a blast. He is in 8th grade and is officially the tallest member of our family. He also is playing varsity soccer at school. It will be fun to see him and Sam compete for the same job on the field. Bo is in 7th grade and is part of the middle school basketball team and BWD soccer as well. His favorite thing to do at the moment is kicking the soccer ball anywhere and everywhere around our house. I finally gave up and just told him that if he’s gonna kick inside…he at least has to do so with his left foot. If he is gonna tear up our house, he might as well get better with his weak foot. Charli is the only one still at home with Greta. She is in 5th grade and enjoyed a great soccer season at BWD as well. She loves to mix it up with her brothers and is an excellent student in school. 

Greta! I sort of keep waiting for this girl to fall apart with all the activities and things she manages. But my goodness, she just keeps on going. Greta continues to make my lunch everyday and is the perfect helpmate for me and our family. We celebrated 19 years of marriage this year just like you would expect, at a soccer tournament in South Carolina. Nothing says “I love you” quite like regional soccer! 

As for our adoption, I don’t really have a lot of news. A quick back story for those just arriving on scene with us. Our family pursued adopting a blind 11 year old Chinese boy a few years ago. All of the paperwork and bureaucracy was completed in 2019 and we were set to travel to get him in 2020. Unfortunately China shut down during Covid and hasn’t really reopened yet. There has been some movement there that may indicate we could travel soon, but it’s really hard to know. We’ve had the opportunity to video chat with him but it is still so hard. He’s now almost 16 and we mourn the years that have slipped by us. We covet your continued prayers for our family and this young man. 

So where does all of that leave me? Humbled, excited, sad, optimistic, concerned, etc. Owning a business has allowed me to do things with my family that I wouldn’t have been able to do. I can also say that owning a business has brought a weight upon my head & shoulders that few outside my circle will ever truly understand. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is  all I know at this point. Some days I love it and some I loathe it. That’s life I suppose. I’m just trying to keep pushing on and finding more reasons to love it as opposed to the latter. Your heartfelt 5star reviews are one thing that keep me going. I truly believe we care more about our clients than anyone else. Period. Are we perfect? Nope! I think that recognition in and of itself lends to greatness. So thank you for another year. Thank you for picking up the phone or email and reaching out to our little family shop. We are humbled and thankful you chose us! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With much love,                                                                
Bob Carter – President – The Garage