Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Brand New Year- 2015

Our first celebration of Christmas and New Years in the PNW has come and gone.  Zipped right on by and left us on the spring side of winter (This is my own reckoning .  The astronomers say that December 21 is the First Day of winter, but I think that it comes on Thanksgiving or some years Halloween.  When it is cold and getting dark early - that is Winter.  The Winter Solstice is the First Day of Hope.  Not traditionally celebrated yet.  But I have hope.  :)  ).

We spent Christmas in Vancouver with Michael and Jenny and the kids. We had a great time with them.  The kids are full of energy and talent, and their home is filled with a spirit of cooperation and support for each other.  

On Christmas morning we got up and found all the kids at the top of the stairs, waiting obediently for permission to start opening presents.  Once permission was received, the party began - in a mostly orderly and surprisingly thankful frenzy.  They are sweet kids.  One of the things that impressed me is the presents that they made for each other- scarves, fingerless gloves, pillows - it was really sweet.  And maybe the sweetest part is when Jenny said that they did all this work on their own.  They procured the cloth and yarn, helped each other to sew and crochet presents for all their siblings. 

It was a restful time and we enjoyed our stay.  The house that they are renting is laid out much like their house in Colorado, and has the feel of both the Colorado and North Carolina houses, so we felt right at home.  The Wii got a lot of play, and I can see that we need to get one to keep the troops happy on rainy days.

 I left my SD card and all of the Christmas pictures with Mike, so I will have to have a short blog update when I get them.
New Years was shaping up to be a blockbuster busy hyper- celebration, with both Andrew's and Michael's family scheduled to come to Riddle, along with several Schofield families.  But Annie was struck down by the dreaded bronchitis bug that she has been so successful in avoiding since I retired. 

Even with the Life of the Party sleeping quietly for most of the day, we had a good time.  I think that we stayed up until 12:30 in 2015.  Their wasn't much loud laughter or light mindedness - mostly tylenol and cough syrup on New Year's Eve, but on NYDay she felt a little better and Andrew and Caren and kids came up at various times and we had a good visit.

 On a sadder note, Joe McNamara passed away on January 2, 2015 after a long illness. Joe is my sister's husband, and our thoughts and prayers have been and will be with her and her family.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Another busy year in long succession of busy years is coming to a close. We are somewhat settled into our new (to us) home in South West Oregon. It has been a big job, but the Christmas tree is up and the chaos of the move is slowly abating.

This year we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a sweet gang of children, children-in-law, a throng of active grandchildren, and our wonderful neighbors-in-law (which is not an adequate description for Caren's parents who are dear friends and co-grand parent's of Andrew and Caren's six little ones but it's the best we have been able to do so far).  It was a great day in a busy week.  We celebrated on the lawn of our church building which was private and lush and allowed excess grandchild energy to be safely expended.  Mountains of food were prepared and consumed, family musical numbers were performed (some with devastating sentimental effect) and games were played, including a identify-the-baby-picture game and The Newly Wed Game customized for us. Not everyone could come, but they pitched in as best they could and it was a happy time.

We are road weary after all of the trips that we have made between Riddle, Delta, and Denver this year.  Our last trip saw the final load of junk removed from our house in Delta.  Anita cleaned every nook and cranny, and washed every room and memory with a small bucket of tears.  We were in Delta for almost 29 years.  It was a good place to raise our family and we have many sweet memories of our friends and the town.

Our children and their families are well.  Mike & Jenny and Andrew & Caren now live within about 15 miles of each other near Vancouver Washington.  Becky & Travis and Julie and Chandler live within about 15 miles of each other in the suburbs of Salt Lake City.  Daniel and Ashley are living in Provo.  Katie and Conor live in Aurora Colorado, near Denver.

We could fill up many pages with the achievements, adventures, and doings of these families, and that wouldn't even touch the accomplishments of our amazing 21 grandchildren.  But that isn't really the purpose of this note.  Family news is wonderful news, and it warms our hearts and brings a smile to our lips. 

The news that is important is kind of old news.  The tidings of great joy that we have heard for so many Christmas' is the news that is really important to our lives.  In all the chaos, and turmoil in the world, and despite the hurts and hollow places in our lives, the news that we all have a Heavenly Father who knows of our struggles and disappointments, who knows even when a sparrow falls, and who loves us is indeed great news. Not only do we have a Heavenly Father that loves us, but he loves us so much that he sent his son to earth to provide an atonement, to pay the price to allow us to return to him.

We are grateful for this gift and the blessings that we have received through the Gospel.  We hope that you find peace and joy in the celebration of the coming of the Savior. Merry Christmas to you all, and may you have a wonderful, blessed New Year.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Bright Side of Food Poisoning

On the way back to Delta from Denver we stopped in Ely Nevada for fuel and some food and I managed to get a dose of food poisioning.  As we continued the drive every bump in the road seemed to have been placed their by a malevolent road crew just to make things worse.  Close to sunset I pulled into a wide spot by the road that had some kind of little monument in it, and we got out and stretched and got some air.  I also got this pictureSo....out of even food poisoning can come something nice.

Near Ely Nevada, June 2, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Big Spring Trip- Parts 1 & 2

It's been a busy two years, and I see that the frequency of my posts is diminished. I felt bad about that, but time it's been short I just been too tired to have many coherent thoughts.

We spent a week in Delta packing and cleaning, and getting the house ready for Mike and Jenny. The covered trailer is packed, walnut, plum and mulberry saplings transplanted into buckets, and new refrigerator ordered from Lowe's. 

Mike and Jenny arrived on Saturday night after a 3 week road trip. They were tired from driving and we were tired from packing. Becky and Travis came down from Salt Lake and helped with some of the packing.  We had brats and hotdogs and corn and baked beans and relaxed, did se catching up amd enjoyed the evening and the company.

Anita and I left Sunday morning for Boulder. She worked frantically on the baptism quilt and visited with Mutti. I fenced in the garden and did some cement repair work. It is strange what could be done in a week can be summed up in a sentence.

It is always very pretty here and this week was no exception.  The weather was sunny then cloudy and we had several good thunderstorms. 

Now we are headed for Katie's house.  Chas will be baptized on Saturday and we will leave for home on Sunday June 1 after church.