Here are my collages from January to December of 2013. I had to make 2 collages for September and 3 collages for December. September had our high and our low of the year. December starts with Laura’s birthday, our anniversary, Christmas and then Katie’s birthday. Too many events for one collage…
In February Katie came to stay with us for a month while Andrew had cold weather training in California. My cousin and his wife came for a visit, too. After 38 years we finally had our dining chairs recovered in leather. We are very happy with them. We also took a drive to see the Skagit Eagles.
March was filled with wonderful experiences. We took Katie to see her brother’s property in Eastern Washington. The beginning of the Sounders soccer season. Katie, Laura and I flew to Southern California for my niece Debbee’s bridal shower. Such a good time with my sisters, nieces, and cousins. Katie returned to North Carolina to reunite with Andrew as he arrived back from training just as Dear and I flew to Milan, Italy. This was my first time in Europe and we arrived in Milan on my birthday. I went to my first international soccer game and enjoyed traveling to Lake Como to experience a more quaint side of Italy.
The night we all arrived in Orange County for my niece’s wedding we got together with Dear’s side of the family for a meal at our hotel. Debbee and Lenny’s wedding was at the end of April in Huntington Beach, California on a Friday night. Another wonderful gathering with my extended family. On Saturday of this same weekend we planned a 90th birthday/ 70th wedding anniversary celebration for my mom and pop. Little did we know my mom only had 4-1/2 more months on this earth. On Sunday we had brunch together at my sister’s in Huntington Beach and then we all walked to the beach to enjoy the surf and sand.
May brought our Celebrations book launch in British Columbia. Such a good time for the 10 of us to be together. Mother’s Day is of course in May, too and I was treated to 2 beautiful Mother’s Day bouquets from my children.
In June I traveled with the Mennonite Girls to Manitoba for several book events in Steinbach and Winnipeg. Josh treated me to a club box soccer experience for the Panama/USA soccer game. We also were happy to attend Marie’s bridal shower here in Washington and be representatives for our nephew Caleb’s side of the family.
In July we finally began work on replacing all our old floors in this old house. July also brought the news that my mom had flat-lined and was in the hospital. Those of us from out of state flew to Southern California to be with my mom and pop and face the news of my mom’s future on this earth. My mom was released from the hospital to Hospice care at her and my pop’s apartment.
August brought more home improvements with the carpeting going in and new closet organization. We flew to Southern California again for our nephew Caleb’s wedding and while we were there we were all able to say our in person final farewells to my mom. We came home knowing that her time was short. Dear, Josh, Laura and I were leaving for England on September 12th and my family decided that if my mom died we would postpone the funeral till our return from England. Just before we left for England Dear and I were able to drive to British Columbia for a celebration meal with some of the “girls” and their husbands at Anneliese’s parents cabin at Hatzic.
From September 12th until September 23rd we enjoyed a wonderful trip in England with Josh and Laura. We received the news that my mom had passed away just as we arrived in England. We were sorry we could not communicate right away and get details until we reached our first destination with wifi. We stayed calm and carried on knowing that there was nothing we could do. Our trip was filled with many great events and destinations. We went to a Manchester United Soccer game (epic experience for our son Josh) We enjoyed hedgerows, villages, canals, ancient churches and lands. We stayed in the Cotswolds, Wells, Cornwall, and London.
We got home from England and made plans immediately to fly to Southern California for my mom’s services. We all flew in to Orange County airport from different parts of Washington. Katie was staying with us during this time (she arrived the end of August with Andrew and he left back to N.C. on Labor Day) Andrew deployed to Afghanistan the week of my mom’s funeral. We also celebrated Dear’s 60th birthday in September.
In October Marg and John joined us for a soccer game between our team and their team. Their team won. Some of my nieces from Southern California came up for a girls weekend and we had a great time trying to get through all of Downton Abby seasons 1-3. Katie and I traveled to British Columbia again to join the “girls” at the West Coast Women’s show where we had cooking demonstrations on the cooking stage.
In November we had our brilliant Pub night to thank our friend who made arrangements for us to use his parents home in Cornwall on our England trip. We had an early Thanksgiving celebration and met Dan’s girlfriend, Jaimie. Besides a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings we managed to get together at Palisade for brunch the next day.
December was packed full of good times and celebrations. We celebrated Laura’s birthday at Neville’s a British restaurant. Katie and I traveled to Abbotsford, B.C. for the Cookie class that the Mennonite Girls Can Cook put on at Lepp Farm Market. Dear and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington. Josh and I also went to a board meeting for the Sounders soccer team where we got to meet some of the players. And all of this happened the first 10 days of December!
Katie and I took a train trip up to Vancouver, Washington before Christmas and the day after we had snow at our house! Christmas Eve we helped usher at one of the services at church and then came home for a non traditional meal of hand made tamales. Later that evening Dan arrived from Eastern Washington and Josh and Laura arrived after celebrating with Laura’s family. We all woke up together on Christmas morning except for Andrew. We missed having Andrew here. Christmas was relaxing and fun. The English Cracker tradition will now become our tradition as well. It was so much fun to see what popped out of our crackers and then to read the cheesy jokes and wear the tissue crowns. Fun times.
Katie’s birthday is December 27th so we had a day of destinations that were all enjoyable ending with dinner at this old house with Josh, Laura, my sister Lana and BIL Steve, our nephew Caleb and his wife Marie and of course the master of this old house and his wife…me.
I talked to my pop today who is struggling with pain in his shoulder and is probably facing some surgery to help with the debilitating pain. He misses my mom but still he thanks God for all that God brings his way. He told me he has asked God to shorten his days on this earth. He is weary. We thank God, too, for all He brought our way in 2013. Time will tell what 2014 holds.
We had a very quiet New Year’s Eve until the fireworks started going off at 11:30 P.M. I was in bed by 9:00 and woke up to hear others blasting in the New Year. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Today we are having another quiet day. We watched the Rose Parade and watched a couple New Year’s day soccer games from England and now we are watching the Rose Bowl Game.