Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Begins

Happy New Year!

On my main blog, I posted pictures and highlights of the variety of trips we took this past year with our new travel trailer. Ed and I really liked being explorers with our tiny home on wheels. Between those trips, life rumbled along with home and landscaping improvements, enjoying our new Jack Russell Terrier, and some advancement in my career as a published author. However, close friends lost their son during the Easter season in April. That loss has made us simplify our activities to savor quiet moments and family fun.

In September our fifth grandchild was born, then my brother-in-law suddenly needed quadruple by-pass surgery, two more reasons to increase hugs in all our greetings! No life is all sunshine and happiness but the trials will eventually make every day sparkle a bit brighter and the annual celebrations become sweeter.

Our Christmas Eve multi-family Mexican Dinner tradition has evolved over decades even though none of us have a trace of Mexican ancestry. This year there were 23 for dinner and it could easily have been 30. My brother-in-law was recovered enough after his recent open-heart surgery to be at the party! He's doing great and this made us remember that he was the pivot person that enticed most of us to move to Oregon.

It is now ten years since my parents died and the holidays rituals are comforting, as well as fun. I like to reminisce over how they have changed while remaining the same. One ritual that has not changed is my personal chores the morning of New Year Eve, it started in my childhood, I make sure there are freshly washed sheets on the bed to begin the New Year. Another thing I do as the old year closes is to pay all the bills already in the house. There were many years in the past when bills couldn't be paid, but the bedding was always freshly washed.

A major wind storm is currently raging outside our home. One of the tall trees broke in half but instead of the top half of the tree crashing down, or onto one of our structures, it dropped vertically so the broken part implanted itself into the soft, damp ground. It's like it's two trees now, one a broken trunk and the other with branches sprouting from the earth, ten feet apart, the strangest thing we've seen in our trees. I wonder if it is some type of omen as the new year begins. If so, it's a pretty cool one!