Celia and Keith returned from Japan in early May. Celia brought me a Kimono! I don't know how to put it on, of course; that is a complicated process.
Shortly after their return, we hosted a get together for some of the people who had supported them in some way while in Japan. Celia prepared several Japanese specialties.
The family was together on Mother's day. Pretty special for Mom. We followed a long standing tradition of visiting the Arboretum.
At first, Celia and Keith thought they would be living in Vancouver, but didn't feel right about it. After a lot of prayer and thought, they moved in with us, on the upstairs floor. Thus began a long process of relocating and selling furniture we had no room for. For a while our entire garage was filled with the overflow.
Many have asked what Dan is doing in retirement. He has enjoyed experimenting with new recipes on his nights in the kitchen. The one below is quite creative... it is called Army base stew - it originated during the Korean war as a use for the ingredients scavenged from the army base.
He has been very active in musical groups, including the Continuo Ensemble, where he plays his baroque guitar, Matteo, and performs opera. Often tenors play the comic female, and he played a nursemaid in a recent opera. I took lots of pictures, but I'm saving them for bribery.
Dan and Allen, our neighbor, purchased a really big planer, to use for planing wood that they cut down in our yards. I think they are trying to look like woodmen in this photo.
We took a couple trips in the summer. Below are some highlights from our trip to the Kootenay region of Canada. It was a multi-adventure tour, including hiking, biking, canoeing and soaking in mineral springs.
Huckleberry picking near Snoqualmie pass - we picked about 6 quarts.
At our yearly Chili Cook-off, Celia's chili won a prize this year!
Dan took a trip to Mexico this fall with his brother and sister in law. He is checking out a vihuela at this store, which he ended up buying - and altering, to make it sound better.
Originally, I was to go as well, but my parents were going through a very difficult time at that point and I needed to be here. They have moved twice since May. They were in need of more care, since they both have dementia. The last few months have been very demanding and difficult for my brother and me. They are settled now, and seem to be doing pretty well at their new home. Changes are especially hard for those with dementia, so I am grateful that they are adjusting.
About this time, we started up KidREACH again - that's the after school tutoring program we are doing at our church. This year we are adding a second day, so every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon I am having a blast with a bunch of elementary aged kids and their tutors. I love doing this - providing extra support for kids, helping them to succeed in school, and loving them like Jesus does - it's my passion.
We had a visit from Dan's cousin, David. The weather was miserable the day he was here, but we had fun doing some indoor things. We went do dinner at Salty's and he enjoyed the view. We all did.
I love it when the snow falls early and the leaves are still on the trees. This snowfall happened before Thanksgiving.
We spent Thanksgiving with the Craig family - all of us together for the first time in a long time. We ate at Mom and Dad's assisted living community, Aegis Lodge in Kirkland. The food and service were exceptionally good - not institutional at all.
Dan and I and Celia and Keith had the opportunity to sing at the Christmas luncheon at the church. We sang several four part a Capella pieces, and Dan and I sang O Holy Night, with Celia singing one verse in Japanese. Celia and Keith played Ave Maria on piano and cello. It was very well received. Nice to have a musical family!
This Saturday we do our last Opus 7 performance of the year. It is such a joy to sing with such great vocalists.
Celia and Keith are spending Christmas with Keith's family in the midwest, and Colin is spending Christmas with Jiayun, his girlfriend, in Texas, so we decided to go away ourselves. On Monday we leave for Costa Rica.