Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Memories

Though it has been a month of many social interactions (special times spent with friends and family) the pictures in my January file are mostly of the scenic variety.  So let me share a few January sunsets and snow pic's and I'll fill in the rest with words.

Oh...and here's a photo of the two eagles that have spent many hours keeping watch from a tree on our 'back forty' this month. They have been dubbed Peter and Paul...though maybe they are Peter and Pauline.

We started the month with a lot of snow and ice. First the ice.  Then lots of snow and wind.  Then more ice.

Our city keeps priority roads and walkways cleared.  Clearly, getting into the local leisure centre is not a priority.  The ice coated the branches for days and was really quite pretty.

Sunsets reflected off the ice-coated snow were amazing!

For the record...I have a photo of one of the January gatherings around a table!  We helped a friend ease into old-age by celebrating her milestone birthday with brunch at a lovely little bistro.  We have shared many meaningful times together (some happy and some sad) as part of the same 'life group'.  But when there is a reason to celebrate...we do that well!

I also have a good reason to celebrate in January, though this year it did not feel so much like a 'happy' birthday. Who has the flu on their birthday? I slept most of the day away...and was good to go the next day. I am now travelling down 'Highway 66' as my BIL reminded me. I look forward to what the new year has in store for me.  I enjoyed several birthday lunches and dinners, flowers, cards and well-wishes. Maggie and Lucy even prepared a scavenger hunt for me.  I had my cake and ate it too!

The snow slowly disappeared...revealing bright green fields beneath.

Because of all the snow and ice events over Christmas and New Years, we postponed a family Christmas gathering for a few weeks.  That turned out to be a good thing, as my brother and sister-in-law from Iowa, my sister from Texas and two of my nephew were able to join us for our re-scheduled Christmas party in January. We met in the party room on the 18th floor of the apartment where Dad and Marge live and enjoyed a great view of Abbotsford from there.

We had a lovely time together...nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts, cousins and grandparents. It's good to gather!  And the sunset that night was amazing!

The Vedder River...a great place to walk whatever the season.  And to fish (apparently)!

We have had a whole lot of rain here these past few days. The ditches are overflowing and the fields are full of ponds.

The ducks are happy! They are having a party out in our fields these days and not in any hurry to be moving along.

I, on the other hand, am quite ready to see if the sun is shining brighter somewhere else. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Looking back on 2017

As the new year begins, I like to take a look back at 'the year that was'.  2017 ended much as it the throes of winter. So much happened 'between the covers of the book', that I have a hard time condensing it into just twelve chapters.  But let me give it try.  I will keep it to one photo per month, but I might just have to paint a few additional word pictures. :)

January ~ One only turns 65 once in a lifetime, so I guess that was the highlight of the month for me.  Celebrations, cakes, flowers, balloons...and my first OAS cheque.

February ~ We took a trip to Iceland in winter.  Who does that? It was a wonderful time in the land of 'fire and ice' with good friends.  It was a little too short and too cold though.


March ~ A month after our Iceland trip, we headed to the Mayan Riviera to warm up.


April ~ Memories of Easter of local tulip fields in bloom.


May ~ Due to a very cold and wet spring, the month was almost over by the time the first cut of grass happened (our latest spring cropping ever).

A highlight of the month for me, was a trip to Victoria with three of my best friends from high school. We had not been together since our graduation, and had a wonderful time after all these years. (This is where I would really like to throw in an extra photo or two.)

June ~ The grands from next door showed up on their ATV one night with their dog along for the ride. It was a month of soccer games, end-of-year track meets and recitals for the grands, and a weekend camping trip to Monk Park.


July ~ On our 46th wedding anniversary we took a back-country tour with Sky Helicopters. We might just do that again one day soon! It just so happens that we won the door prize at a fund-raising dinner in fall...a back-country tour with Sky helicopters, which also includes a stop with a picnic on the peaks.  I am so looking forward to that.  We also took some of the grands camping in July, and enjoyed the month close to home.


August ~ Baerg Reunion 2017.  My family arrived from 'everywhere' for five fun-filled days of events.  While we were all together, we celebrated my dad's 95th birthday.

September ~ A road trip to the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife and Nahanni National Park) was definitely a highlight of the summer (end of August to beginning of September).


October ~ The leaves of October were quite amazing this taken at Whistler Village.

November ~ My two oldest granddaughters turned sixteen.  Both on the same day. :) They have shared most everything in life, and now they will share a little red car as they learn to drive. Their sixteenth birthday celebration included having the whole family join them in cheering on their good friend, Jordyn Huitema at the Canada vs. USA women's soccer match at BC Place Stadium. What a fun time that was.

December ~ It was a month filled with Christmas events, celebrations and family get-togethers. The year ended with a coating of frosting over anything and everything.  For the photographers, it has been a beautiful world of snow and ice. For all those without power, it has not been quite so lovely.

And that is my brief look back at the year that was. There is so much more 'between the pictures' that I can not share, but I am so thankful to God for His faithfulness through it all.  How good to know that He also holds the future.  His mercies are new every morning.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

December ~ 'twas all about Christmas

The rose blooming in my garden in December brings to mind an old Christmas carol...

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-gone was the night.

The December sunrise came later every morning...
with the moon still hanging in the western sky.

The month started off cold and it was easy to turn our thoughts to Christmas celebrations. 

We started off the month with a MGCC Christmas party...
hosted by Anneliese this year. 

It was a beautiful evening with special friends...
good food and so much fun!

It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Our 'life group' had a Christmas party early in the month as well...
always a highlight of the season.
The 'white elepant' gift exchange is always our entertainment for the evening.
A few items seem to re-appear from year to year!
Then there were the concerts...

Lucy played in her first violin recital.

Sweet Lucy...
she did a fine job!

Getting up in front of people is not one of Micah's favorite things to do...
but he surprised us all and played a beautiful old German carol called Ihr Kinderlein Kommet
(Oh Come All Ye Children).

Ranen has no fear of playing for an audience...

And there were school concerts...
featuring some of my 'elfin' grands.

And we also managed a trip into the city to take in Cirque de Soliel Kurios with the youngest five grands.
What a circus that is!

 Emme, Spencer and Ryder spent a few days with us while their parents were out of town...
and they quite enjoyed cooking their own dinner at the table...
raclette style!

It seems you can enjoy Swiss raclette even if you refuse to eat cheese.
There are plenty of other options.

One evening we took Maggie and Lucy on a Christmas light tour in our town.
There are some amazing displays...
and their favorites were the ones that danced to the music!

We delivered a few Christmas gifts to Dad and Marge the week before Christmas...
and Dad decided there was no better time than the present to unwrap the gifts.
Why not?
We never know what tomorrow may bring.
Tonight was the night we were to have an extended family gathering at their place.
The room was booked.
The food was prepared and Dad was so looking forward to having his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren together for a Christmas celebration.
But freezing rain in the valley today put an end to those plans...
and we have re-scheduled for another time.
It's just as well Dad and Marge opened their gifts the week before Christmas!

As for Christmas at our place...
we had a lovely time with the family.

 They all came for an appetizer buffet following the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day, we had a late morning brunch and then exchanged gifts.

It seemed so quiet and peaceful this year...
the grands are all growing up so quickly.

We always manage to make a big mess...
and lots of good memories!

I will leave you with a few of my favorite snap-shots taken this month.

With cold temperatures, blue skies and snow-capped peaks...
I couldn't resist 'snapping'.

Where the corn fields stood a few months ago...
the winter wheat is now a lovely green against the the backdrop of the white mountains.

That was last week.
Tonight the field is under a blanket of snow...
with a layer of ice to top it off!

Red, white and blue.
Blueberry fields, snow-capped peaks and blue skies.

The wineter sunsets were amazing this month.
God paints the best pictures!

I will end with a photo of the grands taken on Christmas Eve.

Maggie, Emme, Spencer, Ryder (Pauline ~ exchange student from Switzerland)
Micah, Ranen and Lucy.

Thank-you for continuing to vist me here on My Front Porch...
even though the updates are few and far between.
I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas...
and wish you the very best in the new year!