Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January ~ a new chapter

It's a new year!  
How did we get to 2024 so quickly? 

Let me share a few pic's from January...
before I lay out my plans for the blog going forward.


We headed to the hills mid-month for a little snow getaway...
since there was none at home.


It's never far to the mountains...
and what could be nicer than a day spent in the hot pools surrounded by fresh snow?


We had our fix of snow...
and we never had to shovel any of it!

Then we  came home to a record-breaking snowfall.



The kind we had to shovel!


The drifts piled up and we stayed home for a few days while the winds howled.
By now it has mostly washed away!

January also marked the completion of one more year around the sun for me. It seems like a good time to take stock and make a few changes.

****

Is it time to quit blogging after all these years? It's something I have considered for awhile. I have decided not to do monthly updates on My Front Porch anymore, though I may still post on occasion, documenting travels or major events.  I'm planning to sift through hundreds of posts from the past seventeen years and make some sort of book...a collection of memorable posts. Last year I helped Elmer write and publish a book of his life stories.  Now it's my turn, though I have a head-start since many of my stories have been shared on my blog over the years. 

I am thankful for all the memories and moments that I documented here over the years, because time hurries on and the past is soon forgotten. I will never regret the time I spent blogging and the friends that I met along the way. Some blogging friends became real life friends, and I treasure all those friendships. 


These ladies were among my first blogging friends, and who knew that we would still be good friends so many years later?  We were the Mennonite Girls Can Cook team, who started a recipe blog first and then published three cookbooks together.  Though we no longer blog or publish new recipes, the website is still there as a great resource. Getting all ten of us together is no simple feat (with two in Manitoba and one in and Washington), but we meet up when we can and rarely a day goes by that we don't connect on our group chat.

One of my first blogging friends was Vee, who lived in Maine.  Some ten years ago, we met Vee while traveling on the east coast. She passed away last year, but she is not forgotten.  Always a word of wisdom, some encouragement, a little sarcasm or something that made me smile. Another blogging friend that I met in person on that east coast trip, was Judy in Pennsylvania.  We had a delightful time around the table on her porch, and some years later Judy and John came to visit us in our home.  We enjoyed touring them around the valley and visiting Whistler and beyond. Honora lived near Victoria, and often came to the valley on business.  We met up in person in 2008 and many times since. Then there was Jill, who we met on a USA road trip in Salt Lake City. We met Christine in Phillipsburg, Montana...Kathy in Charlottetown, PEI...and Pam at King's Landing in New Brunswick.  I met Rosella from Ontario and Deb from San Diego when they visited BC.  Most of these women have long since given up blogging, but we are still in touch through Instagram.

Those are just some of the blogging friends that I have met, but there are so many more that I have corresponded with over the years. Sue in Texas. Lorrie on Vancouver Island. Pat in Denver. Most visitors to my blog over the years are anonymous, but some have encouraged me through their comments or e-mails. Thanks to all who has visited through the years. 

All that to say...it's not a final farewell, but things will be much quieter here on My Front Porch this year. 



Until next time,


Monday, January 1, 2024

December ~ the finale


Farewell to 2023.

December was one for the record books...
unseasonably warm.


We had one wee skiff of snow early in the month...
and I have a photo to prove it.

Christmas was warm and green.



We used to take the grands on outings to see Christmas lights every year.
Now we go on our own.

Downtown Chilliwack is beautifully decked out...
and has become a bit of a tourist attraction.


Checking out the 'Lights by the Lake' at Harrison Hot Springs was a fun outing as well.


We had the opportunity to meet this lovely family who came to Canada from Ukraine recently...
 and is now living in Chilliwack.

We included them in our 'care group' Christmas party with the intention of sharing a little Canadian Christmas joy with them.


They were such a delight and blessed us with a Ukranian mini-concert.


Christmas morning...
when all was calm and bright.

We had brunch together...
and then gathered in the great room to open gifts.

That's tradition.

We broke with tradition on Christmas Eve this year...
and met at Jeremy and Broni's for appetizers and games...
rather than at 'Grammy's house'. 

I think we started a new tradition.


There may not be any littles anymore...
but there's always something to laugh about!


This monkey lamp was the most coveted prize in the 'white elephant' gift exchange the previous night.
Maggie was not happy that her cousin stole it from her.

It somehow showed up under the tree on Christmas morning...
and she went home with a monkey lamp.


Jeremy has coached Ryder's team for many years...
and this year marks the end of that era.

They recently took first place in a tournament in Kamloops...
and Ryder was one of the top scorers.

Ryder's hockey looks very different now that it did ten years ago!

We watched one his local games just before Christmas.


Along with the warm temperatures...


...we've had many foggy mornings.


The sun has set on 2023...
but I am left with many wonderful memories and a heart of gratitude.

It's a new year...
a new chapter...
a new page.

What will that look like on 'My Front Porch'?
We'll see.

I would like to wish each of you a very happy and blessed new year!



Thursday, November 30, 2023

November At Its Best

November in the valley is not usually known for its beautiful weather...
but this year was different.


Clear skies...
bright moonlight...


...and God's signature at the end of the day.

Amazing sunsets!


Early in spring the Trans-Mountain pipeline work began in our neighbourhood.

It would be all done by fall...
they said.

I'm wondering which fall they meant. 

The noise and the traffic disruptions have gone on for months.

Then they closed our road completely for almost a month.

That meant a six-mile detour to go from our yard to the farmyard...
which is ordinarily less than a half-mile drive. 


They ran into some major issues in our corner...


...with no simple solutions.


And so the construction continues...
often late into the night.

One day soon the last pipe will be in the ground!

We spent the first part of November in Palm Springs...


...where the sun always shines!

We drove down this year...
and took our bikes along.


It was nice to meet up with two of my sisters and brother-in-laws there.

We played  'five crowns' together most evenings...
and shared a few meals. 


We hiked in the badlands...


...cycled in the La Quinta area a few times.


We visited a date farm, watched the harvest...
and sampled sweet dates right off the tree.


We relaxed at the resort...
and read one book after the other.

We are the ones who spend hours floating down the lazy river  on a double tube...
with our e-readers.


We also met up with friends for dinner one night...
at the Daily Grill in Palm Desert.

I'd recommend it...
both the restaurant and spending a lovely evening there with them!


Before we knew it...
it was time to head home again.


While we were away Micah turned 14.

We went to watch him play basketball in a tournament once we got home...
and took him out for dinner.

A good basketball player...
and a great guy!


Emme and Spencer had their twenty-second birthday this month.

Emme arrived home from her European travels to celebrate the occasion with her sister.

In many ways it seems like yesterday that they made me a Grammy!

The years flew by but I am left with so many wonderful memories of these two. 


With the nice weather these last few weeks...
I have walked a few trails and enjoyed the beauty of fall.



Cheam Wetlands...
just before sunset a few days ago.


Our local peaks got a dusting of snow a few times this month.


I cut roses from the garden the other day.

We'll see if there are any Christmas roses this year.


As the sun sets on November...
the roses are still blooming and the grass is still green...
but the lights are on and we are getting ready for Christmas.

“You don’t need a reason to Hope — 
you only need the Person of Jesus. 
And He is Coming.”

Wishing you all a wonderful advent season...
as you prepare your hearts and your homes.