Sunday, January 31, 2021

January ~ moments to remember

Memories of January 2021 revolve around balmy temperatures...
long walks and coffee on the patio table.


Just to prove that we had snow this winter...
let me start with a winter wonderland photo taken earlier this week.  

Though there wasn't much snow in the valley...
our friends up on the hills of Ryder Lake were giving sleigh rides.

Next time I'll join the party! 


On New Year's Day...
we visited Flood Falls at Hope for the first time.

A short hike through the rainforest...
had us at the falls.
We'll go again!


The following weekend...
we hiked along the Chilliwack River at Tamihi Creek.
It was also a new-to-us adventure...
following the Trans Canada Trail.


Most every Sunday, we walked the Rotary Trail along the Vedder River...
along with a good portion of Chilliwack's population.

It was nice to stop and chat with friends for a bit...
an impromptu social gathering.

Remember the song...
'Shall we gather at the river?'


Emme, our firstborn granddaughter came to say goodbye...
before leaving the country for a six month YWAM program.
She will be missed!
She IS missed!
We are happy that she was able to go, despite all that is happening in the world...
and pray it will be a life-changing experience for her.


My birthday is in January...
and no pandemic could stop that!

Flowers from friends and family...
a Zoom birthday party with friends...
a cake (complete with candles) delivered to my door...
phone calls and porch visits...
and so many expressions of love.

I 'had my cake, and ate it too'!


We lit the fire on the patio table and had a warm birthday visit with Heidi, Lucy and Maggie on a cold January night.


This pillow was delivered by the mailman...
a gift from my sis-in-law in Kelowna. 
I will treasure it!

And just like that...
I am another year older and inching towards the next milestone.

I am reminded often that 'every day is a gift'...
and I am thankful!


I walked the dyke along the Fraser River with a friend earlier month...
while eagles kept watch overhead.


Everything may not be OK in this world...
but it's easy to forget that when one is enjoying the beauty of creation.


And then there was the reward at the end of the trail!
Who knew she had a portable coffee shop in her trunk?
Hazelnut roll never tasted so good!



Also this month...
we watched a lot of bad news, read some good books, did a few more jigsaw puzzles...
played card games and crokinole...
enjoyed good food and each other's company.

And so the month comes to an end.
The grass is still green.
The snow is mostly up on the peaks.
But the weatherman is telling us not to pack up our winter gear yet.
We'll see!

Though chaos and Covid may make all the headlines...
I am thankful for all the blessings of January 2021.

Thanks for stopping by...




Thursday, December 31, 2020

A December to Remember

Nothing about 2020 unfolded as usual and the Christmas season was no different.


We exchanged our multi-coloured lights out for warm white this year...
and rather enjoyed that change.

In previous years we would always take a few of the grands on a Christmas light tour.
That never happened this year.

There were no banquets, no live concerts, no get-togethers. 

But there were plenty of wonderful concerts on TV and we watched them from the comfort of our own home.



And we did jigsaw puzzles.
We may not be able to travel...
but we can re-visit some of our favorite places by putting the puzzle pieces together.

The colorful houses of St. John's, Newfoundland...
and the canals of Venice.


We had a lot of rain this December...
and some lovely rainbows.


And awesome sunsets!

One thing that became very clear to me this year is that
...the best things in life are free!


Whenever the rain let up...
we walked the trails.
Cheam Wetlands.


Vedder River trail.


We had a Christmas party with our life group via Zoom.
It took a little planning but was a lot of fun!
We delivered desserts to each home...
which we enjoyed together later while opening gifts in a 'white elephant' gift exchange.
That is always the source of a lot of laughter and this year was no exception. 
Connecting with friends this year has been more important than ever!

The cards and Christmas letters were a welcome reminder of many who we have not seen recently.


I have saved many cards through the years...and especially treasure those that were handmade. 

This card was one my sister Bev sent me over three decades ago, shortly after my grandmother passed away.

She had copied the Christmas story (Luke 2) from my grandmother's German Bible for the background.
I displayed that card this year.

I'm sure it is the first Christmas that I have not had a card from my sister.
Or my dad.
They were both celebrating their first Christmas in heaven.

Christmas 2020 was different in so many ways!


Since there was no socializing with anyone outside of our household...
we found other ways to make Christmas special this year.

Every Sunday of advent...
we delivered a few of our favorite Christmas treats to the front door of the homes of our grands.


One Sunday afternoon, 
Ranen met as at the front door and played a Christmas medley for us.

Early in December a local photographer came to take photos of our old barn for a local heritage project.


This barn has been in my family since 1959...
but we did a little digging at the local museum archives to see what else we could discover.

We learned the names of all previous owners since 1902.

The barn was built in 1905.


It has gone through a few modifications over the years...
but the structural framework is still original.


The animals were not meant to be part of the photo session...


...but Carsten couldn't resist.


We had not planned to be in the picture either!


A few days before Christmas...


the snow arrived to clean everything up.


It was a lovely and sunny Christmas week!


As the sun sets on 2020...
I look back on a year that held many challenges and am thankful for God's faithfulness through it all.

I do not know what lies ahead...
but I know who holds tomorrow!

God with us...
today, tomorrow and through the next year!

Happy New Year to each one of you!

 
 

Monday, November 30, 2020

November ~ a look back

As I write this post I am trying to recall the highlights of the month...
and it doesn't seem like there were too many.


But this I know...
we had a lot of rainbows this month.

Rainbows are a symbol of hope...
and we need that these days.

We were back under strict pandemic restrictions for most of the month...
so haven't strayed too far from home or spent much time with friends or family.
Three grandchildren celebrated birthdays this month.
Quietly.  
Without us.
We dropped off gifts, goodies and good wishes.
Emme and Spencer are nineteen now...
two lovely young ladies that are best of friends.
Micah is eleven.


We took advantage of any fair-weather days to get outside and enjoy beauty close to home.


The trail along the river is always a favorite place to walk.


My mother and mother-in-law both passed away twenty years ago..
within a few months of each other.  
Both of them kept our family supplied with 'grandma slippers'.
That supply has long since run out and those slippers are still a favorite.
So I am crocheting slippers in the evening...
while 'watching' TV.
We'll see if they will do the trick! 

Simple pleasures are life's treasures.



There were many simple pleasures this month.
Like seeing new growth on my cactus cuttings.
 My dad had a cactus which was six feet tall and decades old...
and he really wanted us all to have a piece of it. 
He started some cuttings just weeks before he passed away...
and I started some more in hopes that we would each get a plant.
Now if I can only keep them growing!


Simple pleasures like...
watching this pair of doves that hang out in my back yard.


Or the woodpecker that feasts outside my kitchen window.


Simple pleasures like a cozy home decked out for Christmas in November...


...or listening to Christmas music by a talented young gal who is near and dear to me.


I took this photo yesterday...
the first Sunday of Advent.

HOPE.



May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13