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.
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.


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

Sunday, November 8, 2020

October - Memories and Moments

‘My favorite colour is October.’

Especially when the sun is shining on the cranberry fields as they are being harvested down the road.

The corn harvest on our farm happened early in the month.
A representative for the seed company took some drone footage. 

Sunsets over the cornfield would soon be a distant memory.

My kitchen window ‘corn view’ disappeared by Thanksgiving. 

Sunday afternoons had us looking for a quiet places to visit.

Nearby Cheam Wetlands park always calls us back...
where all is calm. 

Our 'Covid-safe' church services have been in a barn this fall...
where we meet with our life group on Sunday mornings to watch the on-line church services together.
 It has been a treat to be together (while far apart) like this.
Who knew we would miss the connections with others so much?
We celebrated Heidi's birthday with a 'grown-ups-only' birthday dinner.
Indian food and Danish cream squares for a win.
Her choice.

The last Thursday of October was sunny and we made impromptu plans to do some exploring on our bikes in Langley.

Sendall Gardens, Nicomekl Park, Brydon Lagoon nature Trail...all new to us.

Maggie and Lucy came for a sleepover.  

We played games and baked peppernuts.  They perfected their ping pong skills.

We had so much fun!

Often we are away for Hallowe'en...but if we are home, I make up goody bags for the grands.

They came calling...dressed for the occasion.

And before the night was over...

we watched fireworks from the comfort of our car while the grands were right at 'ground zero' across the river.

Let me leave you with one parting shot of October...
the red oak tree just before the leaves set sail!

My computer has been out of commission for the last few weeks...
and now we are well into the month of November.
I'm sure there were a lot of other things that happened during the month of October.
I didn't even mention Thanksgiving...
which we celebrated 'carefully' with our family this year.
It has been a hard year...
and yet I have so much to be thankful for.
Things that I often took for granted in the past.
Feeling thankful. Grateful. Blessed!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

September Remembered

Sunflowers and corn.
Synonymous with September.
Especially September of 2020.

 One week after my sister's passing...
Dad passed away peacefully.
We had a small graveside ceremony...
just his local children and grandchildren...
great-grandaughter Ranen who played violin...
 and one brother.

It was a special time of remembering someone who lived life to the fullest until the end. 
One day we will be together again.
What a day that will be!

Though the Canada / Us border remains closed...
the smoke from the fires in Washington, Oregon and California wafted across freely.

There were many days when we barely saw the sun...
and the mountains were all lost in the haze.

My rose bush was appropriately named for such a time as this.
'Lady of the Mist'.

And the zinnias were a bright spot on those dreary days.

September 11th is a date that is hard to forget...
but with all that was happening over here, it almost slipped by.
 His sister remembered that he had a birthday!
We will do better at celebrating it next year.
Thankful for him and the blessings of this past year.

And then there was our sweet Maggie who had her 12th birthday.
She loves soccer, and long-distance running, and swinging with her sister.
She loves to win at games.
She is kind and cares for those on the sidelines.

 She celebrated with her cousins...
since parties aren't encouraged this year.
She documented the fun with her birthday gift.
Who knew that Polaroid cameras would be a big hit again one day?
 We ended the month with a little getaway to the Okanagan Valley...

Gallagher Lake in Oliver.

What a surprise to meet up with good friends at the campground when we arrived!

We cycled the trails together...

 ...past vineyards

 ...and orchards.
Up hills and down.

Until we could cycle no more!
What are the chances of us both getting flat tires on our bikes?
His tires are both flat...
despite the 'puncture resistant' label.
My bike has a flat rear tire.
I won't even go into the saga of how that unfolded...
except to say that I sat beside the road waiting to be rescued for a few hours.
Until darkness arrived! 
If you ever cycle in the desert area of our province...
beware of puncture vines!
As for Gallagher Lake...
we really enjoyed our stay and would love to return one day. 

We stopped in Keremeos to stock up on plums, peaches and nectarines...
known as the fruit capital of Canada for a reason.
Maybe the pumpkin capital too?

As the sun sets on September,
the corn fields of home are ready for harvest.    

October has arrived!