Winter, 2007-2008

Chewy in suitcase(50K) It's such a cliche that I hate to write it -- but where has the year gone? It has to be around here somewhere. It couldn't have been more than a month ago that I was packing our bags -- after emptying out the cat -- for our Christmas trip to the west coast. And the balloon man in the seaweed coat (only in Seattle!) ... he's still so vivid in my mind. It couldn't have been a year ago. balloon man(50K)
Cookie Jar(45K) On the other hand, it's taken us a year to get rid of the weight that we gained emptying my sister's cookie jar over and over, so maybe a year really has passed since I updated this newsletter. I guess Seattle is still fresh because we always have such a great time there with my sister and her family. We're all fierce traditionalists, and nothing's more traditional for us than Christmas.
It was a pretty good year. Not too many aches and pains, and most everyone we love stayed fairly healthy. And all of those weddings we went to the year before? Yep. One new baby and one on the way. So far. Stork(8K)
TV Weather Chart(52K) In March we piled the cats into the wagon and took off for Florida again. (Considering that my husband's people are from Sweden, he sure doesn't appreciate snow and ice.) This is what the weatherman down there put up on the screen every single day of that glorious month. (Don't ya just hate Floridians?)
One of my sisters flew down to join us. This is a woman who has never understood the words slow-down-a-little-would-you? Also, notice that though she is a mere two years younger than I, she has virtually no gray hair in that deep brunette. Is that fair? I think not. Christine and AS in surf (59K)
JS & AS(30K) This is John wearing his Happy Face. I don't feel too sad here myself.
Because we were down there and not up here, I missed seeing a lot of my early-spring-bulb garden -- but then, the squirrels always eat all the crocuses and tulips anyway, so at least I didn't spend the month running after them with a hatchet. The clematis mustn't be as tasty, because they left that alone. garden(41K)
Ships (36K) In June, Tall Ships came to Newport. Lots and lots of them. It was a fabulous, family-friendly event, and my only regret was that family weren't here then. If they had been, they could have had coffee in the cockpit with us and seen a parade of these awesome vessels coasting out the harbor:
At the end of July family did come, and all was right with summer again. We hit some new beaches that had truly mean surf. That's my nephew (the foot) and my niece (still in one piece) getting spit back out of the ocean onto Misquamicut Beach on Rhode Island's south shore. I've gone sledding with these two and just barely managed not to break my neck, so I sort of passed on this particular outing. Surf (36K)
Barking Crab (36K) On a miraculously cool and unhumid day, we detoured from the beaches to Boston, just so that we could eat seafood at The Barking Crab, which you can get to across this abandoned bridge. Who wouldn't want to eat at a place called The Barking Crab? That's the gang, stuffed, on our way back to downtown Beantown.
Yard (36K) Here's a shot of our backyard in fall, where a couple of the local denizens are fattening up for winter. We're registered with the National Wildlife Federation as having a non-toxic wildlife habitat with food, water, cover, and places for creatures to raise their young. (I don't really chase after squirrels with a hatchet.) I'm prouder of that certificate than of some of my diplomas. Want to see every kind of bird in the dead of winter? Stick a heater in your birdbath.
So that was our year. No one won a Nobel prize, no one won the lottery. But we cherished time with family and friends and the animals around us. How does the song go? Be with the ones you love, and love the ones you're with. Okay, it doesn't really go like that -- but it should. Surf (36K)

Happy Holidays to you all.

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