Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Christmas Letter

2016 really has been another good year for me personally. No dramatic changes though Holly the cat at 21 is getting more arthritic and crochety as she chimes in on this letter. 

I am still in my house and my garden looks rather nice again after I had my falling down garage taken down and some re landscaping.   I still really enjoy living in this neighbourhood . It is an oasis in a busy city.

I still go for lots of walks and enjoy exploring favourite areas.  Beach walks are a regular part of my life.   I am still going to yoga and my fitness classes.  I am also still working with Cam next door on his reading and volunteering two mornings a week working with first graders

I am still knitting though took a few months break but I just finished another hat this week.  I got back into watercolour art classes at Van Dusen Gardens in the spring and did a spring and summer session in April, May, and June, and am in my second course this fall.  Here is a bit of my winter artwork below.

I still read lots and go to movies and am blogging but have been a bit discouraged somehow losing pictures in past posts-nothing seems to be permanent.  

In January, my friends’ Anne and Barrie’s daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter moved here from Toronto. It is fun having them here and Anne and Barrie have been out twice to visit.  A highlight was having little Kasia trick or treat for the first time on my street.

In March, I was able to do a big trip to Spain and Portugal with my friend, Sue.  Most of it was a guided tour with Insight which was quite excellent.  We had an extra day at the end of the tour in Barcelona on our own and then we spent a couple of nights in Majorca staying with friends of Sue’s. 
It was just a magical trip with so many highlights.

This picture is from Barcelona where we went on a walking tour based on the book, Shadows of the Wind, which is set there after the Second World War.  

In July, I spent a week in Boston and Cape Cod with my friend, Donna, initially attending the International Literacy Association conference.  It was a long time since my last visit and we had great fun, even seeing a Red Sox game. We visited Boston Public Gardens, the setting for children's book, Make Way for Ducklings and had lunch at Cheers across the street.  

August included a road trip to Christina Lake in the Interior visiting Elaine and Terry and it was lovely to relax at the lake and enjoy the Olympics as well!

There have been several trips to Whistler staying at my timeshare. It is beautiful in all seasons.  I also went to  Ucluelet twice.  The second trip was due to my winning two free nights at a resort.  The picture here was our view.  A bonus was visits with friends Art and Jennifer in Port Alberni along the way,

When I was on a beach between Ucluelet and Tofino in September I learned the sad news of my good friend, Carolyn’s death.  She had been diagnosed with stage four  cancer in July, the previous year.   I miss her but feel so privileged to have had such a good friend.   

Festival of Lights Van Dusen Gardens
Friends and I went to Seattle in October for a fun weekend, and to see Beautiful, the Carole King musical, which we loved.

Like many I have found world events this year sad and disturbing, but I also have been fortunate to see beauty in each day.  

Wishing you a very happy holiday and the best 2017 possible from currently snowy Vancouver.