The lives of two + people. Aren't you glad Noah had kids?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Are you ready for another Yearly Letter from friends?

It is evening and I hear the sounds of gentle sleep coming from down the hall and wonder --- there is a creatures stirring in this house ... and it is me. Must be Christmas is in the air and the excitement it brings.

Tonight we were married for 6 years... the time flies. I am so thankful for such a caring, loving, gentle man in my life. We enjoyed the day together, driving to Fort St John and stopping at Tim Hortons in Dawson Creek. There we ran into our famous neighbors -- Wiebo Ludwig and his wife Mammie. Enjoyed a visit with them and liked what she told me at the end when I said to her, "You can think one way, and I another, but I still like you." She replied, "It is better to say we are listening and agree to talk more about these things". So I replied, "Well, will you come around to my way of thinking than?" and she replied, "No". Well at least we parted still talking which is what she was saying she wanted to do. Well if you want to know why we always have such interesting chats check one their stories on the internet and many more by typing in his name on a search engine.

I love the hustle and bustle of the stores at this time of the year so Arthur was kind enough to take me to several of them in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John as we continued our trip. It was fun running into friends along the way and sharing greetings, etc. We later enjoyed a nice supper out on the town...

Looking back on the past year --

One of the longest and coldest winters I have ever experience... would you believe snow on the ground for 6 months. From Oct 2006 to April 2007.
Finally the end of April and early May Spring came and so did 11 calves.

Late May saw me falling off the wagon ... literally while helping Arthur move some hay bales. One broken arm and a cast for 6 weeks was the result of My efforts to help. I had originally thought I should plant the flowers I had bought, but saw Arthur working alone and thought it would be better to help him. Well, he now had to spend most of his time helping me.

However, my sister came to visit for a week and helped plant the flowers and much more. It was fun having her around.

Summer came and we saw not only the arrival of green grass and flowers, but we invited a Mennonite Family of 7 to move their 35 ft trailer on to our property for the summer and fall and now winter as well. We have been blessed sharing our lives with them. Their presence allowed us to take off for part of the summer, once my cast was removed. We put our nieces' camper on the truck and headed South. Spent time at an Ott's family (Judy's family) gathering, taking Judy's mom and her new found friend Orville Smith to Vancouver Island, Orville's old stomping grounds. The highlight for me was visiting the stunning floral arrays at Butchart Garden. And for Arthur it was probably, early one morning while we all slept, taking the little row boat and rowing to St James Island. Where Orville once worked at the chemical plant there.

After heading back to the mainland Arthur and I traveled south to Oregon. While I visited with my high school friend at Hood River, where we stayed, Arthur basked with the intellectual computer minds in Portland at an Ubuntu Conference for three days. Mingling with the great likes of Mark Shuttleworth and others. He thought he had died and gone to heaven.

From Oregon we headed further south, stopping where we wanted and whenever we wanted. No agenda or time constraints. We saw lots and enjoyed every mile of adventure. The best being hiking down to Crater Lake and swimming in it. The Crater Lake excursion was awesome. Such grandeur, such beauty and all part of God's Creation. We tasted the fruits of California -- the hugest, sweetest, deliciouses ( I know that's not a word, but it fits) strawberries, the freshest, biggest pistachios and the tastiest fried artichokes. We even enjoyed a Lamb Festival at some small town along the way... watched them shear and curd the wool. Arthur had to ride on that killer coaster ride Tatsu at Six Flags in Valencia, CA. We walked through the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, treked through the downtown region as well and watched the marathon run across the Golden Gate. Waded in the Pacific Ocean off the California Coast, stopped at most of the view points along the way, toured Monterey Peninsula and were fascinated at the Monterey Bay Aquarium...well worth every penny. Then drove the Big Sur...the winding, hair raising, curves of the coast line but with breathtaking beauty.
All good things must come to an end and we needed to head home.

We were sadden at the lost of our dog Charlie ... he was killed while we were away. Didn't know we were so attached until he wasn't there to greet us when we opened the truck's door. He would come running, put his head on your lap and cry for a few seconds, just to let you know he missed you and was happy to see you.
Well, we harvested the carrots and potatoes with the help of our Mennonite friends. I was amazed how the children played house, they would go off to work and where was work, but weeding, harvesting, and working the garden. Their work...was really their play. Imagine that! Little Henry, their six year old, loves to ride the quad so we attached the harrows on to it and he put away the garden for another year.

I am still working, at least my job was still waiting, at the Village Office three days a week. Arthur is doing computer work and giving his time to help others as they enter the world of Open Source/Linux/and Unbuntu. For more on Arthur's tech life you can read his blog. We both serve on the Community Futures Board of Grande Prairie and Region. It has been a real learning experience and a lot of fun. We manage property for ourselves in Fort St John and for a company out of North Vancouver who owns property in Hythe. I manage and hire Arthur to do the work for me. A good arrangement. Have been spending time between Fort St John and Hythe at year end. Doing renovations at the sixplex. We almost sold it this year, but didn't so now we continue to do work there as well. Right now, we just completed the hydronic heat in the last of the six units and tiled the floor. Will finish the place to be rented in the new year.

The Mennonite family of seven are still on our property . . . with the colder weather and all five children being home school I invited them to moved their school room in to the house as a 35 ft trailer is a little cramped in winter. They enjoy sharing our home during the day. So the house isn't empty and the days I work it is nice to come home to supper. Their being at the farm allows us to get away, a nice arrangement.

Neil moved from Calgary to Anzac, just south east of Fort McMurray to work. We don't see him as much as I would like... but he is doing well and enjoying his job.

Wishing you God's Best this Christmas Season and throughout 2008

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