Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas Presents

We made our annual pilgrimage to the Portland area where we spent our time attending grandchildren's school programs, shopping, attending parties, shopping, spending time with all our kids, shopping, eating, and shopping.

We thank our friends Rick and Christie for once again finding room in the inn, and for Rob and Becky also sheltering us on our way between Friday Harbor and Portland.

We are so blessed to have too many friends that we couldn't get to see them all!

I don't know if it's simply due to aging, or the slower pace of retirement living, but we notice each year a greater intolerance of chaos. Though it is such a happy time, the TRAFFIC, the noise, the activity, the schedule seems to bother us more all the time. This year we tried to limit only one planned meeting or activity each day.

But, getting to Christmas Presents....

Each year, the BEST presents are the hugs. We saw ALL the kids (not all at once though), and ALL the grandkids (yes, all at once).

This year, the 'Spangler' Christmas was hosted by my ex and his wife. I got to visit the house that used to be mine for the first time in years. They have done a fabulous job of a kitchen remodel and redecoration. With all the activity and limited time together, I kept my camera in my purse and just enjoyed! Sailor son Micah was able to be there as well -- we have been lucky to see him every Christmas since he joined the Navy!

The Thomason celebration was a lot more sedate. We all made a contribution to the Christmas dinner, and I took a rare photo of Al with BOTH of his kids, together! Christmas Blessings.

An unexpected gift was this artwork at the oil change shop, of all places! I wonder if the artist is related to the Currier of Currier and Ives. His website does not mention a connection.

We accepted the gift of a very beautiful day for our return to San Juan Island. Crispy clear cold weather makes for snow-capped mountains and bright photos.

Mt. Baker from the Anacortes ferry dock

We are sorry that we didn't take a photo of everything we brought back to the boat while it was still in the back of the borrowed pickup we drove. But Al schlepped everything to the boat in several trips with a large dock cart, and it piled up quickly.

The couch was full

The aisle to our cabin got awfully narrow

Al was excited to get new shoes! The one on the left was worn nearly daily for a year, only a year. I think the three weeks of farm work did the most damage. The one on the right is acceptable to wear to church in Friday Harbor!

And since we moved onto the boat over seven years ago, I have been saying that a larger refrigerator would be nice. When we lived nearer to grocery stores I thought I had to shop every 3-4 days. When we traveled the rivers, I thought I could make it once a week. Since we began cruising to more remote areas, I could even stretch it to two weeks with our little fridge.

This summer, we'll see how far I can stretch that with the new, larger refrigerator we stopped to pick up at Sure Marine in Seattle!

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