Much has been happening in the last five months. It has been an extroverted time filled with people, events and travel, unlike winter which feels like a more introverted time of reflection and creativity. Thinking about how to organize this update, I decided to work with clusters that are grouped around the lives of our three adult children, very precious people who have high priority in my life.

Family Highlights: Rachel

Rachel is an inspiration. Serenity, order and intentionality are three words that come to mind. Her thoughtful approach to raising children and managing her home inspires me. Seven people live in a cozy house that, as one friend said, “feels like a hug, a picture in a storybook.”  She has mastered the art of focusing on essentials and eliminating whatever does not enhance quality of life.  
A piece of land in a private community garden close to where they live topped up our organic food growing space to about 1000 square feet. I am committed to giving our granddaughters plentiful opportunities to be involved in the growing, harvesting and preserving of food. I want them to experience the wonder of it, and to be as awestruck as I am by abundance that God provides. Many, many hours are devoted to our food supply during the summer and early fall, and  the girls are involved from beginning to end.

One of our highlights this summer was Laureli’s decision to be baptised. In our faith, we dedicate babies, and as children come of age, they make a personal choice to follow Christ with baptism as the witness of that decision. Reece’s family from out of province was able to attend as well. It was a wonderful time of celebration.

Family Highlights: James

A new granddaughter has joined our family. James and Emily had applied for private adoption last year, and mid-January they got a call saying they had been chosen for a baby who might arrive any day. Riley was born at the beginning of February, and they were able to meet her the same day and spend her first night with her at the hospital before bringing her home. The adoption was finalized in September. Riley is an exceptionally happy and contented little person who brings great joy to all of us in her forever family.
Then in July we got another surprise. James accepted a new position with his company as territorial sales manager … in Oregon. It’s a not-to-be-missed opportunity for them because, not only is the work agreeable, but he will be in his home office when he’s not travelling to see customers, unlike his position here where the commute to the office took about three stressful hours daily. It sounds like an excellent lifestyle upgrade. They sold their house and are now officially residents of the USA, five and a half hours south of here. I expect to become fully acquainted with the beauties of Oregon  – fresh territory in the Pacific Northwest for me.

Family Highlights: Lydia

My baby’s thirty! I was delighted when our son-in-law, John, invited us to spend Thanksgiving weekend with them to help celebrate Lydia’s milestone birthday. We drove three and a half hours on Friday and arrived at their duplex. They’ve been busy with renovations for a long time, and Lydia wanted to show us everything they’d accomplished before we unpacked the car. She took us into the house and, as I was mentally sorting out the new from the old, I noticed the couch and wall unit were gone. I knew they’d been on the lookout for some new furniture, but I was feeling a little disoriented. Finally Lydia took pity on me and stated, “We don’t live here anymore.” That was a huge surprise.

It turns out they’d sold the duplex and bought a house. They had been keeping it quiet for the last month until they could spring the news on us in person. They are good at keeping secrets apparently. Their new home is a joy. It sits at the top of a hillside lot of almost half an acre which they plan to terrace for vegetable, fruit, and nut production. A tiny (play)house and an irrigated greenhouse are already on the property. The house is charming, with unique features like a private front garden, a circular staircase, not one but two rooms with Murphy beds, and an astonishing view over the city to Lake Okanagan and beyond. Being who they are, renovations are already underway for a fitness studio and a workshop.

To top off a weekend of unexpected experiences, we spent the last afternoon at the Pentiction Speedway to watch the Flying Destruction show. Good times!