Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Writing, I've Been Writing

I have been writing for many years.  In grade school I wrote for the McKinley Grade School paper.  It was typed on special paper that could by dittoed for other students to read.  In junior high I wrote for the Byers school paper during Miss Mapelli's English writing class.  I wrote for the South High Confederate and in college, I was news editor for the Coloradoan. For obvious reasons, I was a journalism major.  I never made my living writing for a newspaper, but I did write news releases for the CU News Service.  My writing continued for the Colorado Episcopal Women, for the League of Women Voters and for church newsletters.

In 2006, long after these early writing responsibilities, John and I were retired and began volunteering and traveling.  To keep our family up to date with where we were and what we were doing, I started this blog.  I don't know if many of the family read the blog--I know 2 or 3 of them did. Some blog posts attracted 50 to 60 readers, today it is 30 or 40.  

I no longer blog as frequently, but these blogs are, in effect, our scrapbooks.  Each year I submit them to a company, Shared Book,  that publishes them in hard-bound books.  This week, we received the book of 2021 blogs. I   feel pretty good when I look at how many books I have written!

Here I am, appreciating how many books I have published.  The book in the front of the pile with the picture of that cute little girl--me at about age 3--is the story of my life, Not What I Planned, Even Better.

Like I said, my journalism professor would be very proud.

Friday, January 07, 2022


We all know what leftovers are.  You prepare a meal, serve it and then gather up and store what isn't eaten.  Annually, for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I roast a turkey or turkey breast so we will have leftovers for turkey sandwiches.  I do this even when we aren't having any guests for the holiday meal or are going somewhere else to celebrate.  The leftovers are so important.

The same thing happens when John is making boxes, using the scroll saw.  He starts by gluing together several layers of wood--in this case two layers of one wood, then two thinner layers of wood on the top and bottom.  

Then, using the scroll saw, he cuts out the center of the box.  This photo was taken after the bottom of the box had been attached.

He then glues on a bottom layer and makes a lid.  

Recently, he realized that the center wood he had removed could be used to make more boxes, just smaller ones.  Here are the first two boxes the original block.  

Here are all six boxes, all made from the same block of wood!

John hates to throw anything away.  You should see all the scraps of wood we have in the shop.  He even makes boxes to hold all the scraps from box-making!  

Saturday, January 01, 2022

A Much Better Year

 The year 2021, while not back to what we would call "normal," was certainly more reasonable than 2020.  The Covid 19 pandemic is still limiting our lives to a certain extent, but we have taken part in many of our normal events.  We didn't travel too many miles, but we spent considerable time in both Arizona and Colorado and also enjoyed time in Texas and New Mexico.

The two events of the year that made the most impact on our lives were the death of John's brother Tim on May 6 and our decision to rent an apartment instead of spending the summers in our RV in Colorado. Three shots of the Covid vaccine--in February and March with a booster in September--helped us to feel safer and have kept us healthy, at least so far.  It has been so good to see signs reading "masks not required for those fully vaccinated.

The beauty of God's creation was a recurring subject in my blogs, from time in the Arizona desert to changing colors of the fall leaves.  We took stunning drives through the Colorado mountains and walked the streets and paths of El Paso, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Denver and Breckenridge.  

We enjoyed time with family and friends.  Several times we met Arizona friends for lunch--more than my blog shows because I forgot to take photos on several occasions.  Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, I didn't write about those lunches, but we did appreciate that time.

John has been very busy in the workshop when we are in Arizona.  He has made numerous boxes, including several for us and family members who also wear hearing aids.  The boxes provide a space for the hearing aid charger and an attractive decoration in our homes.  He has also turned pens on his lathe.

We set out for our summer travels on April 29, planning to travel around one of our favorite states--Texas.  We only made it as far as El Paso when Tim died.  We turned around and headed for Colorado.  Tim's funeral in Canon City brought together many members of our family. 

Following the funeral, we headed south, spending time at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton.  We enjoyed being able to do target shooting there.  We visited Pueblo and Limon before moving to St. Vrain State Park near Longmont for two weeks.  That gave us access to friends and family living north of Denver.  Next, we at set up the trailer in Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora.  

In 2022 we will both turn 79 years old.  We still feel (relatively) hale and hearty, but we know we must take our age into account as we plan the future.  While in the Denver area, we began checking out apartments and rented a one-bedroom unit in Lone Tree, a community in Douglas County.  John grew up in Douglas County and we owned the funeral home there for nine years.  We were back home.  The apartment is located only about a mile from the home we lived in for years, so the neighborhood is familiar.  

We enjoyed shopping for furniture and everything we needed to live there for months at a time.  We also made a quick trip with the trailer to Arizona, where the Airstream is stored when we are in the apartment.

Our apartment is right on the light rail line.  We love trains and it is fun to ride them as we explore the city.  In addition, we are just a few miles from our son Eric and his family.  And we are able to worship at St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church, where John served as rector from 1991 to 1997. 

A year ago, I ended the blog recap of 2020 writing "Good-bye and Good riddance." I don't feel that way about 2021 and I hope 2022 is even better--meaning more normal.