Good News

It can be difficult to find good news these days, so thought I’d share a bit with you. Some of you may have already heard — Brittany and Andy are engaged! WOOHOO! Congratulations, you two!

Brittany and Andy are engaged!

I didn’t want to steal their thunder, so gave them plenty of time to spread the word themselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate. And what a fun story they have to tell about that day!

The relationship is still thriving after road trips to both coasts, so they seem to be VERY well suited!

Brittany and Andy at Sunapee in July 2020

Beckett, of course, continues to be a joy, whenever I get to see him, and I’ve actually seen him several times this month. Brian had an extended business trip, so I was able to spend a bit more time than usual with Chelsea and her active little guy. Here he is in his own private ball pit (except we kept getting in with him–too fun).

Beckett – 19 September 2020
Auntie Brittany and Beckett – 19 September 2020

Brittany and Andy also came up for an overnight the 19th and Chelsea and Beckett stayed, too. What a great twenty-four hours that was, with lots of wedding talk and Pinterest pinning. We’re all optimistic that an outdoor wedding will be possible toward the end of July 2021, but we know flexibility is a prime virtue these days. Still. It was a major morale boost to have something positive to think about and plan for. We stayed up too late and drank too much wine, but I loved every minute (even the next morning, I promise). The best part, of course, was spending time with my dear ones, something that I have very much missed in these complicated, challenging times.

It’s been a few weeks now, and I’m back to finding joy in new blooms on my bougainvillea, and that’s okay, too. Probably better to be easily pleased these days.

Bonus good news: Doug and Kristl can now actually breathe OUTSIDE in Portland, Oregon, which is a very nice change after all the smoke from the Oregon wildfires. And closer to home, I’ve heard from a reliable source that the Poudre Canyon Chapel, the historic Arrowhead Lodge, and my friends’ family mountain house are still standing even after the Cameron Peak Fire made another terrible run down the canyon. That was also very good news. I have so many memories of wonderful times there, mostly with David, but even some since. The fires are not out, though, so please keep all impacted – whether displaced by the fire or fighting the fire — in your thoughts and prayers.

Wishing you an abundance of good news! And time with sweet children, if at all possible!

Beckett – 12 September 2020

 

Happy Birthday, Beckett!

Hard to believe an entire year has passed since Beckett was born. In some ways it went by so fast, but also, so much has changed since this time last year, my head is spinning. Chelsea and Brian will certainly have more photos of this day, but here’s a preview . . .

Beckett ready to celebrate his first birthday

and a review . . .

Beckett at 10 months
Beckett at 11 months

He looks like he’s raring to go in both of those pictures, but mostly he was a dancer in place. Now he’s actually on the move . . .

So that’s a fun thing in the midst of all that is grim right now. You don’t need me to list all the hard stuff. Plus locally, we now have a wildfire raging at the top of the canyon, not as bad as those in California, but still potentially threatening many beloved landmarks and sending smoke down to the city, rendering outdoor gatherings challenging, while indoor gatherings remain extremely ill-advised.

I could focus on all that is wrong, and yes, sometimes I do. As I’m celebrating Beckett today, I’m also disappointed that I didn’t get to spend the usual lake time with my other grands, Bailey and Felicity,  but there are still some bright moments in this dark year. I’m not evenly remotely a wildfire expert, but the fire is certainly clearing out the beetle-kill, and it does provide some beautiful sunsets.

A bit of light in the darkness

Wishing you light in any darkness you face, and many good things to celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Beckett!

The Sweetness of Memory

David – August 2011

I’m writing this on the eve of David’s birthday — he would have been 68 tomorrow — and he is still so very much missed. But in the midst of the missing, I am so frequently flooded with fond memories of our nearly forty years together, I find myself more often smiling and feeling grateful than weeping and feeling sorry for myself. Admittedly, there are a few of those moments, too.

But I am so profoundly glad we had both the opportunity to have so many adventures together and the  . . . whatever it took to grab onto them with both hands. I think about so many great times in La Rochelle . . .

La Rochelle 2014
BBQ chez Pascale et Jacky 19 juin 2014

. . . and on the Outer Banks . . .

Sunset over the Sound — Outer Banks, North Carolina – 2014

. . . and Folly Beach . . .

Sunset on Folly Beach – January 2015

. . . and Key West . . .

Sunset from Sunset Pier, Key West – 2015

. . .  and of course, Sunapee . . .

Sunrise over Lake Sunapee – 2015

. . . and so many more. None of these are possible right now, so I’m enjoying the memories and making the most of being home. I’m still taking my weekly French lessons via Skype and doing a lot of writing as part of those. Apparently I’m writing my memoirs . . . in French. 😉

Although I haven’t needed to buy gas for my car since February, I have taken a few bike rides recently, loving the cool of a summer evening, and occasionally finding something so gorgeous, I have to stop and snap a photo . . .

Evening beauty from the bike trail

. . . but I’m still very much a home-body, while this pandemic tortures so many. There just haven’t been many good reasons to go out.  The bike trail at dusk is a pretty good one, though.

Poudre River from the bike trail

Sunset from the bike trail

I remember David and I had such big plans for our new bikes and all the rides we would take together. That didn’t happen, but it is certainly something I can enjoy on my own.

Our lives are not going quite the way we had imagined they would.  I don’t think anyone would say they are. So many are suffering so many losses right now. All the anguish in the news has been so troubling, I spent an evening in the ER a few weeks ago and had to follow up with a cardiologist.  But it’s heartache, not heart disease, fortunately.

So for now I start my day with as much of God’s peace as I can soak in. Then I read as much good news as possible, and there’s more than you might think.  Of course it’s important to stay informed, and I do, but I have to try to resist the pull of the black hole of endless heartbreaking and/or infuriating news stories and videos.

I hope you are finding ways to cope as well. One of the few things I can do is offer you a bit of beauty and a few words of encouragement. Please know I hold you in my heart. There’s room for you there as well as David.

 

Blooming at Home

I finally took a bit of a drive Saturday, after staying almost completely housebound since the 13th of March. It felt a little strange to be driving around, to be honest, and nice to be back home within the hour. Hope I’m not turning into a hermit! I’m pretty sure my girls and a few friends would never put up with that, so that’s unlikely. But while I’m home, I’m trying to appreciate every little bit of good and beauty I can find.

Vinca-Periwinkle in my front yard

Although, my view is expansive out over the golf course behind my house, my own yard is TINY. This has its pros and cons. David and I used to love checking  the progress of new trees and shrubs we’d planted in previous years, since we started from scratch at two different properties. At one of them we had ten acres and planted a LOT, including fruit trees, so checking them was more exciting than it sounds. Okay, maybe not, but we loved it. We called it our “bud walk.” Now my bud walk takes five minutes, max, if I walk very slowly.

As a result I’ve gotten a bit obsessed with the few flowering trees and shrubs I have. You should have seen me trying to protect my small lilac from the arctic freeze we had a few weeks ago.

16 April 2020

First I hauled a couple of heavy wrought iron patio chairs around to the side of the house to place on either side, then found a tall stake for a center support and draped the whole thing with a couple of rubberized picnic blankets. Then, like an idiot, trusted that the threatened storm would not include any wind. Oops.

The next morning I bundled up and took bungees out to secure it a bit better. Then the deep snow came and the next morning I was out early knocking snow off straining branches as well as my makeshift lilac shelter, but mostly ended up with a lot of snow over the tops of my boots and down my neck. After all the work and drama, the blooms are slightly anticlimactic. Oh well.  There are a few more each year. Someday it will be stunning!

As much joy as I get from seeing spring bringing things back to vibrant life, I enjoy this guy even more . . .

Beckett – 8 months

Chelsea keeps me stocked with photos, and we were even able to have this little lawn party recently, with the adults masked and/or appropriately socially-distanced, and after a LOT of sheltering at home!

Beckett – about 8 1/2 months old

Wishing you health and peace and a few blooming flowers (or babies) to enjoy!

Adventures in Wanderlust