Warm Winter Greetings!Aaahh, we are sitting here reflecting on Winter, sharing aJuliano's Pizza and a small pitcher of Pray for Snow! "How manyyears now?" I ask Dan. "Fourteen Christmas letters have beenwritten right here!"
Our annual pilgrimage to Kauai is our first breather afterthe holy days. This year's was pretty low key. A little yoga, somekayaking, and dinner at BarAcuda. I was 'given' a mission: towrite a book — and I am One who buckles down! The book is titled Yogafor YOUR Feet! It was easy and natural to write a book so dear to myHeart, to help people who suffer from balance issues; MS, FM anddiabetes, that make Being Present on earth challenging. Dan is mylayout person and we are almost done and ready to publish.
We assisted my brother Tom in moving to a clean newapartment at Sacred Heart Villa in Portland, where Meals on Wheelsare served.
The Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria welcomed us as we rejoicedin 15 years of wedded bliss. (From Dan: It's been beyond my dreams.) We spent the afternoon surveying theYoung's Bay region, looking for 100 year old farmhouses nearOlney-Walluski, where my Mother's parents lived in 1920. My interestwas piqued when I became interested in becoming a member of theDaughters of the American Revolution. My Aunt Marjorie Woodward Hood sent a packagecontaining the family history to me in 1985. For 20 years it sat in thegarage unopened, until this year when it was 'time,' As I researchedthe family I became aware of second cousins living near the family'farm' in Madison, Wisconsin. We quickly became friends and theyinvited me to our family reunion in August. We shared stories and thegenealogy. I am now a Daughter of the American Revolution.
We love visiting my Dad and Margaret in Paris on the Missouri (AKA Omaha, NE) where the family treats us as if we were "The Toastof the Town," and graciously receive us:) They are doing well almost to the 10th year wedding anniversary (ages 88 and 87).
In July it became more apparent that Mirage was closing inon retirement. After seven years by my side in harness, she was justplain bored. I want her to have some years being a dog. On St.Francis of Assisi Sunday at Augustana Lutheran Church I had a hit! Acartoon cloud appeared over head. "Mariellen." I knew shehad recently lost her longtime golden retriever, Owen. I calledto see if she might be interested in adopting a retired 9-year-oldBlack Lab. After a few days she asked for a sleepover to see how theymight get along. And after two months, they are still in Love! Yes, the seasons of our lives:) I have applied to Guide Dogs for theBlind for a "replacement" dog and have started the process ofretiring my Faithful sweet guide Mirage.
As I write this I must tell you I was notified of a study atOHSU and in five major cities to test a drug called Valproic Acidwhich is believed to restore vision in people with RetinitisPigmentosa, my rare eye condition! Of course, I was eager toparticipate knowing that I may be getting the placebo for 15months:)
In August our son Joseph proposed to a young lady namedJahnavee Soul, he had met some years ago in Los Angeles as HareKrishna devotees. Her home is outside London. He traveled there topropose marriage and she said, "YES!" so we areanticipating an English wedding in June. He is working at Whole Foodsat Bridgeport Village.
Our daughter Anna changed jobs and is tending a neighborhood barcalled Coasters. She loves creating community and is doing a wonderful job raising the children.Steven is serving our country in Intelligence in South Korea. (But we know he's really a Combat Ninja!) Emilyis a freshman at Clark College, Ethan is a sophomore at David Douglasand the wee-est one, Aden, 9, is Big on personality. We are proud of them!
The second vacation of the year, in September, was a cruise to Alaska with Dan'scousin Rosalie and her husband Russell. The highlight was a float tripon the Chilkat River out of Haines. Thirty years ago that week, Dangot off the Alaska State Ferry in Haines and drove two days toAnchorage to start a job at the Anchorage Daily News, so it was asentimental day for him. We witnessed a Humpback whale breaching inLynn Canal and a mother bear feeding her cubs live salmon. Then wefloated just feet from eagles and watched salmon soaring upstream tospawn! It was an exhilarating day!
In October I was honored for my art as the Shared Visions Art Exhibit Signature Artist.
As a result of my interest in feet, I attended a footreflexology workshop at my Shanti Yoga Center in June. I knewimmediately that this was my new Pathway: It reminded me of my careeras a dental hygienist, pouring Love and care into one person at atime. With reflexology I can stay home and work the hours after Dangoes to work. Being situated in a retirement community, I can be aBlessing to many. I traveled to Medford, Oregon, three times in three months for training. By the time you receive this letter I will becertified!
Our Thanksgiving trip to Bend was cancelled due to heavysnow in the Cascades so we are looking forward to a trip to Bend tosee the Bolens and Esselstroms soon. We were spontaneously invited to a Thanksgiving celebration at Otter Rock on the Oregon Coast, andwe said, “Of course!" Going with the flow seems to be one oflife's important lessons. We shared Thanksgiving with our good friend Rosie Price and herfamily, playing at the beach and eating oysters. On Sunday my familywas free to sit down together with heads bowed in Thanksgiving.
Our year has been full of ambition and transition, All Good! Weare Thankful for meaningful work and a cozy home, faithful and funnyfriends to amuse us in middle age and the Dearest family. We ThankGod for our good health and anticipate a new four legged family memberthis Spring.
Wishing you the most Blessed of Holidays.
Dan, Suzy and Mirage