This post is very similar in content to the “Holiday Newsletter” I sent out this year to folks for whom I have snail mail addresses. The rest of my friends/family/Facebook acquaintences are being directed here. I hope 2018 allows me to get back to posting about my adventures in gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free baking and cooking!
2016 and 2017 have been extremely busy, exciting, and exhausting years for me. In 2016 I moved from my 100-year-old house in snowy Minneapolis, MN to live nearer to my family in New Jersey. On September 26, 2016, after a three-day drive (1200 miles) with my old cat Marvel, I arrived at my parents’ house in Manahawkin, NJ where we stayed for six months while I looked for a house nearby. On February 14, 2017 I finally closed on a house in Whiting, NJ, 20 minutes away. Marvel and I moved in at the end of March.
The house (built in 1980) needed a new refrigerator, roof, garage door, and hot water heater as well as all new carpet, a fresh coat of paint inside, and many other minor repairs. There are still many projects to complete and quite a few boxes waiting to be unpacked (once I figure out where to put all that is in them), but it’s starting to feel more like “home”.
Besides moving into and working on the house, the year has meant reconnecting with family and getting to know my new surroundings including:
- October 2016 Aunt Irene and Cousin Amy came to visit to celebrate mom’s birthday. (Sadly, this is the last picture we have of my Aunt Irene. She died on November 11, 2017 after a brief fight with an aggressive cancer.) Pictured: My sister Nancy, cousin Amy, Mom, Dad, Aunt Irene, and me.
- December 2016 My sister Nancy and I went up to the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City for an exhibit about the Brontës and some bead shopping in the fashion district.
- January 21, 2017 I participated in the Women’s March on Washington with childhood friend Karin Howells Kelleher, her three daughters, and other friends.
- April 2017 A trip to the African American Museum in Philadelphia for the “Wage Peace” exhibit
- May 2017 Another trip to the Morgan Museum in NYC. This time for an exhibit about Emily Dickinson. Also went to several exhibits at the New York Public Library.
- Father’s Day 2017 Mom & Dad & I attended a Lakewood Blueclaws Baseball Game where we met several other veterans (all identifiable by their military caps)
- July 2017 Janet visited from Illinois. Picture below: Nancy, me, Dad, Janet, Courtney the Cat, Mom
- August 2017 My good friend Linnea visited. We installed a new closet organizer in my bedroom, watched baseball, and went to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, an incredible series of buildings and courtyard filled with mosaics.
- Labor Day Weekend 2017 Stand Against Hate Rally in Asbury Park; and visit from nephew Matthew
- October 15, 2017 Rally with Al Gore and Phil Murphy
- October 21, 2017 Beach Cleanup at Island Beach State Park
- Christmas 2017 Thought I would add these pics to round out the year.
A Few Gratitudes
- Despite MANY doctor’s and dentist’s appointments with mom and dad (and lots of “daily emergencies,” there have been no new serious illnesses.
- Marvel survived both the long drive and six months living in one little room. She still has kidney disease, cataracts, arthritis and a bit of “kitty dementia”, but she still loves to snuggle and purr. In fact, she would prefer I do nothing but hold her all day.
- Several trips to the beach. I had hoped to get myself to the beach at least once a week, but that hasn’t happened. Still, every walk along the ocean and every moment spent listening to the waves gives me some peace. We even managed to get Dad down to the beach late in the Fall 2016. That’s Barnegat Lighthouse behind them in the slideshow below.
- Of course I have to mention my joy when the CHICAGO CUBS WON THE 2016 WORLD SERIES!!!!!!! (We don’t mention anything else that happened in November 2016.)
The year also included lots of gluten-free, dairy-free, baking and cooking . . . but I’ll summarize that in a separate post.