Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year it’s back to the calendar year format.  It helps me get organized a little easier and hopefully makes a little more sense to you folks reading.  Here’s 2011 in review.

January – During the 2010 Christmas season we followed the Eastern Washington University (EWU) football team’s success as they won the playoff games necessary to play in the Division I National Championship game against the University of Delaware (the mighty “Blue Hens”).  The game was played on January 6th in Frisco, Texas.  So, Tim (the current EWU student), Lynn (the EWU alumnus) and Dave (who has the same last name as the city of EWU) flew to Dallas the day before the big game.  We spent the night in Dallas, then toured Daley Plaza, the JFK memorial and various other sites of interest before heading to the “Screaming Eagles” tailgating pre-game party.  After gathering our requisite EWU pom-poms, headbands and other paraphernalia we headed into Pizza Hut Stadium (yes, that’s the real name).  The first half was painful as the Blue Hens controlled the game, going up 19 – 0.  But just as the third quarter ended the Eagles scored their first touchdown.  And then another in the fourth quarter and finally the winning touchdown with minutes to go.  Some stout defense and it was over with the final score of 20 - 19 and the Eagles crowned national champions.  Probably a once in a lifetime moment for us.  Backing up a bit, we spent the New Year’s with our friends Kevin and Heather McLaughlin in Lebanon, Oregon.  This has been our tradition for several years and is always a great time.  And after the EWU football trip we said farewell to Kimberly as she headed off to finish her nursing degree at the University of Portland (U of P).

February – Almost as soon as Kim was settled we had a chance to visit her for the junior students parent’s weekend.  Although it was a quick trip we had a great time seeing her new dorm and the college campus, as well as learning a bit more about her school and nursing program.  We came home very happy with her situation.  Then we took a trip with Lynn’s brother (Frank) and sister-in-law (Esther) to Canada.  We took the train from Edmonds to Vancouver, spent the night in Vancouver, then rented a car and drove to Abbottsford to visit with aunts, an uncle and bunches of cousins.  They always make us feel so welcome and we laugh until our stomach’s hurt.  This year’s trip was highlighted by Uncle Jack sharing the family “secret” of Uncle Timmy.

April – After the fun visit in February we had the chance to return to Abbottsford in April with Dave’s parents (Frank and Judy) for Lynn’s aunt Doll’s 90th birthday.  Another chance to visit relatives and friends and a great party but the best part was the smile on aunt Doll’s face as Lynn sang her self-penned rendition of “Happy Birthday, Dolly” to the tune of “Hello Dolly”.  At the end of April we had the privilege of helping Erin and Jessica move into a new townhouse that they purchased.  It is a beautiful three level, three bedroom townhouse and sure beats the starter houses that we remember.

May – Since they had the great location, Erin and Jess hosted the Mother’s Day brunch with all the kids present.  That is the top picture in our Christmas card this year and was taken using Tim’s camera (Dave at the shutter, hence not in the picture).  Tim has really gotten into photography, finding great deals on equipment on eBay and constantly learning about the hardware and software.  We thought this was a great shot of everybody (without any technological touch-up).

July – We started the 4th of July weekend singing with Buck and Elizabeth at the Thousand Trails in Bow, Washington.  After spending the night at a nearby hotel (and casino) we headed to our boat where Kim joined us for a day of sailing before watching the fireworks show from the marina.  During our time on the boat Tim headed to Sweden (via Iceland) for the Herräng Dance Camp.  This is an international dance festival focusing on Lindy Hop and swing dancing (one of Tim’s passions and skills).  He and his friend Eric spent a week volunteering and then a week attending classes and dances.  And while he was gone we headed to Portland in a U-Haul with most of Kim’s remaining stuff from our house as she moved from the dormitory to a rental house near campus with three other nursing students to continue her studies.  Then we got ready for a weeklong vacation on the boat.  But, first a fall in the driveway for Dave and a visit to the doctor the day before vacation to confirm a broken pinky finger on his left hand.  Good news, no surgery.  Bad news, a cast for 4+ weeks to immobilize the bones.  But, bound and determined we headed to the boat the next day to start vacation figuring we could make things work.  First night out and we anchored in nearby Eagle Bay.  Then the next day started sunny and a nice breeze so we started motoring our way out of the bay only to have the motor stop.  We threw up the sails to have some control over the boat while Dave messed with the motor and fuel lines with no success.  Given the options of heading further out with no facilities to help us or turning around we decided to call Dave’s uncle (Uncle Dave – he lives in Anacortes) and he agreed to bring his boat out and meet us on our way back in since the wind would probably end before we made the harbor.  He was a life saver as he towed us in to the marina, helped us park the boat and dinghy and then had us up to his house for some great salmon chowder.  The next morning he helped us replace the spark plugs on the outboard and we were good to go.  But, we decided to take it a little easier as perhaps fate was trying to give us a message.  Instead of heading out on the boat we spent several relaxing days in Anacortes (including a daily trip to happy hour at the new Anthony’s) and then headed to Deer Harbor to celebrate our 6th anniversary.  And while we were there we were visited by our friends Jerry and Mary Anne as they returned from some time in Canada on their boat.  Despite the revised vacation plans we had a great time together, as always.

August – During July Dave’s mom (Judy) went to the emergency room with stomach discomfort.  After numerous tests it was determined she had an aggressive cancer growing in her abdomen.  Having just passed nearly five years since having colo-rectal cancer this was a shock to all of us.  Due to the aggressive nature they scheduled surgery to remove the tumor and discovered stage four cancer as it was spread throughout her stomach.  After removing all they could via surgery they began chemotherapy while she was still in the hospital.  This was the beginning of a cycle of six chemo treatments three weeks apart that ended just before Thanksgiving.  In the middle of all this we did make a quick trip to Selah for Lynn’s high school reunion where she sang numerous #1 hits from 1971.  What a great year for music (check it out).  And we had a visit from Kevin and Heather who joined us and Ben for a sailing and crabbing day in Anacortes.

September – During our extra time in Anacortes during our July vacation we spotted a larger sailboat.  So, we sold our 27’ Catalina and purchased a 30’ Hunter on Labor Day weekend (that’s the other picture in our card).  It seems we’ve hit the luxury world as we now have hot and cold pressurized water, forced air cabin heat, an oven, a shower and an inboard diesel motor.  Now we hope to visit the boat year round as it will be our “cabin on the water”, useful for a getaway when necessary.  And the first people to join us for a sailing and crabbing trip were Lynn’s brother (John) and his wife (Linda) who visited us from Sacramento, California.  A beautiful day, tasty crab and a great time together.  And we also had a visit from our good friend Dick Morrison on his way back from Alaska to Florida.

October – Lynn and her girls (Erin and Jessica) headed to Oregon to visit Kim for a weekend and had a great time seeing the sights, shopping and stimulating the local economy.

November – Another annual tradition continued as Frank and Esther came to Seattle for us to attend a holiday performance at the Fifth Avenue Theater.  This year was Cinderella and it was (as usual) very well done.

December – Judy finished her chemo and received test results confirming no further growth of the remaining tumor.  This provided a welcome break from treatments for the holidays.  But now it was Dave’s dad’s turn (Frank).  He was diagnosed with an electrical issue in his heart causing it to beat incorrectly.  Due to modern technology they have a solution and on December 7th he had an implant to regulate his heart and shock him if necessary.  After a two and one-half hour surgery he was taken to his hospital room, monitored overnight and then discharged before 10:00 the next morning.  So far so good and he is feeling better already.  Now it’s time for Christmas.  The kids who are still in school are on break (and home) and there’s a bunch of presents under the tree.  A few more days of work and then we look forward to celebrating Dave’s parents’ 51st wedding anniversary, singing at church on Christmas Eve and then dinner with all the kids on Christmas.  Then a few more days at work and on the train to see Kevin and Heather again to celebrate New Year’s.  Then we start all over again and we’re looking forward to a better 2012 for everyone.

Miscellaneous – A few things that didn’t quite fit in a single month (or I can’t remember which month) so here they are.  Ben got a new job at SpeakEasy/MegaPath and was quoted in the Seattle Times concerning the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Always good to have a famous person in the family.  His wife (Jennifer) is in the respiratory program at Seattle Central Community College and will graduate in 2012.  Although often tired from working full time and attending classes and doing clinical rotations as part of the program she is always excited about what she is learning and we look forward to her next milestone.  And also on the job front, Erin left Gene Juarez after five plus years and began work at the PolyClinic in Ballard.  Jess remains at Ben Bridge, Tim is working at Best Buy while finishing his degree, Lynn is President-elect of her Rotary Club (she will take office in July 2012) and we still have our same jobs (plus our dog and cat).

As always, our door is always open for visitors and we look forward to a few travels in 2012 so perhaps we’ll cross paths either in Edmonds, around Seattle, in Anacortes or ??

Merry Christmas to all and here’s to the New Year!

Dave and Lynn