Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 2012

Twas a few weeks before Christmas and the Seahawks were playing…time for the annual Christmas letter and this year has some great highs and lows.

The year started with the arrival of Dave’s first great-niece (Ariana). She is the first great-grandchild for Dave’s parents and was a welcome celebration as Dave’s mom was continuing to battle cancer and was taking a break for the holidays from her chemotherapy. Unfortunately the battle was lost on April 1st of this year as Judy went to her eternal home. A painful loss for us but an end to the pain for mom. And what a reunion there must have been with her parents and friends who have gone on before.

We left right after the memorial service to attend the Rotary district conference in April as Lynn became the president of her Rotary club in July. It was a great trip with surprisingly good weather for April and a nice escape for a couple of days while Lynn attended workshops and made new connections that will be helpful going forward.

Next came college graduation time. We started with a trip to Portland in May. Erin, Jess and Tim joined us as we attended two days of ceremonies as Kimberly received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Portland and had her pinning ceremony. We are so proud of her. Then came Tim’s graduation in June from Eastern Washington University (Lynn’s alma mater and the 2010 FCS football champions). He attended classes on-line and in Bellevue so the commencement was the first time he had set foot on the campus. And during the week before the ceremony he was offered a full time job as a staff accountant for Ascentis Corporation. Quite an accomplishment in these economic times. And during the same weekend, our daughter-in-law Jennifer graduated from Seattle Central Community College as a registered respiratory therapist. So we have two family members in the medical field.

On our trip to Cheney, Washington to attend Tim’s graduation, we returned by way of Selah for Lynn to sing in the Sunday morning service of the Selah United Methodist Church. This is where she grew up and folks were so happy to see and hear her. We also got to spend time with her nephew, Frank, and his family plus his mother, Sandy, and her husband Dan. And at the end of June we visited the relatives in Abbottsford, Canada to honor uncle Jack and aunt Jean on their wedding anniversary. We would never imply that they have been married for a really long time, but they might have registered with the Hudson’s Bay Company when they were still a fort collecting animal pelts and trading with the First Nations.

Along came July and some more changes. First, Kim moved back home to do her capstone (internship) at the University of Washington Hospital. Then Lynn officially retired on July 27th. We had several celebrations honoring her years of accomplishments and all the people she positively impacted in her career. The very next day we left for a week on our sailboat in the San Juan Islands with our friends Kevin and Heather. Imagine, 7 days, 30 feet of boat, 4 people who all remained friends and are already planning for next year. That’s some good times!

In August we were joined by Lynn’s brother and sister-in-law Frank and Esther and her other brother John so we could travel to the first Rowland family reunion in New Westminster, British Columbia. We met and re-met cousins and nieces, nephews and other family members. Funny stories, great food and drink and planning is already underway for the next annual gathering.

In September we took advantage of a special deal that allowed us to bring the boat to Seattle for the month to the Elliot Bay Marina. It was an Indian summer with little rainfall and a beautiful marina and we had great times with many friends and family joining us for afternoon and weekend trips on the water. Beautiful sunsets highlighted these special times and magnificent views of our gorgeous city from a different perspective.

Along came October and more changes. Timothy moved out with a buddy to his own apartment in Seattle to be closer to work and dancing (and perhaps his girlfriend Meghan). Kimberly passed her nursing boards and began working at the University of Washington Hospital as a full time RN. And Jennifer began working full time as a respiratory therapist at the University of Washington Hospital.

So to celebrate all these accomplishments, we spent a week in the Mexican Riviera Maya at a beautiful resort, joined by Erin, Jess, Kim and Tim (see Christmas card photo). A week of sunshine (all but one day), some sightseeing, lots of spa time, food, drink, dancing, swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, volleyball. Almost tiring thinking of all this activity but it really was a relaxing trip.

We had a wonderful family Thanksgiving and then continued our annual Christmas tradition as we went with Frank and Esther to the Fifth Avenue presentation of “Elf – the Musical” and then were joined for dinner by their son Mark. This did help to ease the pain of the Apple Cup results, nothing else to be said about that. But we did have a greater than usual interest in the Huskies this year as we purchased season tickets and made it to five of the six games. Two unbelievable wins over ranked teams, first Stanford and then Oregon State. We yelled ourselves hoarse.

As to standard news updates, we are still singing at church, together at other events and with Buck and Elizabeth as the Second Edition. Everyone is working (except Lynn who is reaping the benefits of years of hard work) and healthy. We will end the year the same way we started this one (and have for multiple years now) by journeying via train to Albany, Oregon and celebrating the New Year with Kevin and Heather. Then we have to begin planning and packing for a Rotary trip to Belize in February to build houses and help in an orphanage. And who knows what else the next year will hold.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our house to yours!

Dave and Lynn