Greetings and salutations from an unseasonably warm Maine! I am getting close to missing the Christmas season, but … here is a re-cap of the highlights of 2015. Let’s travel in reverse order:
Elf Weekend – December 11-13. Now in its fifth year, “Elves” was an uproarious success, with Catherine, Tommy, Thomas, Inae and, from across the pond, my sister Annie and her hubby, Chris. We felled our previously-tagged tree in a local Christmas tree farm, a holding that has been in the owner’s family for over two centuries (though farming Christmas trees is a new venture). We have made such a ‘splash’ that you can now see us featured on the Old Christmas Tree Farm website; news is in short supply in Cape Elizabeth! They now expect us every year, and we do not desist from bringing good cheer and unabashed silliness to bear! This year’s elves had a definite purposefulness in their gait. See them striding up the hill à la Katchaturian, though the Montagues and Capulets are superseded by determined Elves!
The highlight of the weekend, however, was Thomas’s successful proposal to Inae. Here is the happy couple on the left, err…, or on the right? You decide. They do not have definite dates/locations, but a late autumn, Maine event may be in the works. Stay tuned!
October, 2015 After my quick trip to San Diego for a college counseling conference (lovely sunny place; wouldn’t want to live there), and a paddle in the Pacific Ocean, I joined David in singing the Berlioz Te Deum with the Portland Symphony.
September, 2015 saw the beginning of school, another shift of focus in my work at Waynflete: less classroom teaching and more college counseling, oh, and a new title for me – Associate Director of College Counseling:). September also brought an ending of a chapter in family traditions. Buzzie, David’s mum moved from New Hampshire to Vermont – from Lake Wentworth to Lake Champlain. Here are Buzzie, Marilyn, and yours truly sorting and cavorting:
David’s lovely photos taken over Lake Wentworth one autumnal evening seem an apt pictoral farewell to a place that was the backdrop to years of family gathering and vivid displays of natural beauty…
And while we are on the topic of moving and transitions, Thomas and Inae moved from their Queen’s NY apartment (adequate, but dark and damp) to…well…a rather spectacular apartment in Long Island City, just across the East River from Manhattan. They needed enough income to pay the rent, but not too much to surpass the rent abatement cap. So, now they have a relatively moderate (for NY) rented apartment with a multi-million dollar view, long may it last:))
August, 2015 We had a gathering of the clans, including Chris from the sunny UK, in New Hampshire in mid August, a lovely respite before the yawning imminence of another academic year. One of our favourite dinner dishes is my Paella – a strong link that I keep with my love of things Spanish. Not bad, hey? ¡Buen provecho!, they say, and we did!
June, 2015 School was no sooner out than I was off to Tacoma, Washington, to attend a conference at the University of Puget Sound. It was a gob-smackingly beautiful spot, an excellent conference, and a source of new friends, Tim and Hank, who then met up with us a month later during their visit to Maine. The real high point of June was our trip to the North Fork of Long Island to spend a long weekend with Catherine, Tommy, Thomas, and Inae, imbibing the fine wines of this most unlikely of viniculture regions. This was our Christmas present to them and to ourselves, given that we do not need more things, but rather more time with family.
April, 2015 This was a month of travels: to Washington DC to see our dear friends, Frank and Kathy, now happily ensconced within the city limits of Washington, not too far from Georgetown University, versus commuting from the ‘burbs. We popped up to Pennsylvania for our second cousins’ once-removed wedding, then spent two glorious spring days in DC, just happening to land on Cherry Blossom weekend: ありがとうございます Domo arigato gozaimasu, Nihon:
David et moi at Eltham Palace, Kent….and in Washington DC on Cherry Blossom Weekend. Then off to the UK to spend time with family in Kent, a cradle of English history and, somewhat idealistically, the Garden of England. Still, we had spectacular weather and went on a number of excursions with my lovely Aussie sister, Helen, and my sister-in-law, Sue. It did not hurt one bit that David and I were upgraded on BA to Business Class both ways to/from the UK – ah, one could get very used to such luxurious space; never have I asked that a flight last a few hours longer so that I can enjoy the comforts of flying! This was an ephemeral moment, I am sure, but I shall savour it until I must board a plane again!
March, 2015 The long slog through one of the snowiest winters in Maine for a long time ended with a school trip to Vieux Québec. I was one of three chaperones taking some 20 high-schools students on a French immersion weekend. They students were wonderful – engaged, gracious, solicitous, and curious; what more could one ask for from traveling companions, let alone homo adolescentitus? Here they are listening attentively to our guide, an hilarious chap, in the Martello Tower. I will make no comment on what the teachers are doing on the right…. “Corporal” punishment, redux?
January and February, 2015. “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it Snow!” may be a lovely concept during the Christmas season, but we could not find the pause button this year. We had to shovel up to four/five feet of snow off our roofs at least three times during these first two months. David on the roof, moi playing catch and pitch below. Great for the shoulder muscles, but rather taxing on the back. Then….we would snow blow/shovel our 500 foot driveway. Looking on the bright side, we do not need to invest time or money going to the gym….
Back to the Present. So closes another year of memories, transitions, ushering in 2016. We already anticipate a wedding, more sojourns to Europe, more singing with Choral Art, and never-enough time with beloved family and friends. As we head down the path to new delights, challenges, and opportunities, we send you our love and best wishes for a joyful and peaceful New Year.
Breda and David oxoxoxo
on the path through our woods.