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Christmas Past

It’s been a very quiet Christmas. We changed plans of visiting friends this afternoon, and we weren’t going to travel anywhere for a while. So, the Packers and Browns have to entertain us.

I have been digging around in the old photo albums and decided to digitize many of them. Today is a perfect chance to share a few of those. And to remember.

I have also been spending time rummaging around on Ancestry and adding pictures from our boxes in the attic.

I think this one below was from my second Christmas.

At my mom’s parents. We lived with them while my granddad was ill but this picture was a year before that. I was the first grandchild.

I am still cataloging the boxes with my husband’s early pictures but found one of him and his younger sister.

I can tell you some of those train garden houses under their tree are in my attic 60 years later.

We spent most Christmases in PA with my mother in law, but still had family get togethers at my parents when we returned home to exchange presents. I remember years of the tree being in the basement rec room. And us swapping gifts with everyone down there.

My mom loved to get us lots of little things to open. Christmas really was a big deal for her, and we reaped the rewards of her shopping for us. We moved it all up into the living room as they got older and our families grew.

My kitchen has many items she bought us. She brought things home from trips and outlet visits for most of the year and had them wrapped months in advance.

I miss my mom. Christmas just isn’t the same.

And I miss my dad. I found this picture from Christmas sometime in the 1980’s when they still had Jake, their husky.

This was typical Jake pouting and pretending that he wasn’t being talked to. He was the sweetest, gentlest dog who let us live with him in his kingdom for 14 years. But he could be so stubborn and would let us know his feelings with his distinctive husky vocalizing.

Yeah, the holidays are tougher when you get older and lose family and friends. I feel for those going through this as their first Christmas after losing a loved one.

We all just need to hang in there and hope for a better 2022. So that our Christmas futures can all be brighter.

Dad’s Day

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It has been 18 years since I lost my dad. Every Father’s Day for me is hard because he was a very special person. He believed in me and encouraged me.

I was digging through old photographs today while cleaning up my “Peter Rabbit Room”. It’s what a friend calls that spare room full of stuff. I found one of our Alaska pictures. Probably the last time I had my picture taken with my dad, in Ketchikan.

My dad had been to every state but Alaska. It was my parents’ 50th anniversary and my friend and I went with them to help them navigate their first cruise, and a trip to celebrate that milestone.

It was special for me to watch their joy at seeing glaciers and whales.

I was the first grandchild on both sides of my family. I don’t think there was a person who didn’t hold me for pictures. But this one, of my dad with me for my first Easter shows all that happiness.

The first and the last. This was my first Easter in 1953 when I was just over 3 months old.

The Alaska trip pictures were my last ones with my dad, who passed away 2 1/2 years later.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. Miss you.

Celebrations

So today my husband turned seventy. Yep, seventy!

Old enough to be labeled on social media as Boomers. Questioning our computer skills, even though he spent twenty five years running the computer lab at APL, making sure all those Masters’ candidates didn’t fry the hardware while doing their lab projects.

We used to program data collection systems in machine language for the Navy, so yeah, we can program our iPhones.

Now, I made a simple extravagant dinner at home. A combination of local and favorite items. Lobster and cake from Harris Teeter. Filet mignon from Boarman’s. Bubbly from The Wine Bin. A beautiful super Tuscan given to him five years ago by an old friend.

The hits of the evening were the lobster and the Tignanello.

This dinner was simple to make. Steam the lobster. Fry the steaks. Open the wines. Make a salad.

Enjoy a leisurely dinner and watch a good movie.

Happy 70th to my best friend, my hubby.

The Art of Stewardship

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All Things Round.

This year’s theme for the juried art show at the Howard County Conservancy.

At the auction on the 19th of April, you may find yourself in a bidding war with me for this piece. This porcelain disk with spirals is stunning in its simplicity. It is an eye catcher when you walk in the room. As are quite a few other pieces.

The details in some of the paintings:

Greg Mort, one of the judges, has a few pieces for sale in the show as well. He will be signing his books at the auction, as will Anne Raver, garden columnist for the New York Times, another of the judges. The third judge, Rebecca Hoffberger, is well known in the area as the founder and director of the Anerican Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

On Wednesdays through Saturdays, when the Conservancy is open to the public, anyone may wander around the Gudelsky Gallery and look at the art from now until April 19th when the auction takes place and the winners are announced. On the 19th, for $10, a wine and cheese reception is open to all who wish to bid, or just take in the art with the artists present to talk about their work. Many of the artists are local, and if you like their style, you may end up finding a source to add locally produced art to your home.

The art show is one of the recurring programs that the Conservancy holds. At least once a month, there is always something going on at the site on Rte. 99 in Woodstock.

If you want to take a walk on a lovely spring day, and stop in to view the art, it is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. The Conservancy hours are 9-3 Wed-Sat. Call in advance to confirm that no organization is holding a meeting in the Gallery when you want to visit. The grounds are open during daylight hours for those wanting to wander the gardens and grounds.

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