So, hello there family and friends. It's the first Sunday of Advent, and I'm actually going to write you an update of our year for Christmas this year. Wow! When was the last time I did that? I'm feeling awfully conformist just now, but I hope to get over it.
Possibly you follow my blog or you read my facebook posts and you know much of what's contained in this post. If so, my apologies. I will try really hard not to repeat things I've said in the past, because, well, read my blog. jensentresbien.blogspot.com.
Life has been busy and interesting this year, to say the least. We've had the good fortune to have pretty much only good news to share.
David's dad finally moved out of his ginormous big house this year, and we started the year gathering with the rest of the Jensen clan to divide up as much of three generations of stuff as we could. I told David we had to keep the take to a minimum, and we did, relatively speaking. We acquired a mere 12 boxes of books about hiking/travel, for which we had to get a new bookcase. Thank goodness the girls have moved out, because their room is fast being filled with all books that enter our house. At various times, one or more of Les's four children were in Ashland during the first few months of the year, helping sort through a lifetime of stuff. In the end, three--yes, three--storage units were rented and Les moved into a condo. One of the nicest things we got was a lovely set of china that belonged to David's great grandmother. We've never had a set of china before, so this is a treat. The children were not enthralled by spending a week of their lives being dragged to Ashland to sit around and watch their elders negotiate family heirlooms, but they acted like troopers anyway. Melissa said that since she is the eldest of her generation, when we all die she plans to throw it all away. I told her to go for it. This whole thing has inspired me to begin massively paring down, especially the paper monster that occupies our lives. I say "inspired" because I have yet to actually take any action.
|Boy Scouts on snowshoeing weekend in February. Peter is third from the left.|
|Peter at high adventure camp in the Tetons|
|Peter in Disneyland with friends from|
Epworth Chorale, the church youth choir.
He's the one with the hat.
|Emily with her flight instructor, Rick, after she soloed|
|Emily's crazy cat, Luna|
|Emily loved seeing the Spruce Goose in Oregon |
on a girls only trip with Neysa and Melissa
|Melissa on the right with her friend Ashley, making cookies|
|Melissa's "favorite place in the world" at Cape Blanco, Oregon|
|Melissa at the Oregon coast on our girls only trip|
|Spent an August afternoon here with my girls|
I took one bagpipe lesson, have practiced bagpipes approximately twice, and do plan to keep at it. It's not the highest thing on my list of priorities, but I just decided about a year ago that it would be a fun instrument to learn. It's very hard, because many of the flute/recorder techniques are diametrically different on bagpipes--you don't tongue, your fingers must be straight, for example. I did learn alto recorder this year, thanks to weekly sessions with my friend Pam. Now we aim to learn bass recorder.
|Neysa at Glen Falls High Sierra Camp in Yosemite.|
How I do love a waterfall.
I find myself spending more and more time being happy and worrying less about what others think of me, whether I'm measuring up, or weather I'm getting it right. The older I get, the less I care about inconsequential stuff like that, and I care more about justice in the world, making a statement, having some sort of positive impact.
|David in Yosemite|
|David and Neysa at the beginning of three days of backpacking in Yosemite|
The interesting lessons of this year for me have been how really strong I am physically, and how much I love hiking. No surprise really--I did spend most of my childhood scrambling around the hills at Wind Cave and at my parents' ranch. My travels around the western U.S. have affirmed to me that Boise is my true home. I could not ask for a better suited place to live. There are many beautiful spots in this amazing world, and this one is mine.
|John Muir and I agree that God is in the mountaintops. |
This is the view I woke up to on my 50th birthday. May Lake.