Dear friends and family,
I hope your year has been as full of good surprises and small challenges as mine has. I’ve lived here in Gearhart, on the north Oregon coast, for almost 18 months and have enjoyed nearly every minute.
I’ve made many new friends through the groups I’ve joined: the North Coast Land Conservancy, the Pacific UU Fellowship, the continuing education program of Clatsop Community College (ENCORE), and the Angora Hiking Club. In addition, there’s a group of local Gearhart residents who gather for coffee at the local coffee shop/bakery in town and I’ve attained “regular” status, meaning that when I walk in the door in the morning, John the proprietor has my cuppa already poured.
There have been a few big events during the year, most notably the 12 day Scandinavian cruise that my sister and I took in September, visiting our ancestral lands. Our mother Mona Larson Ketcham was Norwegian and Swedish and we loved seeing the countries where her parents were born, bringing home a few souvenirs and many photographs and memories. I’d love to go back for a few months and travel more extensively in Norway and Sweden. We spent three days in Norway, one in Sweden, and also visited the Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland. So much to see with so little time!
Another much-anticipated event was my 50th Linfield College reunion, for which I served on the planning committee and as the emcee for the big banquet. So much fun to see those college friends again and renew those connections, this time as adults!
My generally strong health helped me weather a couple of health situations: three weeks worth of shingles in the spring and five months of trying to get the retina in my right eye to behave itself. I’d had a shingles shot, so that experience was pretty easy, though I swallowed a lot of ibuprofen! It has taken five surgeries to tame the recalcitrant retina and I’m hopeful that it’s healed for good now. It just kept detaching and the docs at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland kept patching it back together until now it’s pretty well healed up. (Knock on wood!)
I’m looking forward to the new year, when I’ll be leading a couple of classes for the ENCORE group; one is Science Exchange, where attendees bring science news to share, and the other is Life Experience, where attendees share the wisdom they’ve accumulated over their years of life.
I’ve been serving the Pacific UU Fellowship on a very parttime basis, offering them pastoral care and preaching once a month and will continue that service for the foreseeable future. The Call never goes away!
I hope the year to come will be as enjoyable as this one has been and I wish you the very happiest of New Years yourself!