Dear Friends and family,
It is Christmas Eve, it is snowing, Lili is baking in the kitchen and I wanted to take an opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and prosperous New Year. Lili and I traveled to Portland, Oregon for Christmas to be near Jo, who has to work Christmas Eve. A good friend, Kim, came along with us. It is a girl’s weekend this year. Here is Lili in the snow.
Yesterday we went to Powell’s books, a block wide store of books, new and used. It was a couple of hours of entertainment for all of us and we all got Christmas Eve books (a new tradition from last year). Today we will be making lefse and Swedish meatballs for dinner. The lefse is a tradition from my Norwegian grandmother, Mabel Bjerkness. She would make lefse and lutefisk for dinner every Christmas eve for all the family.
The good news is I have a place to live in Ashland, Oregon. I am still in the process of getting settled. It is a newly remodeled duplex with great light and views in a great neighborhood. The lower half will be occupied by a couple arriving in January from Flagstaff. It is interesting to see all my things again after almost 10 months in storage. I am continuing to thin my belongings down to fit in a two bedroom, two bath house with no garage. The wonderful part is that my new neighbors are friendly and known to my friends. I am going to have community in a very compatible way. Amazing how things work out.
The hard part is that the same day this month I was able to finalize this wonderful place to live, a good friend and Kim’s husband, Ken, had a major heart attack. He died a week later, never having regained consciousness. It felt like emotional whiplash, to go from so excited about the house to shock and grief with the loss of Ken. We are pleased that Kim chose to come with us for the holiday weekend. Kim, Ken and I have been friends for about 40 years.
The year of 2017 has been one of tremendous change, new friends and new experiences for me. I am so glad I took the opportunity to travel and explore different forms of community on my way to Oregon. I met many helpful and generous people all over the world. I enjoyed visiting the homes of friends both new and old, and meeting their families in Greece, Bulgaria, France, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I learned that there are many, many more considerate, kind, accommodating people than bad. I found the perfect place to live, but I had to be patient and hold the good dream, even though I had no idea how it could manifest.
I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring to my life. I wish you and yours light and love in the new year.