Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,
It's been a couple of weeks since I wrote. Despite that time, not much reportable has been happening. Maybe that's the message: we've settled into a very quiet routine and that's not all bad.
Marianne has art and her visits with local friends. I visit with Vern, call Ted, clean the garden, and work on puzzles. (This last one was particularly challenging.) We both do the exercise we need, despite it getting gradually tougher. Maybe with discipline, we can stay strong enough to do what we want. Good so far.
Our health is good ... good enough. Marianne's elephant-in-the-room is as gone as it could be. The thing with cancer is that recurrence looms in the shadows and new aches and pains become just that much more worrisome. Meanwhile, we succeed in avoiding Covid, respiratory flu, falls, and all the other things.
Carla is still in the Portland hospital, but getting better. New parts have been painted and re-installed. The hope is that we will be a two-car family again for Christmas. We'll see.
Our monthly Zoom with cousins happened on the 3rd. Tim was home in San Francisco organizing things before he heads back to his new home town - Lisbon. Marianne and I are jealous of his pending European life, but I detected a bit of concern in his own voice. It sounds like he is right on time for the what-have-I-done moment all ex-pats go though.
Our other activity has been Christmas decorating. We started the Advent Candle process a bit late, but it's a small concession to our Catholic upbringing. The ceremony is a bit somber, with prayers for world peace, starting with Ukraine. It is hard for us to imagine how our old Eastern European home will make it through the winter.
We are sticking with a real tree, although this year's edition was a bit dry already. I think most of our friends have moved on to artificial trees, but we remain traditionalists. How about you?
Most of the rest of our decorations are in the living room, making it a very seasonal oasis. You should visit!
All three of our German creche's came out this year.
And there were a few lights out on Cambridge Avenue.
Our other Christmas tradition is sending Marianne-created Christmas cards. This year we added a selfy picture, just to document that we are still around. Remember to send a note back so we can complete this annual update.
So now all we need to do is wait around for Christmas.
John and Marianne.
ps: Carla is almost done and should be shipped from Portland to Fresno next week, in time to show up under the Christmas tree!