Our 2016 Summary at Christmas Time

A New Tradition?

Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

In the olden days, many folks would send Christmas Cards (remember those?) and include a one or two page summary of how wonderful their year had been.  These were joked about sometimes, but appreciated as well, particularly for once-a-year correspondents.  Nowadays, with 24-7-365 email, Facebook, Twitter, etc, mailed cards and annual summaries seem quaint, slow, and old news.  Maybe. Nevertheless, I miss the custom, both as a receiver and a sender.

Our solution is this web page "letter", linkable by emails, or Facebook postings, or simple internet navigation.  I suppose, I could just say: "Look at the three-dozen 2016 diaries at Trotter.ws", but even I would not find that inviting. This compromise is a 2016 Trotter Diary index, organized as a traditional annual Christmas summary, focussed on family and friends, both at home in Fresno and away. 

Fresno Home Events - Family and Friends

The clear winner in family visitors would be Mamo (aka Magdalena).  In her 97th year, she remains an interesting and fun visitor.  We saw her essentially every week in 2016, often at family meals and patio dining (Early February, February too, MarchMid July, Late July, September, October, November).  We worked in a visit to ArtHop, a luncheon of her friends, as well as day trips to Tanaya in Yosemite, through a Japanese Garden, to a stone fruit fair, and for wine tasting over at Cardella. She also joined us on a more ambitious overnight up at Yosemite's Wawona hotel.  We all went to the Hungarian gathering in October and Marianne brought her to the group's Christmas Luncheon.   We just had a Sunday drive up to Yosemite and her December 23rd birthday is in the offing as I write. (More links later.)

As grandparents, some of our favorite visitors are small treasures (or, in Rich's case, not-so-small).  2016 was a bonus year for us, since all five grandkids and their moms and dads visited us.  In July, Rich and family flew over from Longmont and we packed in a full set of tourist visits.  The next month, Sean and Ryan brought parents Geoff and Suzanne over for their tour of Fresno attractions.  Of course, our least-distant grandkids, Ava and Sam, brought Gabby three times, an advantage of the "short" three-hour drive.  (February, June,  November)

Our other family visit came from Tom and Kate, as a follow up to a bluegrass gig Tom had out in Newman.

Friend visits were limited in 2016, but Claudia did manage to stop by before she and Marianne headed out to their Santa Catalina school reunion in Santa Barbara.  We hope this category of visitors expands next year.  Hint.  Hint.

I do need to mention our neighborhood friends.  In warm weather, we gather on neighbors' porches as often as we can and there are special events from time to time.  This year, those included a Korean ribs dinner, a gradation, the FSU swim team fund raiser, a pizza BBQ, a pot luck BBQ, and an impromptu gathering or two or three or four on "The Commons".  As I write, we still have two more neighborhood events on the 2016 schedule: Towerys' Open House and a Middletons' hosting of a Welcome-to-the-Neighborhood for our newest neighbors.

Visits to Family and Friends

Our only 2016 travel was local, or almost-local.  This may have been the first year in almost a half century that I did not board a single airplane.  In February, we visited Claudia and Ward up in Carson City, Nevada.  We also joined Tom and Kate in Newman, CA, for a bluegrass gig.  In June, we visited Connie in Bend, Oregon.  All were visits to new places for Marianne and me so we haven't completley lost the discovery of travel.  In October, we visited old fraternity buddies at an annual gathering in Livermore.  We recorded a couple trips over to Monterey, a well-worn destination, to see Klare or Chris and family.  (March, September).

Of course, our most frequent family trips were over to Monte Sereno in the San Francisco Bay Area to see Gabby, Mamal, Ava, and Sam.  Always fun, except for the September trip when Marianne and Gabby managed to both be sick at the same time.  (January, March, May, August, September).  A couple of times, we have used our trips to the Bay Area to see Melinda and Scott (January, May) whom we hope to meet again at their place in Nuremberg!

Other Travel

Last but not least, we have managed to work in short trips to a half-dozen attractions, mostly here in California.  Here's our list, in case you want to visit these places too and need our insights.  Just give us a call!  It is fun for me to remember the places we did manage to visit, even in a year with limited travel.

-- Yosemite was our most popular destination, except in the crowded summer! (January, MarchMay, October, November.)
-- Kings Canyon, a closer Sierras destination (April, September)
-- Northern Sierras, Outside Carson City (February)
-- Cambria and nearby (March, August, November)
-- Pinnacles National Park (August)
-- Merced and San Louis National Wildlife Refuges (October, November)
-- Big Fresno Fair (October)
-- Ashland, Crater Lake, Bend, and Klamath Falls, Oregon (June)
-- San Juan Bautista (September)

NEXT year, we will add more exotic places, I guarantee it.  (Hint: Florida and Cuba are on our 2017 agenda.)

With that 2016 summary, we wish everyone, especially family and friends, peace and happiness in 2017.  For us, our goal will be to increase all the events recorded above; visits with family, visits with friends, and travel to both new and known places.

Happy New Year!!

John and Marianne