We had a nice year, including some great travel to Disney and to the Netherlands where we visited extended family and went to Efteling. We also went to the Cape with family. The kids continue to enjoy swimming. T. is almost good enough to be allowed to use the diving board/well without someone being in the water with him.
By hiring someone else (many thanks to D!) to do all the actual work, the inside of our house is now completely painted. It previously only had builders' paint -- when the walls got marked up, there was no way to clean them. Now, in addition to happy colors in every room (and two closets), we can clean marks off the wall. It's the little things that count. Also, the front door is now purple! It matches my hair.
T. is starting to sight read, and spends a lot of time asking people to spell words for him. We've started turning the questions around on him, and he can spell some words out loud ("day" was one of the first).
We enjoyed a big Thanksgiving dinner at R.'s sister's house: 17 people, if I counted correctly. Everyone was so nice to the kids, and the kids had a really good time. They even sat (briefly) at the dinner table. It's so nice that they can both talk to their extended family and enjoy doing so, and so rewarding that the extended family has remained patient and connected to enjoy this as well.
T. has developed some new social routines. He particularly enjoys his good night call with his Aunt, Uncle and 2 cousins. Because we often vacation together, they are close in age, and have many character traits and interests in common, T., A. and their cousins are building friendly relationships that we hope will last for decades to come.
I continue to walk most days of the week with my walking partner, and every year that goes by I am more thankful to have her in my life. She always finds a way to say in a few words what I somehow cannot manage to get across even in many. I am also thankful for my (ex-)girlfriend/High Priestess R.'s continued presence in my life, and her willingness to share her adventures with me so I can live a little bit vicariously in her continuous search for (more) wisdom and joy. My sister R. has been a wonderful emotional support and sanity check for me, when unexpected things happen, particularly when they involve the school system or health care providers.
We are looking forward to next year. R. and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage, 50 years of life for him and 45 for me.
And I want to thank everyone who reads this blog, here or on FB, and maintains contact (however distant) with me, despite my many moves and generally not-very-sociable nature. Your interest in what I think about and write about is always valued by me -- even if what I express comes out as cantankerous. Thanks for being willing to try to understand what I meant.