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This shouldn’t be a surprise!

Merry Christmas! We woke to a white Christmas this morning – the first one since 2017. That shouldn’t be a surprise. After all this is the year where we’ve had the highest temperatures on record, the longest dry spell, the greatest single day rainfall and I don’t know how many other weather events. So – snow and forecast serious cold is not a surprise.

The view to the west.

Bit of snow – not too serious yet. That almost looks like a chinook arch over Cowichan Bay, but we don’t have those here!

And to finish up – here is our Christmas letter for this year. Wishing you all a 2022 of good health, good friends and good times.

Greetings to you all. In ‘The Before Times’ we would be recounting our travel adventures from the year that was. In 2021 our adventures have been more of the domestic variety. In June there was the heat dome. In a temperate climate such as ours it was rather a shock. And then in November we had a series of atmospheric rivers that threw stunning amounts of water at us. Sometimes we grumble about the constant fight against gravity that living on a hill brings, but we were very happy to watch all that water pass right by.

We made travel plans for 2021 which didn’t happen, and have made travel plans for 2022, which it looks like might not happen either. We did have visits from Sharon’s brothers this year. Sharon’s Mom continues to live independently but is considering a move closer to us in Sidney.

The garden got a lot of attention this year, which was good, as it seems like everything reacted to the combination of rain and heat with a desire to grow. If we hadn’t been on our game we fear the house might have been swallowed by vegetation!

Sharon has continued her Japanese language studies at the University of Victoria, and after several years of hard work can now communicate at the level of a kindergarten student. She figures that by the time we return to Japan she may have worked her way up to a grade school level!  がんばって!(Do your best!)

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Everything old is new again

My Instagram feed has a lot of sewing content, and lately there have been many rapturous posts with people posting about the new wonder garment, the Shacket. Yes, just what it sounds like – a combination of shirt and jacket. Now those of us who were young during the 1970’s are totally familiar with the concept of the shirt jacket. A piece of outerwear, cut like a shirt but made from a outdoor weight woolen fabric. Probably plaid. Perhaps corduroy was involved.

I submit as evidence the Stoneman family Christmas card for 1972.

That picture would have been taken in October of 1972 when we were visiting family friends in Choteau, Montana.

Being that I’m an Old Person™ I just thought ‘Aren’t those young uns and their shackets cute.’

Then I remembered. In 2018 we were packing up the Stoneman vacation home in Bigfork, Montana. The back hall closet had a whole bunch of utility coats – mostly older things that were used for yard work and such. But way in the back was a red Pendleton shirt jacket. Belonged to my Dad. It was such a nice jacket that I took it home, even though I couldn’t really imagine when I would wear such a thing – maybe in the garden.

I went looking for it and lo and behold!

A windy walk in Sidney – but I was warm in my shacket! We’ve had a lot of Big Weather here lately – you can see where I’m standing the stuff that has been thrown up from the water, across the beach, over the rocks, over the path and onto the lawn….

I guess it just goes to show that if you live long enough everything comes back around again and you can – entirely by accident – be on trend!

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Veni Vidi Vici

And another Times Colonist 10k is done and dusted.

Once again I took part of the training clinic this winter. The training is great, and it gets me out and about. Yeah Panamanianiacs! I’ve done the clinic and the 10k 7 times now. Getting older, but not faster!

I felt like I was under trained this year – life kind of got away from me for a bit. But – off I went this morning with about 8000 other souls. Perfect day for it – no rain, no sun, no wind. Cool but not cold.

Before the race:

Got myself seeded in the right place to start.

Then everyone else showed up – people behind me:

And even more people in front of me:

It took almost 7 minutes from when the starting gun sounded until I crossed the start line.

1:39 later I was done. It was a great race and I did better than I expected. Hence the happy shiny face at the finish line:

I guess it’s time to sign up for the next one – Sidney Seaside 8k in September – anyone else interested in joining me?