Dia de Tonancin
12 December 2008
Vacaville, California, USA
Betty and I are quite healthy and had a great year full of memorable events. Our daughter, Elaine, and her family, husband Matt and children Marley and Kooper, still live only a block away. Marley and Kooper still spend about 4 hours a day at our house. Betty and I take them to school, pick them up, help them with their homework, play ball, swim, and hike, climb trees and rocks and supervise many craft activities for them and many neighbor children.
We hiked Southhampton Bay shoreline and Marley and her friend, Jaycee, went for the first swim of the year in our pool mid February. We went to a Sacramento River Cats Baseball game for Kooper’s birthday in May. Marley and I had a great time kayaking Putah Creek with my good friend, Bob Langley in July. Betty and I once again helped Elaine coach Marley’s soccer team. We actually coached two teams this year. And we celebrated Marley’s birthday aboard Rob and Nancy Forest’s, Matt’s parents, boat at the Suisun Bay Yacht Club lighted boat parade.
Oliver, our youngest son, bought a house less than a mile away. I helped him build a greenhouse to keep his cactus collection in. Having at least some of our children and grandchildren so close has been a great joy to Betty and me.
Betty and I visited my cousins Louise and Lowell Smith in Chico in January. We found them enjoying life and family. We had lunch with them and their daughter and son-in-law Ruth and John Dunbar and several of their children. We took the back roads to Chico and back. The weather was stormy so we saw lots waterfowl and scenic views of wetlands. You can see some of the pictures I took at Picasa.
Later in January I made some new friends while kayaking Rancheria Creek in Mendocino County. In June I rafted the Rogue River in Oregon with these new friends and some of their friends from South Carolina, Sacramento, and Oregon, once again making some great new friends who later invited me to raft the Grand Canyon with them in November. Photos at PhotoBucket. Although I did not kayak much this year, I was able to spend more than 30 days on western rivers mostly rowing a raft.
We made several trips to Calaveras County to visit my sister, Barbara, her husband, Stan, and her son, Scott, his wife, Angie, and their children, Logan and Brenna. We attended the Calaveras Celtic Faire in March. We saw some beautiful displays of wildflowers on the drive through the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Betty and I took a trip to eastern Washington and northern Idaho in April. We visited my third cousin, Lenora Good in Kennewick, WA. She is a professional writer, and her first novel “Brother Rat” will be published this summer. We continued through the Palouse to visit my cousin Doug McFall and his wife, Holly, in Moscow, Idaho, and my good friend and colleague, Helen Kevo, in St. Maries, Idaho. It was a very good time of the year for photography. Those photos are posted at Picasa as well.
I worked for California Fish and Game almost steadily from January through September this year. I was the Oil Spill Drills and Exercises supervisor most of the year, and wrote a report on the Cosco Busan Oil Spill of November 2007.
Once again Betty and I spent Halloween and her birthday in New Jersey with our oldest son, James, and his family. We greatly enjoyed visiting with our New Jersey family. The highlight for me was an apple picking expedition with our two grandchildren, Alison and Adam. As you can see from our active life, we are enjoying our retirement.
Best wishes for good health and happiness to y'all.
Jim and Betty Hardwick