Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 2012

21 December 2012
Vacaville, California, USA
The Hardwicks have had another very good year.  We spent a week at Lake Almanor and hiked in Lassen National Park with our oldest son, James, and his family.  We spent many days watching Kooper’s baseball games, flag football games, and wrestling matches, and Marley and Elaine’s soccer games.  Kooper’s baseball team won their division and he was awarded MVP of his football team.  Marley played on a competitive traveling team and Elaine coached another traveling team.  Betty helped with management of the youth soccer team Elaine coaches and Jim ran in a 5 K race with the team.    Betty and I still drive our grandchildren to and from school, soccer, baseball, wrestling, football practice, and 4H meetings.  The two were also 4H clothing and textiles leaders again.  Their girls won several ribbons at county fairs and dress reviews.  Marley was busy with rabbit, cooking, and dog training projects too

Once again Jim planted a large vegetable garden in Elaine’s back yard.  We planted black eyed peas, pole beans, summer squash, Tahitian winter squash, lemon, Armenian and striped serpent cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, okra, eggplant, peppers, basil, and cilantro.  Oliver started several varieties of tomatoes, eggplant and peppers in his greenhouse.  Jim tilled and weeded.  Marley’s rabbits provided us with copious quantities of manure.  Matt took charge of the irrigation and we had good yields of most crops.  

We visited my sister, Barbara and her family, husband Stan, son and daughter-in-law Scott and Angie, grandchildren Logan and Brenna, in March in Calaveras County and they visited us in Vacaville a couple of times.  Betty’s sister Terry visited us a couple of times, and we attended our 50 year high school class reunion in Selma in April.  We saw many old friends we had not seen in decades, and visited relatives in the area.  We visited our oldest son, James, and family, Barbara, Adam and Alison in New Jersey in July.  We spent most of our days there with our grandchildren, Adam and Alison watching them play tennis and soccer, and we visited several farms where we picked berries. 

Jim took cousins Louise and Lowell Smith to his cousin Harold Wilcox’s funeral in Salt Lake City in January, and had a good visit with the children and grandchildren of Louise and Lowell Smith, Kenny and Margaret Wilcox and Harold and Helen Wilcox.  Jim also went on numerous day hikes throughout central California, and played golf a couple of times with old friends, John Duffy and John Geibel.   Jim went on two raft trips on the Rogue River in Oregon and one trip on the San Juan River in Utah with relatively new friends he has met since he took up white water sports.  He also went on a backpack trip with youngest son, Oliver, in the Emigrant Wilderness, and spent a few days hiking in the Warner Mountains of NE California.  We had a great visit and Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family at our house.   Jim and Betty visited with old friends Jack and Bonnie Ames in Castroville and cousins Mike Huckabay and Peggy and Lou Rudolph the day after attending a Christmas play at the San Juan Bautista mission with friends, John and Anita Mitchell of Palo Alto.   We celebrated Marley’s 15th birthday at the Suisun lighted boat parade aboard Rob and Nancy Forest’s yacht which Elaine helped Rob and Nancy decorate for the parade.  

As you can see from our active life, we are enjoying our semi-retirement.   

Best wishes for good health and happiness to y'all.

Jim and Betty Hardwick