Christmas 2002

Christmas 2002

Dear Family and Friends,

Each year has it’s fullness and specialness and this one was spectacular. 2001 ended with recovery from my second carpal tunnel operation Like the first one 6 months before it is a great improvement. My doctor tells me it is a perminant solution and I\’m quite fine and symptomless. I stayed in town during xmas to recouperate and enjoy my friends Richard and Joanne Moecshl’s hospitality and care. This is where I stay each week when I go to town. We’re the greatest friends.

The highlight of the year was my daugher Meghan: getting married to Karim, who has been her guy for 8+ years, inviting her Mom & I to join her for a month in Paris, where she lives, and to help her give birth to her first child. Emilien Salhi was born on March 17th 2002. March 27th is her own birthday which we joyously celebrated as well.

I had just gotten the new Nikon 5000 digital camera for Paris and the baby and for myself. It\’s a sweet 28 – 85 mm zoom and can print a fully professional 16\”x 20\” print! Goes right into the computer, which I will also bring to France. Hey! I\’m so high Tech!!

Paris was most fantastic! It was so lovely there. Cool and overcast mostly. A gorgeous sprinkling of sunny weather that showed off what\’s called that special “French light.” What a cultured, world class city and filled with ART!!!!!!! Got to the Louvre 4 times and the Dorsey twice – my favorites, Momatre twice, and much else. Everywhere and everything was beautiful. Meg and Karim are very happy together. I never once heard a negative word spoken between them in a whole month – now that\’s impressive. The baby is …. well a baby… a totally fantastic light being in their life that they are both totally devoted to. It was a great pleasure for a Grandmother and Grandfather to see.

Matt found us in Paris on the second to last day we were there and we spent it together seeing the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame and a boat trip on the Seine, what fun to be with him in that venue! He went on to Greece – I think they wanted the warmth and swimming. His favorite spot was Turkey.

Remembering the great set of experiences: Paris: the arts and culture, Meghan: the happy new family, Karim: the artist and new father, and the nice environment they\’ve created for themselves. The reconnection with Cathleen, Meghan’s Mom, after all these years was sweet and full of meaning. I then spent a week In LA catching up with old friends and memories of art and old times, while staying at Cathleen’s house and getting reaquainted with her Mom. A sweet, full and thoroughly enjoyable experience and a new grandchild too!

Back home is wonderful too. Settling back into my sweet life again. Catching up on mail, email, chores, art projects, community work and the life on the creek. My life is full and complete. My solitude a distinct blessing.

The next chapter started as a simple roof over my deck but the floor had a few bad boards, then the floor joists looked really bad, soon we were down to the cystern below and it was even worse and as we dug deeper and I’d swear we heard Chinese voices! So I now have a new water tank – 550 gallons, with a plastic roof over it, a beautiful new dark stained cedar deck, seats and wide redwood railing and gorgious beams and details and metal roof to match the house. It’s got two stairs, north and south and is 1/3 is open to the sky. It’s utterly fantastic and my new favorite place to be. I\’m so happy with it I even take out a blanket to be able to stay out there in cold weather. It will enhances my living space and the value and functionality of my home.

There is another swell new addition to Carberry Creek’s phoneless existence: it’s walkie talkies. Around 10 am [for those still on the creek] and 6 – 8 or so pm we turn \’em on and talk. It\’s our off the grid phone system among outselves and works great.

Matt and I had an excellent visit from Mom & Dad down here later in the summer. They are both 82 now and have only been out here once before. We had a great day here, talk\’en away, I fed them lunch and we went down the hill to Applegate where they were staying and had dinner with Matt. My Grandfather had died when Dad was 20, so that memory stirred in him a connection with Matt at that same age. He decided he needed to download a bunch of financial, philosophical, humanitarian, warm grandparental wisdom and family stuff to Matt. Which he did and Matt listened, enjoyed and was very present for. They loved it, I loved it and it was a great connection.

The fires last summer were something, filling our skys almost daily for almost a month. Oregon Caves are 10 miles away as the crow flies, so Cave Junction is a few miles beyond that. But no danger right here. Have a hose and pump system set up in case to pull from the creek and have been working to clear burnables away from the house. Still haven\’t made the \”grab and take\” list but will soon. The big Bisquit Fire has made Oregon records for destruction: it ended up 400,000 + acres of fire and including back fires to stop it, it\’s almost half a million acres!

Late this year, Bethany & Mike bought their first home, a wonderful fixer-upper from the 1800\’s. They are in the interesting and enjoyable process of fixing it up and doing a wonderful job.

The oil portrait of Aunt Carolyn for Uncle Tom is completed, sent and well recieved. The drawing workshops continue each Monday morning after a group of us artists meet togeather for coffee. Most of the year I was able to attend a painting workshop as well. The Schnieder Crater Lake Centenial show was a thrill to be a part of and I was also in a show for the Centenial of Crater Lake National Park itself. Matt and I went up to Crater Lake, to deliver my art piece to that group show up there. We went around the whole Crater and camped for the night: sweet.

Matt & I do well together. He actually admited he had fun! Well he\’s [just barely] not a teen any longer, so things are looking up! He’s still drumming and had almost two months in Europe this summer with a good friend, and had an expanding and memorable experience.

My health is great and at 59, I imagine a good 10+ years, I hope, before I start to fade – baring some major event. I will retreat to Ashland when I need to and buy something small and modest.

This year finds me happy and full and blessed. Can\’t imagine being happier! Spirit is strong in my life, with a shift I\’m learing about. Art is fantastic and such an arena for life stuff to unfold. Community work is quite fullfilling and working on my place is a deep pleasure.

Season’s greetings and love to one and all,

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