Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Happy, Merry, Blessed Christmas
The house is decorated, we are getting the gifts ready, and every day is more exciting as we wait for the arrival of the entire family for our Christmas celebration. Libby will be over from West Seattle; Missy, Scott and Meg will be here for SoCal; and Rich and Pam will arrive from Longview. It will be a fun Christmas morning at the Wagner house!
Again, we’ve been busy this year with our regular activities of boating, visitors and church, but we had some highlights. Jim and I went on a wonderful riverboat cruise up and down the Columbia River with friends the Liebmans. We went through 8 locks! Missy and Scott came for our 4th of July picnic again, but this year it was a double celebration. They bought a house on Whidbey Island with the idea to rent it now and be prepared for when they retire. Scott thinks they can spend the summers here and the winters down south. That way he’ll get in the best golf all year round! It’s so much fun to think of having them near by. Our picnic ended up being 24 people! We had lots of visitors and Pam and Rich showed up from Longview. We had several trips out in our boat this past summer. The most exciting was a trip down the Hood Canal. It was very beautiful scenery and lots of fun with our sailing group going along for support and pot lucks. In September we went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Actually we went all over Israel and parts of Palestine. It was an amazing trip, making us very aware of how much we must pray for peace in the Middle East. We learned about the delicate balance they maintain with so many faiths and different attitudes all claiming the same space. It was a trip of a lifetime.
We came back from the Middle East for knee surgery for Virginia to fix some old torn ligaments and scar tissue from her surgery over ten years ago. She’s doing PT now to prepare for our rigorous trips out in the boat next summer and fall. The surgery was just before Thanksgiving and just in time to be healed enough for Jim to make a trip back east to see his buddies from high school. He missed his 50th reunion while we were in Jerusalem and his oldest guy friends gather each year after Thanksgiving. He flew to Philly and then drove to Allentown and did the tour around, eating real hotdogs and real steak sandwiches!
Grandma Wagner is 98 and holding on. She lives in a retirement home in Chino Hills, CA very close to Missy. We try to get down as often as we can, but having Missy there gives us reassurance that things are going well. Grandma loves it when Meg goes over and shows her the latest computer movie Meg has directed and filmed. These films usually star Meg’s friends, the dogs, or anyone else who walks by. They show real talent, and we may have another movie maker in the family. By the way, Brett’s film, Chief, went to the Sundance Film Festival. That means his film can be nominated for an Oscar! Cool!
We wish we had nephew Brett and his wife Katherine with new baby Zoë with us for Christmas, but they are going to New York to celebrate with her mother. Niece Amanda and her husband Toby are busy with Amanda’s residency in vet school, and niece Bridget and her husband Walter are in Germany where Walter has an Air Force assignment.
Our plans for the summer include cruising to the Canadian waters, the Gulf Islands, and up to Desolation Sound. We will have our regular July 4th picnic, but we plan longer cruises and more days on the water. Last summer we didn’t get our 6 weeks or more on the water. In the spring we plan camping trips with friends, the Liebmans; they bought a new trailer and we bought their old 24 ft trailer. We can go 6 miles and be in great campsites around here; we don’t even have to leave the island. It looks like a great year for us. We hope your New Year will be the best!
Blessings and Cheers from the Whidbey Wagners.