To say we have been on the road a bit this year would be a huge understatement! We left in March for a visit with Grandma R and brother Randy in Albuquerque, NM. Brother Rob’s son, Matt, was getting married outside Asheville, NC, the first week of May, so we decided to volunteer travel to the wedding. We worked with Habitat for Humanity in the hill country of Mason, Texas. It was a great two weeks with family and friend visits mixed in. We then traveled to Nachez, MS for a week of sightseeing and history lessons. A 2 ½ week Habitat build in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, followed. We worked building houses that included safe rooms in the area the tornado devastated five years ago. It was an interesting time in a deep South town, home to the University of Alabama. Many new foods to try, and Rick even attended the spring football game, along with 70,000 others!
From there it was to Huntsville to visit the NASA Space Museum and then to Kentucky and Mammoth Cave. We also enjoyed a pre-graduation visit in Eastern Kentucky with a young man we had been sponsoring for many years. Asheville and play time in the Great Smoky Mountains took place before the wedding. It was a great trip through new territory, although dodging the thunderstorms and tornados that occur there in the spring was NOT fun!
Grandma R is still doing well in New Mexico and enjoys visits with her great grandson. Grandma Mac turned 97 a week ago and is still living in her Bandon home. A few more health concerns, however, have led Ging and her sibs to more extended visits. So, Ginger had several trips for mom and beach time!
This fall found us again in Kalispell with Habitat. And then, since we missed working for CHRPA in Tucson in the spring, we worked there for two 90 degree plus weeks in October. To cool off, we snuck another 10 days in Kalispell to help meet a Habitat deadline. Thanksgiving was in Bandon with visits from both sons.
Jed is in his second year as a visiting professor of physics at Willamette University in Salem, OR. He is thriving there and hopes to be offered another year. (It looks promising!) Luke finished his term as youth director at our church here in Baker City in June. His girlfriend, Kady, returned from a Peace Corps stint in Indonesia. They did some traveling and biking before settling in Beaverton, OR for awhile. There are job applications out so who knows what is next for Luke!
Rick still enjoys hiking and snowshoeing, with some home repair and volunteer medical transporting thrown in. Ginger is always creating or teaching arts and crafts. With her extended time at the beach, she has participated in creating art from materials washed up on the beaches (Washed Ashore.org) She remains active in our church, most recently as substitute pianist for morning worship as we search for a new organist!
Who knew retirement was going to be this hectic and fun? We know we are blessed to be able to do our volunteer traveling. We revel in the incredible people we have met while enjoying God’s creation. We have no plans to stop!
We wish Christmas blessings to you and your loved ones. Peace,
Rick and Ginger
Rick and Ginger