Our Year In Review

2012 was a year of travel for Terry and me.  In addition, we began the year, and are ending the year, sharing special time with family. Central to that, of course, is the time we have spent with Meg and Jake.

In January Terry and I met Laura, Michel and Sophia in Siesta Key, Florida.  There is no question in my mind that Terry is happiest during times he spends with Sophia.  At age 3 (as of Dec. 19) she is the center of his life.  Sophia fit in well with the relaxed lifestyle of Florida.  She loved dancing to

IMG_0478Jimmy Buffet, eating ice cream with her granddad and walking the beach.

Our next family adventure was to IMG_0842Petaluma to visit Meg and Jake.  We drove through the wine country together and also had the pleasure of hanging out with John and Carole, Meg’s aunt and uncle.

Couldn’t ask for a better time!

Early in the year we decided to take a Chamber of Commerce trip to Cuba.  It was an exciting opportunity.  It was also the impetus for me to buy my Nikon camera.  I spent months becoming proficient enough to call myself an amateur!  But I did carry it with me throughout the year and between my Nikon and Meg’s Olympus, we have some fun photographs for our blog.

DSC_0078In addition to trying to relearn how to use a camera, I also continued my interest in family history.  Amazingly, my sister, Sherry, and I were able to put together a trip with our cousins to visit Norwich N.Y., where our Lewis ancestors are buried.  Having studied so much about them through the years it was exciting to find the cemetery where they are buried.   I also really treasure the time Sherry and I spent with our cousins after so many years apart.

Cuba was amazing. DSC_0862It is economically impoverished but so beautiful and culturally rich.  I feel truly fortunate to have been able to visit.

Meg and Jake love California.  Despite Jake’s heavy work schedule and Meg’s 9 months working non-stop on the presidential campaign, they have found time to explore California and grow to love it.

Meg and Jake spent Christmas in Kansas City with their dogs.  They arrived just in time to IMG_1544celebrate Jake’s 29th birthday.  Terry visited Amsterdam for Sophia’s 3rd birthday; Christina and Lee visited us for Thanksgiving and Terry spent Christmas eve with family in Texas.  The entire Mesle  clan was together for Christmas.  Four generations of the family celebrated the holiday together.  We had a rare and precious opportunity to be together and to spend time becoming acquainted with the newest members of the family.  I am so grateful.

As I write this post, I am mindful of the losses that have burdened the lives of family and close friends.  Jake’s much loved grandfather died this fall.  We have  lost way too many friends near and dear to us.  We cherish their memories and celebrate their lives.  We are better for having known them.  Their lives and their deaths remind us of the importance of treasuring our friends and family, appreciating the uniqueness of each of them, and letting them know the important place each of them have in our lives.

We wish each of you a joyous New Year.


Closer to Heaven or Hope Interrupted

As I was driving through East Kansas City I came upon this beautiful, but broken, church.  While the glass is gone from the window, even empty it is elegant and powerful.  The gothic architecture is in some ways reminiscent of the finest cathedrals in Europe.  The church spire still points to the sky.

I do not know what caused its destruction, whether it was simply a result of neglect, vandalism or fire.  Even in ruins it symbolizes for me hope, loss and the potential for renewal.  For a moment in time, it suggests a portal between the heavens and earth.  But I know in my heart that this lovely building is lost forever.