Skip over this if you wish - I won't have my feelings hurt. Most of what is in the letter is what has been on my blog for the past year.
Well, another year has flown by! And flown it certainly has! As everyone is probably saying, "I can’t believe it’s that time of year, again!"
This January saw Norm and I in Brookings for the Living History Fair. The Fair is planned around education, so we had children come on Friday to learn from everyone who was there. I demonstrate spinning and weaving, Norm demonstrates carving spoons, as well as sells the spoons and spatulas he makes.
March found us in New Ulm, as always. I call it the "Great Minnesota Sleepover." This is a Trade Fair, not an educational fair, where we meet a lot of our friends, do a lot of visiting and hopefully do some selling, as well.
In April, we drove down to Los Alamos to spend a week with Joy and family. Ken was working as an advisor to a construction company on "The Hill," as Los Alamos is called. We spent a lot of time traveling to different places and seeing as much as we could within that time.
In June we went out to South Dakota for a Peterson family reunion. We saw cousins of Norm’s that we have not seen for years. As most reunions are, it was a lot of fun. We have Norm’s sister, Eileen, to thank for the organizing - and a great job she did, so!
Norm and I keep saying we are going to cut down on our demonstration events, but in June we were invited to attend the Sons of Norway convention in Mankato. That was a great place to make new friends.
As July came around, things started to "heat up." We went to Walnut Grove to demonstrate for two weekends for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. Then on to Decorah, Iowa, the last weekend for the Nordic Fest at the Vesterheim museum.
We were even busier in August as we went to Wisconsin for a sesquicentennial celebration and spent the weekend with friends in Pepin, just up the road from the celebrating town.
Then was the State Fair. I worked with friend Katie for the twelve days of the fair without him around, and Norm came the last weekend to demonstrate, play and help tear down. We were fortunate to have Joy and family come out for a day, which also happened to be her birthday.
After the State Fair, we were into September and went to Pepin, Wisconsin, for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. This is a "family" event. We have become very close to those who are regulars there. We have a section that is only "period" craftspeople; we all (mostly) camp in our "period" tents. Others stayed at friends’ homes or in the motel just across the road.
October had only one event, our last event of the year – "Big Island" in Albert Lea. This is a four-day event that is educational for two days and is open to the public for the other two days.
We enjoy visiting friends and having some come for supper. Because it is in October, the chances of warm weather are slight, so we prepare for cold weather and have the wood stove in the tent for the cold nights. When we returned home, we took a deep breath to consider if we wanted to continue for another year.
I was "bee free" for the entire year, and so hope springs eternal that I will not have to end up in the emergency room next year, as well. Two years in a row are enough, thank you very much!
Other than working demonstrations and educational days, Norm has been busy at Shalom Hill Farm, the church retreat farm just three miles east of us. He works four afternoons a week, doing maintenance and farm chores. They have cut down on the amount of sheep and goats this year, due to Norm’s insistence; they also have rented a ram (male sheep) and a buck (male goat) so that timing for lambing and kidding season will be much better this next year. Last winter, we had lambs and kids popping out in the most horrendous weather; I ended up fostering several babies because mommas couldn’t or wouldn’t care for them.
I have been staying home, as usual. Just a trip a month to Mankato to do Sam’s Club shopping with sister Candy or going to Westbrook, ten miles away, to exercise. My knee has really gone caput this year and I will need knee replacement. So I quite often used the mobility scooter that I purchased last year. I am waiting for Medicare to "kick in" this next year so that the operation will (hopefully) be covered.
Family-wise, the family has spread out all over the nation.
Joy and Ken returned home from Port St. Lucie, Florida but did not spend much time in the Cities before moving to Los Alamos, New Mexico for about seven months. Ken got a job as a construction trouble-shooter and the plan was to send him to trouble spots around the country. But his boss likes him so much that he has been transferred to the main office to train other troubleshooters. And the main office? Miami, Florida!!!! However, Norm and I got a chance to drive down to Los Alamos for a week before they left – that is an awesome place to go, visit, live. I want to go back someday and spend more time! Ken, Joy and the girls spent every weekend doing something really neat.
Jill and Eric are still in Federal Way, Washington, very close to Seattle. We went by Amtrak out to see them in November. The trip, itself, was worth the time and money. But the time spent with Jill and Eric was wonderful. It was full of surprises and wonderful views.
So, a wonderful year has passed again. Full of fun and new experiences, full of "busy-ness," full of love.
May you have a wonderful, love-filled, experience-filled year next year!