This terrific trip allowed me to share Paris with Rick for the first time.
Fabulous Paris blogger Peter Olson took us to Montmartre cemetery and other sites in that area...
And with our friend Jerry, we visited the remarkable Le Mont St. Michel.
Then it was on to Amsterdam (a first for me) where fellow blogger (now instagrammer) Tara Bradford took us to Kinderdijk, Delft and other spots.
We wrapped that trip with a day and two nights in my favorite city, London where we attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey and "The King's Speech" on stage. (I was thrilled when Charles Edwards, who played George VI turned up as Edith's lost love on "Downton Abbey" the next year or so after!
This was our trip of a lifetime -- a few days in Paris where my favorite attraction was the Klimt installation at Les Atelier des Lumieres...
...before taking the Eurostar to London, connecting with blogger and author Jenny Woolf and then after spending a bit of time in the city...
... then venturing to Windsor, Oxford, the Cotswolds and Bath, where we stayed in a charming cottage about 15 minutes away.
This was the view from one of the cottage bedroom windows. It was like a scene from a novel!
There were other good adventures too -- trips with Rick to Martha's Vineyard, Quebec, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, and other spots; visits with good friends, time with family, long summer days at the lake.
Retirement -- 2013
The lead in to this wasn't good. A management change that wreaked havoc with stress and ultimately my health. But the retirement itself has been glorious. Although I miss many of my fellow colleagues, including our now-manager (Susi Elkins -- she rocks!) I've loved every second of the time since, expanding my hobbies and interests by more painting, cooking, reading and travel!
Kevin and Molly's Wedding 2014
What's not to love when a wonderful guy marries the best girl in the world? Kevin's bringing Molly into our lives has been one of our greatest blessings!
Baby Grands -- now the Toddler Twosome 2017 and 2018
Look at this face!
And this one!
What is not to love? We adore these two and can't wait to follow their lives through every step of the way!
Ups and Downs
There were a few down moments, too. In 2011 and again in 2013 I developed a colonized "superbug" called pseudomonas aeruginosa which is not contagious and often dormant. When it kicks in big time it can upset the apple cart and make my bronchiectasis all the worse. We watch them both.
The other health issue was the lip cancer in 2017 with a recurrence in 2018. All is well on that front now but my face was extra hideous during treatment.
Our 2019 wasn't without its health challenges either with Rick's broken leg/blood clots and surgery. But then, he had more than a few incidents over the decade with MRSA, bike accidents and more. This moment freaked the heck out of us! But all is well and of course he is back on the bike -- or will be whenever weather permits!
The Big Sad of the decade was the final farewell to Gypsy, my sweet little orange boy for whom this blog is named. He died in 2012, a few weeks after we returned from Europe and those of you who have said that final farewell to a beloved pet know exactly how I felt. There were times I thought I would never smile again.
The Lizzie came along, this mom-cat who had been abandoned and taken in by a friend with her kittens. The kittens were an easy adoption; Lizzie was a little tougher. She and I had our challenges, to be sure! But I wouldn't trade her for anything. Despite her constant nagging, she's the sweetest cat and I'm so glad she's part of my life.
|Photo credit: Judy Winter|
What will 2020 bring? Who knows? My chosen "word" for the year is "Home." And to me that means taking care of my space, making improvements, welcoming others and taking care of both my physical spaces, our collective space -- the world -- and my personal space. Of course, I pick "home" but one of my goals and plans is another trip to this spot...
...and more time with this guy!
And words I will try to remember throughout what I suspect will be a challenging year in many ways are "be kind." And, I will remember the words on this plaque from an installation at the Tate Modern.
Yes, it is.
Wishing you all good things in the New Year.
Sharing with: Let's Keep in Touch / Pink Saturday