For some time, we've enjoyed doggie sitting for
when son Lee and his fiancee Karen were away. This year we had many more opportunities as Lee and Karen spent several weeks in Pearl Europe and also got extremely
In the real estate world, we helped occasionally with renovations at a rental, scouting for new properties to be rehabbed for sales managed by Karen, and a complete remodel of one of the houses to be sold.
The aging process seems to foist one major medical problem on us annually.
had two in 2017. In early spring she
began suffering from a prolapsed bladder. The result was an hour-long
operation. It was serious stuff, but not without a touch of humor. Sandy
Recovery started with an overnight stay in the hospital. The building was crowded and the only available room was in the maternity section. Dick and Lee hurried to the appointed room, and arrived before the patient did. When the attending nurse wheeled
in on a gurney, she
looked at the two men, grinned, and announced loudly. "It's a boy!" Sandy
Eight months later
surgery on her left eye. We knew the drill--four years earlier her right eye
got the same treatment. Results have been outstanding. Sandy now rates her eyesight as "almost
Dick broke a vow made years ago when he was a sportswriter. After covering some 60 night games a season played by the Class A pro team at
, he said he'd had more than enough baseball and
would never attend a professional game again. Well, in July he and Lee decided
to take in a Kalamazoo Growlers game, loved it, and went back for several more.
They're planning to join the "howlers for the Growlers" regularly in
the future. Wisconsin
We got back into another activity from the past this year. Our move from
to Michigan ten years ago ended a regular
entertainment--periodic trips to casinos in ..
We were the "classic low rollers" risking very little and only
playing video poker, a game we thoroughly understand. We
made only a few gambling forays in Michigan, but early this year found a casino
with atmosphere and video slots we liked just 15 miles from our home. We made
monthly trips. Wendover, Nevada
has amassed a nice winnings total for the year. Dick has . . . let's just say he hopes for better luck next
Dick continued participating in a discussion group at People's Church in
, and once again volunteered to
serve a shift in white elephant sales at the annual bazaar. Kalamazoo always visits the bazaar as a buyer,
but this year she shopped early and joined the white elephant staff. Her
expertise gleaned from garage sales and operating a craft business paid off.
White elephant sales set a record, contributing to record sales for the entire
Dick served People's in a minor way as one of the writers assigned to draft a revised mission statement for the church. He also took an adult education class on major religions of the world. Those activities represent radical changes for a guy who avoided churches for more than 50 years.
We dabbled further into spiritual matters on November 30 by joining Karen and Lee at the annual presentation of Handel's "Messiah" at the historic United Church of Christ in downtown
Karen has sung in Messiah celebrations for many years, in Kalamazoo Germany and the We've been spectators for
several years. This time, Dick added his less than beautiful tones to the
singing. Predictions are the Messiah performances will continue despite Dick's
Our never-ending home renovations continued at a slow, but steady, pace throughout the year. The star project was a complete remodel of a spare bedroom into a craft room-office for
. Lee did the work,
which included custom shelves, work spaces, storage areas, electronic
connections, and lighting. Just as he was about to apply the finishing touches
in late November disaster struck. Sandy
What appeared to be a minor leak turned out to be a huge problem for the large, rock-clad chimney at the back of our house. Most of the wood under the rock was damaged beyond repair by water, as was the roof area surrounding the whole structure. Lee stepped in to save the day. He demolished the entire chimney structure and the damaged roof area, replaced rotted boards, built a complete new chimney frame, and reroofed affected areas. He worked for two weeks through bitter cold, rainy weather, sometimes into dark hours with the aid of lights he rigged up. The results are excellent, and we're happy to be entering a holiday season able to roast chestnuts if we choose and with a chimney no Santa would be reluctant to use.
Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy Holiday season!