Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Greetings, 2012

The beginning of the fall colours in the park across the street
Carolle Trembley and John Palmer
London, Ontario


from our 6th floor condo, which we continue to enjoy.  We have met more friendly people here, mostly in our age range and we continue to be in awe of the view over the river and parks.  This year our appreciation went up as we watched the leaves turning beautiful colors, especially knowing we didn’t have to rake them up!!  
Lara, healthy and happy
The best news of all this year is that Jacob and Melinda’s daughter, Lara, has had test results that show she is cancer free, months after her lengthy treatment ended. Hurrah!!  And she was granted her wish by the “Make a Wish” foundation, so in November the family spent a week in Disneyworld.  We visited Jacob and family in October.  Lara looks good, is back in kindergarten, back to a normal life.  Her gorgeous new baby sister, Elise, was born in February. Jacob and Melinda just had a new house built and moved into it last week.  They are very busy.  Still, we managed to celebrate John’s birthday with them several times while we were there.
Smiley Elise

With Peter Pan at Disney World


For the first time in many years, we have lived together the whole year.  John did not take a teaching position for any of the terms.  Mind you, he already has a month’s course lined up for Regina next August.  While he is there, Bredenbury, Saskatchewan  (where Carolle grew up) will be celebrating its Centennial.  She will join John in Regina for a week so we can attend the centennial and visit with family and friends in Saskatchewan.   

    John stepped into retirement cautiously this year, not sure how it would suit him.  Amazingly, he loves it.  He has rediscovered old friends and new acting and music activities.  His main acting role was as Dr. Dysart in Equus.  Wow, there were a lot of lines to learn in that one.  He was in other plays as well and this time of year acts in mystery dinner theatres at Christmas parties.  He also joined “Encore…the Concert Band,” where he plays his French horn.  And in November he reconnected with the Saskatchewan Roughrider PepBand in Toronto for Grey Cup.   That was a wild six days—playing at many venues, including the CN Tower.  John is thrilled to be enjoying his life so much.  Check his Facebook page and you will see what he is up to.  

Jacob, Lara, & Carolle in Pearland
    Carolle enjoys a quieter life with more down time.  Her main computer/iPad activities involve playing Scrabble with friends and word games by herself.  She is still sewing those double-sided fleece blankets, and has begun to tackle knitting again (which for her often involves some changing of patterns and wool, which require ripping out to start again!)  She keeps up with friends in London and Clinton.  Meals out are a favorite activity for her and she has been known to travel many miles to meet friends for lunch.  
Phebe in Seussical
A major upside of our move to London is that we get to see Rachael and Matthew and girls on a regular basis.  Rach still manages the post office at the nearby Shoppers Drug Mart.  Matthew is still at 3M, and is again involved in the new computer program, which involves travel to St. Paul (so far).  In his first connection with this program, he also HAD to travel to Belgium, which he quite enjoyed. 
Cordelia, during the summer in Toronto

Our grandchildren are all growing up so fast. Last year, Phebe—seen above on the right—(grade 8) had a major role in her school’s production of Seussical, and a solo at the international choir competition in San Francisco in July.  Cordelia—on the left-- (grade 11) is in her third year of high school.  This year she has a co-op in which she helps with young students in a French immersion school.  

Veronica—in the photo below with John--has re-enrolled in high school and is keen to start in January.  Kayla—on the left--is looking for a job.  

John has managed to get all of them involved in his scheme to “Rudolphize” all the deer warning signs in the area by adding red noses to them.  And he loves taking us to plays in London and Stratford. 

Gramps and Veronica at Stratford



As you can tell, we are so pleased that this retirement move to London has worked out for us.  Of course, we are now considered ancient.  Our bodies don’t work as well as they used to. Arthritis has settled in to our knees and hips, so our walks have slowed to ambles.  Carolle says she feels like the Tin (Wo)Man when she tries to straighten up from a sitting position.  And we complain about our poor memories.  Worst of all we are losing too many friends to illness and death.  Aging exacts its tolls.  So we are grateful for the time we have to enjoy our slow walks and wonderful views, and old and new relationships.   And we understand how lucky we are.  

The snow and park at night from our condo balcony


We hope this year has been good to you as well.  Merry Christmas to you and your families.  And Happy New Year too.

             Carolle & John