2016 Year in Review
I can best describe 2016 as a year where the highs were high and the lows were low. I made major progress in my knitting and weaving. It took a lot of encouragement from my husband, but I created patterns to share with the world for the first time. My weaving finally reached a place where it is more enjoyable than frustrating. I am having fun writing the blog as well and feel fortunate to have had some great interactions with readers (I cannot say THANK YOU enough!).
We had an extensive and sometimes exhausting travel schedule. We traveled to Banff and Jasper National Parks with a stop over in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; San Juan Island, Washington; the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene and also Portland, Oregon; Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico; Denver and Westcliffe, Colorado; Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We inadvertently traveled the Rocky Mountain States from New Mexico up into Alberta. We saw breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife: deer, elk, bison, bears (yes, plural), big horn sheep, bald eagles, moose and a wolf (as you can imagine, none of those were in Philadelphia).
We somewhat unexpectedly lost our three remaining grandparents in a four week span in August - September. I was together with the bulk of my extended family on both of my parents' sides for what is likely to be one of the last times.
I am appreciative of every moment I have, every sunset over the Olympic Mountains and every seal I see swimming in Elliott Bay. The rollercoaster of a year encouraged us to do more to help others. Realizing that every dollar, in-kind donation or volunteer hour spent can help someone, here are some of the charities that we supported in various ways this year:
- Philadelphia VIP: Since 1981, Philly VIP has helped more than 37,000 impoverished Philadelphians (the US city with the deepest poverty) get the free legal help they need to stay in their homes, age with dignity, create non-profit organizations, continue to work, and build stable families.
- Teton Raptor Center Poo Poo Project: Provides specialized screens to prevent cavity-nesting animals from flying into vault toilet ventilation pipes, looking for a place to nest, roost, or cache food, then become stuck in the muck. You can sponsor a life saving screen for $35 and they will tell you where it is installed.
- Center for Hope: Accepts donations of and distributes cases or gallons of water, water filters and replacement filters to those in need because of the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
- Distributing Dignity: Distributes new bras, pads and tampons to women who are aging out of foster care, seeking refuge from domestic violence or abuse, experiencing homelessness, struggling with life altering illness or displaced by disaster.
- Food Lifeline: Provides approximately 91,000 meals per day by giving donations of food to food banks in Western Washington.
I hope you will join us in supporting some of these charities. A little help can go a long way.
My personal wish for you in the new year is that your creative endeavors are fruitful and your hearts and bellies remain full. I hope you travel to new places and experience new things. Thank you for all of your love and support. I wish you only the best in 2017.