January: It was the beginning of a long, gray winter; Sophie and Bella did not go out much as in warmer weather, but they did look outside to see when the sun was finally out; Judy skied a lot and we snowshoed occasionally; book clubs, visitors center, dinner club, and music groups continued weekly or monthly; Judy won her first race of 2005 (Oatmeal Fest 5K in Lafayette); our firewood supply was sufficient and we kept warm.
February: Cabin fever struck! We ate out at least nine times this month—dinners with neighbors and lunches with Boulder friends; we attended our first slide show on Bhutan that sealed our desire to take the trip in the fall.
March: Our annual
family trip to Cozumel
was a roaring success; we snorkeled every
day from the rental property, as well as ran each morning, played seven-handed
Shanghai Rummy (Julia preferred to read or watch TV), played pool, and
ate out often; an ancient VW convertible got all eight of us around well
enough; the remainder of the month was cold and gloomy—dreary may be the
best word. Hughes turned 65 and began to deal with Medicare forms and regulations.
Judy was dropped from Ohio Teachers Retirement health insurance program
since Hughes switched out of the program, and we discovered her premiums
had been no bargain all these years!
April: Judy began twice a week training in Boulder to increase her speed in 5K and 10K races—with a group led by former Olympian Colleen DeRueck along with her coach and husband, Darrin; when spring finally arrived Judy’s garden flowers burst with color.
May: We flew to New Hope, Pennsylvania, to attend Judy’s 45th high school reunion, plus we visited Philadelphia along with one of Judy’s high school friends for a morning of historic places (Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, and Sonny’s for real Philly cheese steak); Lakhpah Sherpa started a major landscaping project for us—a spacious flagstone patio in back and new walkways on the front and side of the house: twelve tons of stone were laid in three weeks; we added a new deck off of the living room to replace the old one that should have collapsed years ago; new landscaping by H&J Landscape completed the project that really finished the house after 13 years; Judy’s training program paid off: she won her age group for the 12th time in 12 tries and did it two minutes faster than her winning time last year.
June: After years of working at the visitors center on Mondays and Saturdays, we became Mr and Ms Thursday thereby gaining our weekends back; we blocked out a day a week to hike in the high country in preparation for our upcoming trek in Bhutan; Hughes worked on county wide series of interviews for a survey conducted by the Boulder County Aging Services to establish new goals for BCAS; garage sale helped to clear house and garage of “stuff” we haven’t used in years; Judy flew to California to be with dear high school friend before her passing from cancer.
July: We drove to Albuquerque for the funeral of a second old and dear friend from our early Ohio days who died most unexpectedly; exterior remodeling was completed in time for scheduled “patio warming party” (though weather was already warm and the sun intense); local artist George Blevins finished a handsome pen-and-ink sketch of the house (original portrait used for note cards); for the 8th or 9th year, Hughes and Michael played with Barker Dam Brass Band in Nederland’s 4th of July parade; Judy won her age group in the 2nd annual Trespass Trail Challenge, Nederland’s toughest run, for second year in a row; Hughes took his first (and only) lesson in meditation in preparation for trip to Buddhist Bhutan; summer concerts included CU production of “The Mikado,” bluegrass with favorite local group “Southern Exposure,” and Irish music by “Cherish the Ladies.”
August: This was music month for Hughes: he joined the Presbyterian Church choir for special concert in Nederland; also played first “gig” with local group “McGinty’s Wake” (in Loveland at Carter Lake Yacht Club potluck); Judy took second took place behind a just-turned-60 female runner in the Pearl Street Mile in Boulder, though not in head-to-head competition since they ran in different race groups; weekly hikes forced us to find new trails we’d not taken before, several of which were quite lovely and we’ll go back again.
September: Judy won the Neder-Nederland 5K for the 11th time in 11 tries; we hosted potluck for Boulder runners afterwards; a week later Judy won her age group in the Indian Summer 5K in Boulder; we finally finished our firewood project: we cleared standing dead trees from the fire department property across the road from us—probably 50-60 lodgepoles which we limbed, cut to size, split, and stacked (looking at it always warms us even when we’re not burning it); painters (not H&J Painting, Inc.) put two coats of new stain on the outside of the house—in three days we had a “new” house; we left for Bhutan (via LA, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Calcutta) on the 25th.
October: Two weeks in Bhutan (yes, the picture on below shows the snowy part of our trek), two nights in Bangkok, andthree days in Siem Reap, Cambodia—it was a remarkable and memorable trip; we sorted through over a 1000 photos which either we took or were contributed by others on the trip; Sophie and Bella were delighted to see us after three weeks even though they were in Cindy’s and Michael’s good hands while we were away; we spent much of the rest of the month getting back into our routines, housecleaning, etc.; we both joined the local health club for exercise classes as well as workouts and running on the treadmill when the weather gets ugly.
November: Hughes attended a workshop on the new Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) program: it may provide some real financial relief for many, though we’ll have to wait and see; Hughes presented a photo show to Judy’s book club of the Bhutan portion of our trip (they had previously read Jamie Zeppa’s memoir Beyond the Sky and Earth: A Journey into Bhutan); we enjoyed a week of R&R at our favorite warm weather resort in Puerto Vallarta with Judy’s cousin Carol and her husband, Ken; they were great company and we had lots of pool time, introducedthem to margaritas at Pipi’s, did some heavy duty retail therapy, and enjoyed great restaurants (and they even liked Shanghai Rummy!); we had a low key Thanksgiving with Michael and Cindy (and dogs) with good food, good cards, and good Broncos football.
December: Hughes played
(guitar and pennywhistle) with “McGinty’s Wake” at the Holiday Mountain
Market here in Nederland—a few carols, some traditional Irish tunes, some
bluegrass, even a Russian folk song; we flew to Boston for an early
holiday visit with the Buddes (even though the grandchildren were in school
while we were there, we enjoyed seeing them all the same); Christmas here
will be a quiet affair with Michael and Cindy and the dogs—lots of food
plus plum pudding, warm fires, eggnogs, some quiet reading, and a few games
of cards; sounds like how we ended the year in 2004.
Best Wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year