Sunday, June 01, 2008

Kickin' In Forty

Saturday night, our family went out to dinner at Cafe Lucky Noodle. As we began our dinner, I surveyed my family about what they thought were the highlights of my 4oth year. 
I would describe the highlights of the year with a letter already written-our last year's Christmas letter, but part of the letter is missing, as it was never sent. Whatever it was I did before April of last year is gone forever. I guess if I thought really hard, I could come up with it...but here is the text that was saved, seeming to start from the Half Marathon 2007...

my iPod, and Elsa. Elsa did cross the line first, thus beating me (I let her win).

Paul and I celebrated our 40th birthday, together in May. It was a harried day, with so much excitement in seeing friends, and gratitude for years and years of encouragement. My sister, Chris, was my heroine, jumping in and helping with getting the food ready. She and my brother-in-law were also there for emotional support as my father was in the hospital and the rest of the family at his bedside.

I spent the day of my birthday with some of my dear girlfriends. My friend Erin had an itinerary of fun planned throughout the day. The highlight of the day was when my friends met each other for the first time, and then it seemed like they were long lost friends by the end of the night.

My father died two days after my fortieth birthday. Our family spread his ashes at an old fishing hole where the Calawash and Clackamas rivers run together. There, my sister-in-law Lindsay has planted a tree in memory of Bob Davidson, so if you get a chance to water the tree...

We began our Summer with close friends vacationing in Port Townsend, WA at Fort Warden State Park. These dear friends were great listeners in helping me process my grief. Not many people would be interested in spending their vacation time doing such, but these folks are exceptional saints.

Summer seemed somewhat long, as grief can stretch out the days. But I found an outlet for the grief in training for and running the Hood to Coast relay. Whoa! I ran the studder producing, imfamous first leg, running downhill from Timberline Lodge to Government Camp.

We finished our Summer and began our Fall with three trips to southern California. Paul's work led him to California, spending most of October moving Symantec's QA lab into the Culver City site. We visited with Haley Hoffmeister and her sweet boys, who live in Fullerton. We were at Universal Studios three days, Legoland two days and Knott's Berry Farm one day. We did take some short visits to the beach, as Paul stayed in an apartment close to Venice Beach. This gave the kids and I an opportunity to rollerblade at the beach, picnic and watch the surfers. One of our trips to SoCal was with a friend and her boys. The photo with the boys in on Mailbu beach, about a week before the California fires. The rollerblading photo was taken at the peak of the San Diego fires, so you might notice the haze.

Other highlights of the year include: our trip to Sunriver; the last family picnic at Roslyn Lake; Cape Lookout;  Jim Brown's raging 40th birthday party; and Bud and Kes' visit (Hey, Bud, did you ever hear of the world's greatest joke book?).

December is almost over. It's been a year to remember that's for sure. I am grateful, and yet not as humble as I should be. I have a loving husband of eighteen years, beautiful children, a caring family, and constant friends. I go into this next year remembering the quote a friend gave me, "O God of second chances and new beginnings, here I am again."