When I asked Doug if we should send a Christmas letter this year, he replied that he’s still the same old boring guy. I’m the same old boring woman, but here’s our letter anyway.
Doug’s 1940 Ford Convertible will be on the road in 2019. It’s actually at a body shop being painted a deep metallic blue. Many hours this past year were spent working on the car.
Doug plays golf in the summer and curls in the winter. He and a friend flew to St. Paul Minnesota to attend the “Back to the Fifties” car show with over 11,000 cars, 1964 and older.
Doug and I spent ten days in Southern California in late January and early February. He attended the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona. We celebrated an early 5th birthday with granddaughter Ella. The weather was unseasonably warm so we had several beach days. Of course, it was back to Legoland with Ella on even faster roller coasters.
In April, Doug and I flew to Chicago and spent a few days in the ‘Windy City.’ That nickname came from the hot air expelled by the politicians, but it could also have referred to the cold wind. We only lasted five innings in the wind and sleet at Wrigley Stadium. The waves were reported to be 16 feet high out on Lake Michigan.
We enjoyed the Museum of Science and Industry. The building was originally built for the 1893 World’s Exposition and then opened as the Science and Industry Museum in 1933 during the Chicago World Fair. Some family history: That year, my father, grandparents and great-grandfather Lohr drove to the Fair from Erskine, Alberta. So, that fact made the museum visit extra special. We also enjoyed the Architectural River Cruise where the guide explained the origins and styles of the downtown buildings while we huddled under plastic rain coats.
From Chicago we drove to Dearborn, Michigan, to the Henry Ford Museum, the largest museum complex in the United States at 254 acres. We only had a day to spend there and didn’t get through all the exhibits. It’s much more than a car museum. The highlight was sitting in the same bus seat that Rosa Parks refused to give up to a white passenger on December 1, 1955.
We enjoyed our time in South Bend, Indiana, although the Studebaker Museum was closed so we toured the Oliver Mansion. The Oliver family was famous for the invention of the chilled plow and the nearby plant produced farm equipment.
Then we went to Mount Carroll, Illinois, where we enjoyed visiting with family members from the Lohr Branch. They are the Great Grandchildren of Solomon Lohr who was my Great-Grandfather George Lohr’s brother.
After a night ‘in jail’ at the Jail House Inn B&B in Galena, Illinois, we drove through part of Wisconsin. I had no idea there were so many varieties of cheese! We returned to Chicago and flew home. Chicago is a great place to visit; maybe just not in April.
Our visit with the Lohr relatives was my only family history work this past year. My volunteer work on the Okotoks Library Board has become like a part-time job. We are advocating and fundraising for a library expansion. I’m certainly learning a lot about libraries.
Cabin life was busy again this summer. Mark, Robin, Hannah, and Grayson spent time at the cabin, and Heather and Ella were there for a few days in August. As we drive that eight hour one way trip, we sometimes wonder why we do it, but, once we’re there, we enjoy the lake and seeing old friends and neighbors.
We had another bumper crop of saskatoons and raspberries, but the pumpkin seeds planted by Hannah and Grayson never did grow pumpkins, just vines spreading throughout the garden. So in October, Doug bought a couple pumpkins and put them in the garden on the vines.
Hannah is enjoying grade one and takes piano lessons. Grayson, three in October, spends Wednesdays with us. He has to be watched as he likes to figure out how everything works. His favorite activity is driving the tractor with Doug. We purchased a ‘Tin Lizzie’—a former Shriner’s car. Hannah and Grayson like to ride along as we go up and down the lane.
Hayley will be 13 years old on December 30th. We thought we were going to lose her this summer as the smoke and heat negatively affected her breathing. However, once winter arrived and with the canine versions of glucosamine and ibuprofen, she is now walking and sometimes trotting down to the highway and back each morning to help us bring home the newspaper.
Doug and I are looking forward to our visits the last week in January and early February 2019 to see Heather, Mike, and Ella. (We are going to ‘take turns’ going to California so that one of us is home with Hayley.) Ella is now in Kindergarten so we probably won’t see her as much as when she could spend every day with us. But, I’m sure there will be roller coaster rides again.
We hope that all is well with you and your families. Merry Christmas and best wishes for health and happiness in the New Year.
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