We returned from our cross country trip on October 1, still in time to see all our own trees slip into their fall finery. It was a lovely month spent home catching up on chores, winterizing our place for winter and decorating for Halloween. I made a short trip to Portland to visit with my daughters and grandsons, meeting a friend in town from New York and enjoying all the delights that the city of Portland has to offer.
While driving in to town for my work days, I saw Klamath Lake filled with migrating water birds, herons, egrets, myriad kinds of ducks and geese, with a few white pelicans still hanging around much too long.
We emptied out the hot tub and readied it for another winter of steamy soaks under the stars, and Mo raked needles and burned debris for days on end, even after our early October snows. After all our camping and traveling, it was wonderful to have a month at home. I knitted a lot and cooked some really great meals and even settled in to reading a couple of excellent books. It was a lovely month.
After some rescheduling excitement, our new Canadian kayaks were delivered just in time for our planned California trip. We made reservations all down the coast wherever we could find estuaries and rivers to kayak. The new kayaks are amazing, a full 15 pounds less in weight while adding an extra foot in length from our previous boats.
In spite of the rainy weather on the coast, we still managed several perfect days in the boats, and even found some sunshine here and there. As lake kayakers, we were thrilled and sometimes a bit overwhelmed by our adventures into the estuaries, dealing with tides and that wild place where the rivers meet the ocean.
Our perfect two weeks ended with a visit with my lifetime soul friend and her husband in Oroville before we settled the MoHo into her berth in Redding. This winter for the first time we decided to store the MoHo about 3 hours from home, in a place that doesn’t often freeze and rarely gets snow.
We got home in time for me to work some more, and then plan a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for my family at home in Rocky Point. Nature provided the entertainment, with deep snows for the teenagers who loved all the sledding, especially with Mo’s real sled with real runners.
With the early winter, in early December Mo and I were plowing and shoveling almost every single day. As luck would have it, the weather cooperated for Mo while I left for a week to visit my friend in Florida. She didn’t have to plow a single day while I was gone. However, the weather didn’t cooperate nearly as well for me, where Florida had record breaking cold, with lows in the 20’s in Ocala. Still, it was wonderful to have some time with Bel and to again feel that magical feeling that I get around that part of Florida.
We ended the year with a trip to the California deserts, searching for sun and warmth and finding cold weather, rain and floods. When the sun did finally come out, though, it was gorgeous, and the warm water of the natural spring fed pools at our resort more than made up for the cold weather.
As this New Years Weekend comes to a close on this Sunday evening, I am amazed at how filled this year has been. The clichés about time flying so quickly are real, as this first anniversary of my retirement passes by. I did so many things I wanted to do. I managed to bake some seriously fabulous cakes, and tried out new recipes. I gardened a lot during the spring and summer, and I actually did forget what day of the week it was occasionally.
Our plans for the year ahead are still nebulous, still open. I will be taking my daughter on a Caribbean cruise in a couple of weeks, and Mo and I will travel south to the deserts again in February, hoping for sunnier weather than we found last time. We are thinking of going to the RV Rally in Bend this July, but other than that, the world is wide open to us, to whatever adventures appear. The Wheel of Fortune is turning for me this year, magic happens. Who knows what will come next?