Once again, we had our now traditional fondue party at Amy’s home. We had two pots for cooking meat and one with cheese and there were two wonderful salads. But of course, it’s not really about the food. It’s about being with people we enjoy. This was our fourteenth in sixteen years and Cathy’s mom was with us for the first time this year. Amy thought to extend her table so we were not quite as crowded while eating. We also stayed longer than we have in past years, getting home after 8:00 PM. It’s a really nice tradition and I was especially glad to have this visit with Rob and Susie, who we see for too infrequently.
Tagged With: Friends
Many of us are not fond of pictures of ourselves. I know that’s true for me and it’s a bit hypocritical of me to insist that others pose for pictures and allow me to post them while I’m not particularly comfortable posing for pictures myself. Nevertheless, I do it. We had a really nice and long overdue dinner with two friends this evening, Theresa (a.k.a. Reeree) and Susan (a.k.a. Susan). It was really goot to get a bit caught up with them, although it’s been so long and so much has been going on that we didn’t really get completely caught up. But it was a start. We also had a really good Thai meal, which was a bonus. Shortly after this photo was taken, I knocked over my water glass and it shattered. A nice way to end the evening.
We went to see our good friends Jean and Maria this evening and had a wonderful time. Maria is recovering from some fairly substantial surgery to her hip and seems to be doing really well. She’s getting around with a walker and should be back on her feet in plenty of time for her wedding next year. We’re really looking forward to that and talked quite a bit about their plans. I fixed panang curry with chicken for dinner and we also had peaches and whipped cream for dessert (it’s hard to go wrong with peaches and cream, unless the peaches aren’t ripe, of course). Mostly, though, we just visited and talked and got caught up on what’s going on in our various lives. We missed Lexi, of course, but we’ll do it again when she’s in town.
Cathy and Jean went to high school together and lost touch after college. They reconnected in the late 1990s and have been best friends again ever since. We visited them in 1999 when she and her family lived in southern Germany and the girls were not yet in grade school. I just went back and looked at those pictures and it brought back some pretty good memories.
It was great catching up with our dear friend Karlee this evening. It was also nice meeting her boyfriend, Patrick. Whether he’s good enough for Karlee remains to be seen, although he seems nice enough. It’s always hard when someone you know well and care about meets someone and you don’t know them. It’s probably natural to be suspicious or doubt that they are good enough. We really enjoyed dinner and being with them. It’s too bad we have to brave the Beltway and the American Legion Bridge during an evening rush hour to see Karlee, but it’s worth it.
We went to a wedding reception today. Dorothy described it as a fake wedding for a real marriage. This is the bride, Dorothy’s best friend, Kendra. She got married (eloped, actually) last fall. Today, a friend of the family had a wedding reception for Kendra and Jacob. I have a few pictures of both of them but sadly, a few days before the party he broke his jaw in a rollerblading accident and had his jaw wired shut. That makes him look a little dour and I’m not going to post those pictures. With all the talk about straw bans in various places, I hope there will be an exception for people with their jaws wired shut.
Tonight was the annual Erick’s Hope benefit dinner. Erick’s Hope (http://erickshope.org/) is a non-profit run by our friends, Richard and Donna, in honor and memory of their son, Erick, who died in 2008. Every year in the last week of June Richard and Donna have a fundraising event. For a few years it was held at The Golden Bull in Gaithersburg but more recently it has been at Montgomery Country Club in Laytonsville. We got to see friends that we don’t see as often as we’d like. Cathy bought two desserts at the dessert auction but we didn’t get anything else. It’s always nice to see Maureen, posing here with Cathy, and her husband, Bob. We see them more than most but still not enough.
Today was a mixed bag. We had a tough morning, thinking about Ralph on his birthday and missing him, especially with the birth of his second grandson on Thursday. This afternoon, though, we had a much needed distraction, visiting our dear friend, Karlee. She was nice enough to give up the better part of her afternoon to have a late lunch with these two old fogies. We talked about life, the universe, and everything and it was really good to get caught up. As we waited for our lunches, I took a very few photos of Karlee and Cathy.
It’s always nice to have a home cooked meal. It’s especially nice when someone else does the cooking. Actually, while the food was wonderful, it was the one who cooked it that made the evening lovely. Theresa (a.k.a. Reeree) is a very dear friend and she was nice enough to have us over for a little R and R (which I will now take to mean Rest and Reeree). The conversation was wide ranging and there were, as you might imagine, a few laughs, some tears, and a lot of love. Thank you, dear friend.
As I mentioned yesterday, Dorothy is home for spring break and brought four friends with her. Today we drove out to our friends farm in the outskirts of Poolesville. The chicken’s are not really a featured attraction and visitors are not supposed to wander out into the field with the animals. One advantage of being friends with the owners, however, is a little more latitude when it comes to where we are allowed. The kids (and I’m counting Cathy among them) enjoyed catching chickens and putting them back inside the enclosure. Here are John, Cathy, and Grace, each with a chicken.
Dorothy came home for spring break and brought four of her friends with her. They arrived at about 5:00 PM and I got home a little after 6:00. I fixed a very non-standard shepherd’s pie for dinner, using chicken instead of the more traditional lamb or also quite common beef. There were meat eaters in the crowd but a few who were not eating red meat. Also, fresh shepherd is so hard to find this time of year. Cathy, as is her wont, sat on the floor and stretched. This is most everyone, gathered in the living room, joining in.
This young woman, Julia by name, is a dear friend and all around wonderful gal. She came over yesterday and today to help us around the house. I didn’t get to see her yesterday or most of today (work, work, work) but she was here when I got home and she let us take her to dinner. Then and for a little while afterwards we got to chat and catch up on things. And she let me take a few pictures of her, so that’s what I’m posting for today. Thanks, Jules.
Today was phase one of “The Move”. We’ve been so long getting to this point that it was a little anticlimactic. Well, maybe. It was still a big day. It went very smoothly, though, largely due to the overwhelming support of those who came and carried and organized and directed. I really didn’t do a lot other than drive the truck, which is about at my pay grade. This was only part one of the actual moving process and really only one phase of many. Nevertheless, thank you to everyone who came out to help on this cool January day.
On January first, 2004, Amy and Kevin had us over for what she described in the invitation as a low-key, relaxed, New Year’s day party. It lived up to its billing and with the exception of two rough years early this decade, we have had a suitably low-key repeat. Fondue is the traditional fare, with both beef and cheese pots going. This is the crew, except James, who hadn’t made it to the table yet. There was laughter as well as mourning, as we looked back on a year that called for both. We don’t kno, of course, what the year ahead holds, but with friends like these, who needs enemas.
We went with Cathy’s mom to the Fourth Presbyterian picnic today at Rocklands Farm. We haven’t gone to Fourth for over 25 years but we still know a lot of people there and of course we know the Rocklands folks, so we had a wonderful time visiting with old friends. I took a bunch of pictures but I have to admit I took more of Janis and Greg’s grandchildren than all the other pictures combined. They’re all just so darned cute. Here are two cousins, Elsie on the left and Marit on the right, ‘driving’ the gator (actually it’s a Kubota, but their previous one was a John Deere and the name is a holdover from that). These two are clearly chums and I’m really happy that Marit and her family are back in the USA for the foreseeable future. Anyway, this picture makes me happy.
It’s funny to me how differently people, especially kids, react to having their picture taken. Some duck for cover, some turn their faces away, and some practically beg for more. This little sweetheart is one of the beg-for-more types. Her siblings all like having their pictures taken, too, but this one more than the others put together, I think. Anyway, she’s a very sweet girl and I’m happy to take her picture any chance I get.
I took quite a few pictures of her and her sister and brothers, as well as the other children who were there today. In many of them Addy is making faces and I considered posting one of those. Actually, I suspect she will be disappointed that I haven’t posted one of them. But I love this one that shows her how she normally looks (although from a fairly close vantage point). I’ll share the others with her parents so she’ll be able to see them. Hopefully that will make her happy.
Thanks to Andy and Kelly for having us over with a few other friends this morning. It was a nice way to celebrate the original Brexit (circa 1776). Also, I took a couple pictures of the baby robins but they didn’t turn out too well. Not as well as Kelly’s taken with her phone, in fact.
We were happy to be able to have lunch today with Maria, Alex, and Jean Ulmer. That happens far too infrequently as far as I’m concerned.
Lyla had a bunch of the youth group over this evening and they were good enough to let me stay and take pictures. This is just a silly picture of Dorothy and Lyla.
Four of Dorothy’s friends went off to college this fall. She’s seen three of them a few times since then but Hannah Marie Roop went too far to come home for a weekend. We’ll she’s here for Thanksgiving and her parents let here have some of her friends over to see her this evening. A couple had left by the time I took this and two more came after I did, but this is as complete a group picture as I got. There was considerable laughter and much joy.
I got a few nice pictures of Jack this evening (look for an update to The Many Faces of Jack). This one is nice because it has some cool extra people in it.
The results of an interesting party game.
Some of the ladies at work organized a baby shower for Kasia. These are the happily expectant parents.
I get this a lot. We were out to dinner with some wonderful friends. I wanted to take a picture to post here. The reaction was as fast as it was unanimous.
School starts on Wednesday and the sophomore and junior classes had a joint “back to school” party this afternoon. In this photo, Dorothy and some of her friends are… well, I’m not sure what they’re doing.
*I know, Hannah is a junior. Sorry.
It was hard to pick one picture for today so I decided to go with two beautiful smiles. After staying home because she was sick when we left for Toronto, Stephanie got better and her wonderful parents got her to us on Tuesday evening. She didn’t stop smiling all week. It made Hannah and the rest of the team pretty happy, as well.
This picture was taken in the CN Tower, which costs a bit to go up but is worth the price, I think. We were there for sunset, which was particularly nice and the wind felt good after being so hot.
We picked up our weekly share of vegetables at Rocklands Farm this morning and enjoyed a visit with the folks there, including Lissie, Anna’s sister, who posed for me with a small basket of produce.
We had a picnic after church today to say farewell to the Bill and Kristine who are moving to Ohio. I’ll post a separate gallery with a bunch of pictures but this was my favorite from today.
Erick’s Hope was having a fundraiser at Mama Lucia’s in Olney this evening. What a great excuse to have dinner with friends. They aren’t all in the picture but Mike and Krystal were with us, along with Diana, Josh, and Jake.
Congratulations to four gratuates: Stephanie, Hannah, Stephen, and Lyla. God bless you as you head off to college in the fall.
So if it was hard yesterday to pick a single picture from 465, how much harder today. But since the main event was the wedding, here is the happy couple, officially husband and wife.
Although I’m posting this on Tuesday, don’t worry, I have pictures taken Sunday and Monday to share, as soon as I can get to them. It won’t be long.
I know I’m running behind. I’ve been so busy taking pictures that I haven’t had enough time to go through them. Also, picking one picture out of 465 is never easy.
We were privileged to spend the evening with Greg and Anna Joy’s families as they prepared to join in marriage tomorrow. The highlight, I think, was the time of story-telling in the barn. In this picture, Clay is telling a bit about how he and Greg met and became such good friends.
Any guesses what tomorrow’s picture will be of?
Dorothy and Simone watched a movie on the computer this evening.
Our friends Lauren and Tommy let us come visit them and see their beautiful three-week-old son, Jack. He had a rough first week but seems to be doing wonderfully now. He slept most of the time we were there but it was great to hold him and get caught up with Lauren and Tommy. What a sweet baby and what great parents.
We had a wonderful time with our good friends Erin and David this evening and were especially happy to meet their one year old son, Levi. What a charmer.
Ellen, Sarah, Jenny, Anna, and Dorothy.
We had a terrific afternoon with our friends Ben, Michelle, and their beautiful daughter Lilias. She only smiled for me in a couple pictures but I think this one is pretty sweet.