Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas Letter

Well, here's my annual Christmas letter; I think I actually got it sent with a card to about a dozen family members and friends before Christmas, which is a big improvement over last year, when I only completed about half the letter and sent ZERO cards.

Dec. 10, 2006
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!

My hope is to get a Christmas letter written and sent to all my family and friends this year (I’m sorry about last year, everyone; the time just zoomed by too fast.)
Jenny, Lawrence, Lily and Matt were all with me in Joseph for Christmas 2005, with Lily, who’d turned 1 on Oct. 14, running all over and enjoying opening her presents. This year Lily and her folks will be back -- at age 2 she’s knows what she wants. She loves cameras and has asked her “’Mama Yanie” for a “cheese” (Lily language for camera)…. so we’ll have to see.
It’s been another busy year, especially at work where the entire editorial staff (writing/news) of four changed again (at least once)… except me. At my age, constant change isn’t as appealing as it once was, but I’m still hanging in there. We’re now in the market for a new sports writer -- again. I like everyone I’m working with, so just hope they stay put!
High points of the year:
At the end of February I spent a few days on the coast in Newport at my favorite spot, Sylvia Beach Hotel (each room is named for and decorated in honor of a different author -- I stayed in the Willa Cather room).
In October, I enjoyed my wonderful first-ever cruise (Carnival Pride to Mexican Riviera) with Jenny, Lawrence, Lily, his family and many of their friends, who also invited their families. I was able to spend Lily’s 2nd birthday in Disneyland with her the day before we sailed.
In May I was able to located Irene, my only cousin on my mother’s side of the family, and my mom’s cousin, Cecil, who’s now 85. It’s great to be reconnected. Cecil came for part of the annual Memorial Day weekend LLC meeting at the Blanchet Ranch held by me and my siblings (and attended by most of our offspring), and Irene & her daughter visited the ranch right after.
Our first family gathering of the year, sadly, was at the funeral of our dear Uncle Delbert in April. Then in June, we gathered again under happier circumstances at the annual Blanchet Family reunion, held this at cousin John Burns’ place outside Wallowa -- plenty big enough for RVs and tents. Aunt La France celebrated her 88th birthday during the reunion (truly unbelievable!), and Aunt Cressie brought her famous homemade ice cream. Later in the summer Aunt Cressie fell and broke her hip, but after tough recuperation from hip replacement surgery (which Aunt La France went through last year) is almost as good as new.
Other 2006 happenings:
Jenny and Lawrence moved into a bigger house in Tigard so they’d have a guest room when I came to visit; Lily needed more room for her stuff, also. They came to visit Joseph for the Bronze, Blues and Brews festival in city park for a fun weekend.
I went to my 40th high school reunion with my friend Marilyn outside Portland (more people live there than Pendleton, I think). It was lots of fun, even though attended by a lot of old folks.
Matt moved to Eugene and went back to college, at Lane Community this time, after spending 2005 mostly in National Guard training in S.C. and Georgia. He’s also currently working on the “Geek Squad” at Best Buy computer store. He’s still a weekend warrior and I’m hoping that’s what he’ll stay.
BIG NEWS -- Lily’s going to be a big sister in late June or early July!! (I’m waiting to send my cards until I get the word “it’s okay to go public” with the news).So that means I’ll be double grandma. I can’t wait.
Hope you all survive the holidays and I see all of you during the new year.

Elane (aka Lanie)

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