If you don’t think about the loss of so much and so many we care about in this so-called democracy it has been a busy and enjoyable year for us.  But it is hard to ignore a daily reminder that our country’s leadership(?) has gone seriously awry.  We try to do our part to call, write, march and donate to those who are fighting this insanity and hope that things can change in the coming year. The good part of all this is that it has activated the electorate to speak out as we haven’t done probably since the 60’s.  KEEP IT UP!

elizabeth warren

Elizabeth Warren speaking at Greenfield Middle School

Back to the enjoyable year.  We were fortunate to spend time with our son and his girlfriend, our grandson, and our granddaughters all in separate special times.  I’ve written about our time with Sam (g-son) in Florida in February, Tessa and Leila in July but I don’t know if I mentioned our visit from David and Cindy in October.  They came in during the time my show was running at the Greenfield Gallery which I was really happy they could see there.  Cindy had never been to New England so they tried their best to squeeze in as much as possible.  They flew into Boston where we picked them up and spent the day walking around enjoying the great architecture and history of the city.

David & Cindy in the financial district, David with Red Auerbach and Larry Bird’s shoes

David, Denny and Cindy along the harbor

They came back to Greenfield where Cindy got to spend a few days seeing some of the area high points and visiting with some of David’s old friends who live around here.  Then we took them back to Boston the day before their flight and went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

gardner museum

Atrium at the museum

Then we walked around Copley Square and had a lovely meal at Legal Sea Food.

copley square

Copley Square

In November I participated in our annual Mary Lyon Spelling Bee.  Sadly, Denny was sick with a bad cold and couldn’t do it so we got a friend, Mike Fleck, to fill in with Cheryl Denton and me.  This is a charitable event that benefits a scholarship fund for students. There are teams of 3 people sponsored by different business in the area and there is a trophy for the best dressed (which we have won 3 times), and for each round and of course the final round.  This year we won our round but were beaten out of the best dressed by a team covered in LED lights and wearing tutus.

spelling bee

Mike and Cheryl are 2 bees and I am NOT 2 bees!

December brings us to the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count which we do each year with the Northampton area.  It’s always fun albeit cold but interesting to see how many birds we can count in a 24 hour period.  There are 34 different areas within our larger count area and our area found 39 species including a beautiful pair of Bald Eagles, 3 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Cooper’s Hawks and a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  We also found 1 of only 4 Red-breasted Nuthatches in the whole count.  The group as a whole found 85 species with a few record numbers including 108 Eastern Screech Owls!

Our count area includes Skinner State Park and Mt Holyoke and some big fields next to a tree line along the Connecticut River.  Also, within our area is Barstow’s Farm, store and restaurant where we go to get warm and have lunch.  The day before the count I hung a small show of bird collages there which will be on exhibit until mid March.  Here are a few of them:

Eastern Towhee, Barn Swallow, Common Redpoll, Northern Shrike, and Pileated Chicks

The end of December brought our 53rd wedding anniversary.  We celebrated with our friends Cyndie and Andy Rothschild with a lovely dinner out.

anniversary pic

D anniversary

We opened the new year with a fun potluck and Mexican train dominoes game at the Solar Store in Greenfield with our regular dominoes friends, Claire Chang (owner of the store), Nancy Hazard and Clarita Shaffer. Good food, good friends, good fun to start the year.

In February we will be in Puerto Penasco, Mexico from the 1st to March 5th.  Then we go to Tucson until the 14th.  We seemed to have picked the wrong time to get away from the cold as it continues to be in the single numbers around here.  Hopefully that will end soon.

May the new year bring only good things to all of us.  Keep healthy, stay happy, fill your lives with love and kindness and keep fighting for all that in this difficult time.


Nancy & Denny


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