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Thursday, December 31, 2009


Christmas lights! We always have to see Christmas lights. This is a home on the 1300th (west) block of 13th Avenue.
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After Nick and Naomi left for Ontario on the airplane, we had a quiet Christmas evening dinner.
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Another Santa asks David if he's been a good boy. (The Buker-Adamses had gone Christmas morning to Rosedale to be with Jane's family.)
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Granny Kellett ("Gran-gran") appreciates a thank you from Finn.
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Christmas 2009


Finnegann wonders about Santa (as played by Naomi) - who is this creature with a beard? Here we are on Christmas Eve at the Buker-Adamses.
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But Finn is willing to sit on Santa's lap. I think he thinks he knows who it is, but he didn't say.
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Christmas 2009

Here's Santa! Christmas Eve at 45th Avenue.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

XmasLetter-2009-forWEB

Christmas Letter – December 2009

We hope this finds you in good health and enjoying some relaxing time with family and friends. It has been a wonderful year as Neale has begun a proper retirement and our daughter Naomi got married--without too many family arguments. It helped that his parents, Ken and Sandie, live so far away, and we also are separated by the Strait of Georgia, so both sets of parents just HAD to trust them!

The school year from January to June was busy for Ros as she took her Biology students on a field trip to the Vancouver Aquarium and continued to teach junior sciences to grade 8 and ESL students, as well as staying active in her union on cycling initiatives and other policy matters She also continued to play and umpire field hockey, attend NDP meetings and rally voters to turn out for the May provincial election but not enough of them did to change the government!



Great Uncle David with Finnegann, Neale & Margery in background


In April, Ros’ brother David Kellett took a five week holiday to Britain to visit family and friends and came back with cheerful news and much gratitude for all the generous hospitablity he received – he also took lots of photographs to share with us.

In May, Naomi defended her master's thesis on aboriginal land claims and the negotiation processes and got top marks! Granny Margery, Neale and Ros were able to attend her Convocation service in June.

The climax of our summer was Naomi's marriage to Nick Melchin on August 23 in Saxe Point Park in Victoria. Nick comes from a strong family from Ottawa, Ontario and has two brothers, Derek and Pat. Both brothers assisted at the wedding, as did David Kellett. Naomi's oldest friend Roseanns Roberts and her brother Russell were flower people. The Reverend and Retired Canon Herbie O'Driscoll conducted the service, both in the park and at the chapel later.

The weekend was a joyful family gathering as relatives came from California, Calgary, Parksville (Vancouver Island), London (England), Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal for the event. As at her older brother's wedding, many guests travelled by bicycle in the wedding procession both to the ceremony and on to the reception. We really feel our family has grown to encompass the Melchins (and vice versa).



The bicycle bride before her wedding.

Neale worked hard for the Anglican synod from January to June and retired from full time work on June 30. He completed six issues of the diocesan newspaper TOPIC as well as travelling to Victoria for the Anglican Editors conference in early June. Many, many people came to his retirement party, held at Margery Kellett's and well-wishers from all the media worksites he had been employed at came out to Roast and Toast.



Russell, Jane, and Finnegann (somewhat older).

In mid July, son Russell left to got to CAT – the Centre for Alternate transportation- in Eugene, Oregon. His wife, Jane, and son, Finnegan, (age 2 year next Jan. 2) stayed in Vancouver but were able to go and visit him twice for week-long visits during his five-month apprenticeship program. He will return Dec 16 and try to set up a similar centre here in Vancouver. But we also got to see him three more times during this time as he returned for 2 weddings and Canadian thanksgiving!

On August 1, Jane's brother Johnny married Hilde Festerling at Johnny's family's home in Rosedale, BC, and we met many of the the couple’s relatives from across BC and the USA.

In the fall, Ros went back to teaching at Eric Hamber High School, and is now engaged with more ESL (English as a Second Language) science classes. Neale did more travelling, visited Russell twice and took the train to Davis and Berkeley California for American Thanksgiving. Neale’s brother Chuck and wife Dena prepared the 30 lb turkey for 21 friends and family – their “children” Jeremy and Leah Belzer Adams came home, as well as Neale’s brother Mike with his wife, Lori, and sons, Tristan and Zachary. Naomi flew down and Russell came by auto to have a great celebration – Ros, meanwhile, attended a political convention to ensure the next provincial election will be more successful for her New Democratic Party!

And so at this time we relax and take stock a little more, at this time of the year, and give thanks for so many blessings, including your friendship. Happy new 2010, we look forward to seeing you, perhaps, at the Olympic games!



Nick at left and Ros at right in the wedding procession after the ceremony.

ROS
NEALE

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

In a roommette on the train


In a roommette on the train, originally uploaded by NealeA.

We shared a small compartment on the train which made up into two very narrow beds, one on top of the other, so we could sleep overnight. Here Russell is drawing me (while I was drawing him).

Amtrak


IMG_4735, originally uploaded by NealeA.

Russell and I took the Coast Starlight from Davis to Eugene and I went on to Seattle and by bus to Vancouver. It was great being with my son on the journey - just as it had been wonderful to drive down to Eugene in October with daughter Naomi.

Charades


Charades, originally uploaded by NealeA.

We played Charades after dinner, and of course brother Chuck was the most energetic participant.

Thanksgiving table


IMG_4705, originally uploaded by NealeA.

Naomi had flown to San Francisco, and Russell had driven down with his friend Joe. Great time!

Turkey at the Belzer-Adamses


IMG_4704, originally uploaded by NealeA.

We all went in to Berkeley on Thanksgiving for dinner. Some 21 people were around the table, and the turkey weighed 30 lbs.

Mike at market


Mike at market, originally uploaded by NealeA.

Then on to Davis to be with my brother Mike and his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We cycled to the local farmers' market, where Mike seemed to know most of the farmers.

Russell at C.A.T.


IMG_4650, originally uploaded by NealeA.

I really enjoyed spending time with Russell before American Thanksgiving in Eugene. Here he is working at C.A.T., the Center for Appropriate Transportation.

Friday, November 13, 2009


A fire at Main Street and Broadway destroyed three small businesses the night before. A machine was tearing down what remained and dragging it to the street so it could be trucked away. What a mess!
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hiking in Oregon


We went on a short hike in a lava bed in a forest near Eugene. Actually we were looking for a hot springs but were in the wrong place.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eugene Visit


Eugene Visit, originally uploaded by NealeA.

Naomi and I went down to visit Russell in Eugene on Oct. 24 and 25, and had a great weekend. He's down there studying bicycle cart fabrication at the Center for Appropriate Technology, and doing well, though he really misses his family. This was taken at the Saturday Market in downtown Eugene.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Russell, Finn, and Jane... another great shot.
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Finn and his Dad. Another great shot.
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Putting on Finnegann's slippers. These shots were taken by Russell, who commented that it sure took a long time to get them on!
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009


Here's a shot of our dinner for Thanksgiving, which we had on Sunday, Oct. 11. It's a composite so I could get both sides in. L-R: Margery, Colin, Nick, Naomi, Russell, Finn, Jane (attending the youngster), David, Ros, Winnie.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My crazy grandson Finnegann, at a party at the Buker-Adams' on Saturday, Oct. 10. The other, somewhat less dizzy, young dancer is his cousin Elliott. This was shot in low light, so the picture is a bit washed out, but you can see the twirling. He may have a career as a whirling dervish.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Both Nick (at left) and Naomi (at right) were pictured in local papers - Georgia Straight and Vancouver Courier - in accounts of the bike polo tournament.

Naomi at the end of the game tapping mallets with other players.
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Here was Naomi's team in a bike polo tournament in East Vancouver, with her friends Valley (furthest from camera) and Cornelia (in black). They did quite well, coming in fourth of about ten teams. This is how the game begins.
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Nick and Naomi opening their loot... I mean gifts... after the wedding.
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I should mention the wedding included a procession on bicycles, too and from the park. Nick is at left, Ros in the middle telling all and sundry that her daughter was getting married. This was Nigel's photo.
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I haven't blogged any pictures of Naomi and Nick's wedding. Instead I've put them on my Flickr website. This great picture was taken by their good friend (and fellow bike polo player) Polly. The wedding took place at Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt, near Victoria, BC on Aug. 23. Family friend - who married Ros and me - Herbie O'Driscoll was the priest. It was great. Do go see the pictures.
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Finnegann reading with great-granny Margery. He's a smart kid (what else would I say?)
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Here's the grandkid during a recent visit playing with a toy his grandmother bought. He prefers pushing to being pushed.
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