My holiday cards are always late:) I am going to use the cyber world to share my annual news with those of you who are interested in an Ardington update. Thanks to Facebook I enjoy regular connections with many of you throughout the year. That means a lot to me. My inbox messages and friendships are a real treasure. You are my friend, so you probably know my cards are late and I am not a phone user, though I do have an aging smart phone that I turn on once a week at the most. I connect everyday with many on Facebook or at my Gmail. Some of you are my beloved “snail mail friends” and I will be late with my greetings, but am happy to be in touch at least once a year. So God bless you my friend – whether we meet by the US Postal service, Facebook at Sue Brady Ardington, firstname.lastname@example.org, or perhaps through my travel blog at http://sueshares.blogspot.com. Maybe even Instagram because Mary and my students are always pressing me in a new technology direction.
Many of you know that I had an amazing summer traveling with Mary. First we took students to China with the EF Company. We had a wonderful group, and became a travel family for sure. Tomorrow we are going to have a breakfast reunion at Berryfield’s in Centralia to share some post-travel thoughts related to China. We were in Hong Kong during the early days of the protest against the mainland “crack down” on political rights in Hong Kong. Now we understand this issue better, and we appreciate the fact that we experienced part of this history first hand.
When we returned from China, we had a fun Brady family 4th of July at my mom’s retirement community. We all bring big appetites for the barbecued ribs and potato salad and had fun playing Bocce Ball and dancing to Dixieland Jazz. We all met about a week later at Cannon Beach which has become an annual tradition. It’s fun and there is plenty of space for everyone to come and go as they please. Our big event is the hot dog roast and S'Mores on the beach. Really good times, three generations and new friends together.
Then Mary and I took off again for my epic return to England. I taught there in the mid-80’s and had never had the opportunity to return. Mary and I had a wonderful time and Mary made new friendships and I felt really blessed to be renewing friendships. We were treated royally by these friends; lunches, dinners, picnics, road trips, Palace visits, the London Eye, War Horse. We lived well. I returned home the weekend before school started. It was a wonderful time, and a summer to remember with my daughter.
Hmmmm. Mary brought home a souvenir, a British man from the North Yorkshire Moors. This is a sign of the times. They met briefly when we stayed at a hotel in the North Yorkshire Moors, became Facebook friends, Facetime friends, and then Kyle arrived on our door step and they made their way sight-seeing through the Pacific Northwest. He returned to England and then three weeks later was back and is staying until mid-January. He is resourceful, he found an internship with the State of Washington Aquatics division and is doing a lot of unpaid work for them and enjoying it. Kyle has a college degree in Political Science and History. I’m roping into a one day teaching assignment for my class, England in the middle ages. In the spring he hopes to join the Royal Navy to train as an officer. He’s a nice guy. We like him.
Mary has been substitute teaching and learns a lot in that process. She has also been applying to graduate schools, so hopefully in the next three months something just right comes along in London or in Boston so she can be off pursuing that opportunity.
Mike and his faithful pal Dooley, our golden retriever are still working in the field rain, sun, sleet and snow doing timber cruising and wildlife biology work. Mike’s had a year of grief…..traveling to and from Wisconsin as both of his parents departed. He's making good progress though, playing his guitar, connecting with his friends.
I’ve had a busy school year. I think I am working as much as I did in my 20’s, maybe more. The only difference is that I don’t quite have the energy I did then. Fortunately, at home everyone is satisfied if I put a hot meal on the table. After that I can call it a day. Mary and Kyle have been making some meals too, their specialties are Spaghetti Bolognese and Bangers and Mash (yes, sausage and mashed potatoes).
Yoga and walking, and hopefully jogging again soon are my past-times, and I am looking forward to some time to read fiction during this break. Being lazy about my Christmas cards this year is going to make that possible.
Thanks for being in my life. You are a blessing. Keep in touch in what ever way works best for you.