Opal Ann birthday (YouTube https://youtu.be/-IWMddQMmjI )

Opal Ann Interviewed by Kelly (YouTube https://youtu.be/jFN50-QPj7A )

Opal Ann dancing on her third birthday (YouTube https://youtu.be/SB6isMKrqQI )

Morgan Alexander dancing too (YouTube https://youtu.be/0_2N1NuKsVo )

Opal - A Born Baby (YouTube https://youtu.be/baM1zNGL20o )

Christmas 2008 James came home from LA by way of NYC and Princeton and then Jeni, Gina, and her youngest daughter, Cresie came up to Crane the 23rd. Beginning the 18th it was very cold and snowy all over the Pacific Northwest so we stayed indoors most of the time. Two neighbors joined us Christmas day.

Crane Island Snow A long otter snow slide now runs from the hill up above our house, along our path, and down to the beach next door. On the south side of the island a mink has left a corrugated trail of hopping and sliding. All over the island the deer seem to wander aimlessly and always up the steepest part of a hill and through the densest salal. What are they thinking? Though I saw many raccoon tracks a few days ago, they seem to be taking time off now. Ten days ago, before the wind, snow, and then bitter cold the crows came by to pick the ripe red berries from the Madrona outside. They couldn't reach some of the berries - because there weren't branches nearby to perch on. So the next several days, smaller birds, like the varied thrush, thoroughly cleaned up the leftovers, some out of the light snow where other birds had carelessly dropped them. Yesterday I saw sparrows picking through seed heads on the tall grass standing above the snow in the meadow to the north. We usually think that snow covers and hides but it also reveals - for me on Crane a whole history of comings and goings I could only have guessed at. The return of the sun, the celebration of the light, the recognition of new life in winter, the bustling of the animals while the plants sleep, a new year coming with a new President. What a miracle we live within.

Nutcracker Ballet We met at Jeni's for lunch and then walked to the nearby Seattle Center to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Maurice Sendak designed Nutcracker. It was wonderful! The sets and costumes were beautiful and the dancing and music striking and at times poignant. We all agreed this was the best Nutcracker any of us had seen. Since Opal is a budding ballerina she was particularly attentive to he performance.

Thanksgiving 2008 James and Jeni came up Wednesday, Noah, Natasha, Morgan, and Opal Thursday, and Igor, Jeni's friend joined us Friday - and that's when we had Thanksgiving dinner. The skies were gray with wisps of clouds lacing the firs and cedars. We had a walk, played games, conversed, watched a video of our 1989 trip to Europe James made, and had wonderful meals Yvonne put together with some help from James, Jeni, and Natasha. A bit cool outside but warm inside - a wonderful Thanksgiving.

November Field Trip In early November we visited N,N,M&O on Harstine. Natasha was hosting her bookgroup so the rest of us went to town for Mexican food. Saturday we took the kids to Tacoma and N&N had the day off. We toured the Colorado History Museum, had lunch, rode the street car, and enjoyed the public spaces around the Glass Museum. Then we went to see High School Musical 3 - what the kids wanted to see. Natasha made some wonderful meals and we had a chance to visit about everything - including the historic election. A great weekend.

Charlettes' Kubota Tour Yvonne, Julie, and Kathy got together for a wild weekend of music, jager bombs, and gardens.Fifty plus years of fun - can you believe it? The Charlette's World Tour plans are under wraps at the moment. Stay tuned....

Gina Visits Crane Gina hadn't seen our place on Crane (or Orcas, for that matter). We had more than a week together and had a chance to catch up on the last 20, eventful years. We very much enjoyed our daily, lingering after-dinner conversations.

The Continuing Garden Project In 2008 Yvonne added to the front garden and it grew apace. In the back, she added planters for vegetables and a cutting garden. And below the house, on the water, she created a rockery planting area. Away from the house she cleaned out decades of unmanaged growth made the grounds look tended and inviting. More to come... See here for 2007 efforts.

Driveway to Deck Project When we bought the house, it had an in-use garage and concrete driveway. We converted the garage into a studio with a loft (here) and that left the driveway to improve. Yvonne wanted planter boxes for her vegetable garden so they needed to be integrated into the deck and the new deck needed to match he rest of the house. The project turned out pretty well.

A Shelter and Two Shops Last winter and into the spring, John built a rain shelter and his and hers shops. The project turned out well and the products are attractive and useful. Though some of the work proceeded through days of drizzle, the companionship of the firs and cedars and the occasional raven in the trees above made it a first class experience.

Corrina and Shaun Visit Crane We hadn't seen either since Princeton in June. According to Corrina, Shaun was "blown away" by the San Juans and Crane. Though they could only stay for 24 hours, they packed in lots of activities. It was a great pleasure to have the young people around.

Colorado Springs Visit From Estes Park, we headed south to the Springs and saw Marcy, Paul, Matt, Lindsey, Aelias, Alana, Julie, Cooper, Phoebe, and Alan. The weather as mild, the leaves beginning to show color in contrast to the fall green grass. Everybody doing well. Lots of catching up about the Wyoming reunion, the Swedes, and family

Estes Park Fall Equinox We drove from LA through St. George and Glenwood Springs to Estes Park to celebate the equinox with our dear friends. We had good food, warm fellowship, chanted up the sun, were disturbed by an early hours ursine visit, got lost hiking, did a round of Celebrity (the women cheated by being smarter than the men), enjoyed a rainbow, and got to talk about the basis of morality. And when we left we bumped into Forrest and Frances!

James to UCLA Leaving Los Osos, we cruised down the 101 to Westwood and found a comfortable house James could share with a young man from Spain. About two miles from campus, frequent buses make UCLA a 15 minute commute. We also got to see Alan and Tessa's Laura perform with a Hollywood improv group and we had dinner in Pasadena with Emily (PU '08) and her parents, Roger and Ruthann. The more time we spent in LA the more attractive and less overwhelming in seemed.

Seeing Maddie May and Family We stopped in Los Osos on the way to LA and had a wonderful visit with Eric, Kristin, Jackson, and Maddie May. Maddie is beautiful and smart, as you might expect. Jackson takes good care of his little sister and Eric and Kristin are taking the expansion of their family in stride - without missing a beat.

Julie Crosses the Mountains to Visit Crane Julie U came for a visit in September, bringing homemade rhubarb pie. She ran and biked and Julie and Yvonne provided a music recital. We cruised to Stuart Isand with Richard along, had a picnic and good hike. It was great to see Julie. She shared some amazing dog rescue stories.

Keith Returns to Crane Keith came up from Atlanta before returning to Princeton for junior year. James and Keith did some tourist things, kayaked, and we did an afternoon sail on the Simrishamn. Richard came to dinner and James demoed his iPhone - to our mutual amazement.

Jeni and Friends Make August Visit Jeni brought her friends Kelly and Tim, Kay and Matt and Arun and Adriana up to Crane the weekend before Labor Day. They kayaked around Crane and cruised on the Simrishamn. Kay made wonderful lemon bars and we all enjoyed our conversations. It was a pleasure see some of Jeni's friends again and to meet some for the first time.

Noah, Natasha, and the kids go cruising to Canada We had planned on being out for two nights - to Ganges and Montague Harbor but it turned rainy and cool. Even so we had a nice cruise, enjoyed Ganges, and took a look at Montague Harbor. The Simrishamn had plenty of space for the six of us. Our Tuesday night our Go Fish and Pig card games were enlivened by Opal's creative sense of humor. Morgan was at the helm for several hours and did a great job steering the Simrishamn during the cruise.

The Swedes Visit Crane Lars-Eric and Solveig and Ann-Sofi and Janne came to visit after attending the Wyoming reunion and traveling around the West. We very much enjoyed being together again. We toured Orcas and cruised to Roche Harbor. Yvonne made some wonderful meals, Janne and Lars-Erik fixed our washing machine and turned Yvonne's iron into junk. In Seattle Jeni and James and Noah, Natasha, Morgan and Opal joined the party at various times for meals and touring. Lots of love and fun and special humour. We love the Swedes!

Ron and Tammi Visit Crane After Tony's service Ron and Tammi came with us back to Crane. We ascended Mt. Constitution, celebrated Yvonne's birthday at Rosario, and cruised out to Sucia for a picnic and some kayaking. We enjoyed showing Ron what we've done with the house and garden and introducing Tammi to the San Juans.

Tony and Margaret's Memorial Service Sarah, Samantha, and their friends along with Ron and friend, Tammi, and Yvonne, Jeni, Noah, James, John, and Yvonne's friends Julie and Kathy, with daughter, Justine, attended a memorial service for Tony and Margaret at the Tahoma National Cemetery and then shared an evening meal. Some of us stopped at Greenwood Cemetery to see Jimi's grave.

Seeing Maddie Leaving Harstine we hastened down to Los Osos and spent lots of time with Maddie May and her lovely family. Grandpa notes that she is very pretty and very smart - at a week old. It was great traveling with James. We had hours of discussions and heard some good audiobooks. Eric and Kristin were coping smoothly with their now more complex life.

Harstine Visit James, Yvonne, and John visited N,N,M&O on the way to Los Osos and brought along a dozen squirt guns and a water balloon kit. We all had so much fun in the summer sunshine. Natsha served us delicious food, Noah showed us his shed moving project, Morgan jumped and Opal danced. Perfect!

Maddie May! Madeline ‘Maddie’ May was was born this morning (Monday, June 23rd, 2008) at 5:41am. She weighed in at 6lbs 9 oz and was 21.75 inches long. Baby and mother are doing great! See the attached photos. Love, Eric, Kristin, and Jackson P.S. It's amazing. That photo was taken minutes after her birth. The one of Maddie and me was after a couple of hours.

Solstice at Electra Lake At Ann and Dave's invitation, the Elderly Eight gathered at the Edwards' cabin on Electra Lake in the San Juans just north of Durango, CO. The mountains were especially beautiful, the food tasty, the conversation heartfelt, thoughtful, and sometimes zany, the lake cold and stimulating - and love abounded.

LT and Kiri Visit Crane Not long after graduation James' classmates LT (from Austin) and Kiri (from Portland) came to Crane. We very much enjoyed spending time with the impressive young women. We took a sail/cruise to Stuart Island and had some great meals and conversation. We look forward to their future visits. (The album contains photos by LT, Kiri, and John.)

James' Graduation Yvonne, John, Jeni, Noah, and Corrina (coming from Harrisburg) traveled back to Old Nassau for four days of Princeton graduation festivities. We had a great time with James and his friends and their parents. James graduated with honors in neuropsych and will continue his studies at UCLA this fall

California Spring We listened to Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, going and coming, stopped at Powell's in Portland, then Monterey for a look-see, spent the morning at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, then on to Los Osos. We had a great time visiting Eric, Kristin, and Jackson, celebrated John's 65th (oh my!) and then Jackson's 3rd. Bob and Diane and Lauren and her friend Dave came north for Jackson's bday and Ron came up from San Diego with Tony's pug, Ruby, for transfer back to Sarah and Samantha in Seattle.

Spring Vacation on Crane Noah, Natasha, Morgan, and Opal visited us the first week in April, in part so Noah could do research for his third novel. The weather got better as the week went on and we were busy - with lots of projects, great dinners by Yvonne, fun, and conversation

Tony Corrina's sketch of a vision Yvonne had of Tony in the hospital and Coyote, with bicyle, waiting patiently to take him to another world.

Chimayo 2008 Our 16th walk. Corrina came out from PA to join us and Page and Teri drove down late Thursday night. It was a serious, poignant, and joyful time. Thursday night Ron called Yvonne to tell her Tony was in the hospital. We sent them both love over and over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Spring in the Springs We visited the gang in Colorado Springs Palm Sunday. Marcy and Julie fed/housed us and we saw Paul, Cooper, Matt and kids, and Phoebe and Alan. And it didn't snow until Monday.

James' Senior Year It doesn't seem possible but James is in his spring semester of senior year at Princeton. He's got a few more classes and a thesis to write and is looking toward grad school. Here are pictures he sent of some of his friends at Thanksgiving, Lawn Parties, Winter Formal, and so on.

Jeni's Surprise Birthday Party Corrina, Yvonne, and Lari invited Jeni to dinner on her birthday. Little did Jen know that Corrina had arranged for about 20 of Jen's friends to show up at the restaurant a bit later. Jeni was surprised and delighted and everyone had a great time. Yvonne gave Jeni a photo montage of Grandma Opal.

Opal's Third Birthday And actually we celebrated Jeni's and Morgan's a bit early as well. Natasha had invited lots a little kids with their parents. The rumpus began early Sunday morning and by noon the house was full and everyone was having a wonderful time.

Simrishamn Brightwork Project We bought the Simrishamn in late June 2006 knowing that it required attention - especially the mahogany and teak brightwork. The Cetol varnish had broken down and all the brightwork would have to be stripped and refinished. We put the boat under cover in October, John spent 200+ hours scraping, sanding, and finishing and the boat went back in the water in June. More to do but it looks much better.

Garden Project Off and on, from January until December, Yvonne worked on fenced and unfenced planting areas. She cleared trees and brush, created deer fences and bamboo gates, laid out the garden with mulch and topsoil and did the planting. Her mandela design surrounds part of the house and will become more beautiful year after year

Studio Project One of the reasons we were interested in the Crane house was that it had a garage with a tongue-in-grove valuated ceiling.We saw right away we could covert it into a studio - with an extra bedroom, a dorm loft, and a storage/pantry area. And Yvonne could have room for all her projects and activities. So that's what we did.

Crane After One Year On seeing the house for the first time Yvonne had lots of ideas for improvements and decorating. By April Yvonne (with some of John' s help) had completed the living, dining, kitchen, guest bathroom, and master bedroom areas and in the fall we finished the guest bedroom and John's office. More coming but not major projects.

New Year's 2008 James and Keith came up to Orcas and we hung around, taking a walk around Crane and touring San Juan Island. Like Christmas, it was a pretty quiet time. But that's just fine with us

Christmas 2007 Our first Christmas on Crane. James came home from school and Jenny came up to Crane Christmas Eve. We attended a UU candlelight service and on the weekend went to Seattle for brunch with N,N,M&O and Sarah at Ivar's.