Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Letter 2014

The living Christmas tree in front of our house. I managed to string lights this year without falling off the ladder.

For years, we sent out an annual "State of our Union" letter to friends and family somewhere around our February wedding anniversary. Also for years, we sent Christmas cards. But for an unremembered number of years now, we have done neither, or at most sent, in response to holiday cards from our friends and relations, whatever cards various organizations insisted on giving us to guilt us into donating to them. I should make cards, like some of you clever people do, but considering the wreath fiasco...

The wreath sent to the east coast arrived without rosehips, the wreaths sent to Colorado were delayed in the mail and arrived all dried out. This wreath I hung on the goat barn with plastic goat collars. At least it's colorful.

This year, after reading the newsy letters from friends around the country printed on colorful Christmas stationery with photos of their families, I thought I would do that. Except my computer and I don't know how to insert photos into documents. And I'm not organized enough anyway to figure out to whom I should send letters. Hence this post... to be sent out into cyberspace and read by anyone who knows my blog address and cares to check in to see what we've been up to... or read by whomever happens to stumble upon it.

Now that that's out of the way, what to say about our year? Unlike many of our friends, as reported in their letters, we did not go on any cruises or tour any foreign countries or otherwise leave the farm... together... for more than the time between morning and evening goat milkings. But we had fun. Something I read somewhere said to live your life so that you don't need a vacation. Or something like that. And that's what we do. Every day is a new adventure. Possibly because we can't remember what we did the day before. That memory thing, in fact, is why I write this blog. So we can look back and see what the heck we did last week. If you are interested, browse my blog. I think you'll find photos of grandkids and flowers and farm life, tales of my trips to Shakespeare plays, to visit kids and their families, and lots of "citizen science" bird surveys.

Some farm life: Jessie Anne, Nightingale, and Mr. Smith

Here we are on our latest bird survey: the Upper Nestucca Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 22.

And you'll find photos and stories of Johnny's many projects on the farm and trips to visit the kids. I like that we have to visit the grandkids separately, while the other stays home to tend the farm, because that way I get their full attention. They are all nuts over their crazy Grandpa who makes them popcorn waffles when they visit and lets them tear around the farm in our electric EZ Go golf carts.

For those of you who know (and remember) our kids, they're fine. Kevin and Jessica, with 13-year-old son Ian, have a big dressage training facility in Washington. (Dressage, for you non-horse-people, involves horses.) Kevin works at something to do with computers. Jessica runs the barn business (and several other related enterprises). Ian does gymnastics and stuff with computers. I think he has his own web page development business. Good grief.

Steve and Munazza and Kestrel (about to turn 8) and Cedrus (about to turn 6) live in California. Steve and Munazza both do something involving computers. Cedrus plays keyboard (amazingly well) and Kestrel guitar (amazingly well). Both boys do hip hop dance (amazingly well).

Other kids we call our grandkids but really are not (because their parents are our friends not our offspring) are David, 25 (how is that possible?) and his sister Kinnera, about to turn 15 (how is that possible?). David does not do something with computers. David works for a coffee company and is writing a novel. Kinnera sings (beautifully) and is learning the piano.

All of our grandkids (like all grandkids in holiday letters) are amazing and, of course, brilliant. Photos of all of them are probably somewhere on my blog. If you're interested, try searching for their names. Or look for "A Visit from the Washington Family" and "A Visit from the California Family".

Of course, not everything is always wonderful in our lives. My only sibling died on Easter Sunday after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Even though we lived far apart and seldom saw each other, Bob and I were very close and I miss him.

Live your lives so you don't need a vacation. Hug each other. And laugh often.

The front entrance to our house, otherwise known as The Jungle Room

My Christmas village, looking out into The Jungle Room

Here's to a colorful, joyful 2015 from the Fink Family Farmers... Linda and Johnny


  1. Hey, Linda: Thanks for sending the link to your blog again. Great to catch up with the amazing things that you & Johnny do... Yes, live your life like you don't need a vacation... But, of course, we all dooo... I was shock to learn of your brother's passing from Parkinson's... I remember how close he & my late brother Tony were when we were growing up. Still amazed that we've stayed in touch for sooo many years, and both became writers (among other odd and sundry things). Thanks for being my friend for a lifetime.... Don't forget to come visit (singly or together if you ever got a goat sitter)... We'll definitely stop over the next time we pass your farm!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  2. Thanks for checking in, Donna, and for your annual story you send out at Christmas time. You inspired me to request stories and photos/videos instead of stuff from friends and family for Christmas this year. I love stories! To misquote John Donne (among others): Stories mingle souls.