The year started with Ray still at PBCC as facilities manager and while Lynda was “retired” she was still getting paid to manage the PBCC website. Travis and Alex were happy in the ADU and Ricky was pleased that the winter rains were not puddling in his basement in Kansas City.
In late June, Lynda and I were debating if we should get another booster when Ray came down with Covid. We did not know it was Covid for nearly a week because the at-home tests were showing negative. It took a good 5 days for the sore throat to turn into a fever. Once the fever set in, Ray did test positive. As Ray recovered, Lynda came down with it and had a fever for a day or two. Ray also lost his sense of smell for a few weeks but that has fully returned now.
Now that we’d had the disease, we didn’t have to stress about getting another booster when we went to visit Ricky in mid-July. There was exterior door replacement, hiring painters and other contractors and general fun being together.
In mid-August, Ray supported Alex and Travis who were involved in SpongeBob the Musical. Ray ran sound, Travis was one of the leads and Alex was Stage Manager. That show was plagued by technical problems with lights and projection among other issues. The cast was great and handled this with amazing skill – improvising when scenes had to be repeated or delayed.
Our family went to Rhode Island along with Lynda’s extended family to celebrate Michael Behrens’ wedding to Samantha, followed by a visit to Uncle Chuck’s with Aunt Julie, Uncle Jay and Aunt Debbie. We toured Boston for a day and managed to meet up with Raymond and his daughter Elizabeth for lunch.
Then Ray/Lynda and Jay/Debbie got into Jay’s huge, brand new BMW and had a luxurious tour of New England including Portland Maine and Conway, New Hampshire. The weather didn’t cooperate so we didn’t get to the top of (or even see Mt Washington for that matter). Lynda says we’ll have to try again someday. Then we spent a couple days back at Jay’s new house in New Jersey where he had some projects lined up for Ray.
There were some small trips for just Ray/Lynda to the Ritz for lunch to celebrate her birthday in May and then to Paso to pick up wine-club shipments and possibly other over-night stays that we’re not remembering.
Our big project at home for this year was to “finish” the backyard. I know, in the past, we’ve used that term to mean “make it functional” but this time we were determined to actually finish it. Lynda had the vision to include a basalt fountain (pictured above). Ray had to do some engineering to decide how to keep the 200+ pound stones from toppling over while still having water come out of the pre-drilled holes. The results are fantastic and we are both very pleased.
Lynda planted a wonderful garden in the new boxes. We ate fresh veggies a lot and Lynda made breads and sauces from the bounty of her efforts.
In addition, Lynda has been sewing up a storm – as gifts for others and some to be donated to be sold for charity. Other hobbies include capturing Ricky’s house in a computer design program so she can model potential improvements. She also diligently walks with a couple friends 3 times per week and helps across the street with the toddler.
Earlier this year, Ray felt led to announce his retirement from PBCC. He turned 65 in August so that seemed an appropriate time frame. As the date approached there was no obvious replacement in sight. In the end, he had to leave without being able to train his replacement. He still helps out in many ways. On Sunday mornings he works both the back end production like lights and sound and he still plays drums on the worship team regularly.
In the fall, the three dance couples decided it was time to join the board of the dance club we’ve been part of for several years. We are in the process of learning the responsibilities of the board members and excited about being able to use our skills to help out.
Ray has a pretty long list of projects (some are pretty major) to work on around the house. Meanwhile, Lynda has started modeling our house in the computer design program and let’s just say: she’s got ideas.
Merry Christmas and May you find renewed hope in arms of our Savior in the New Year.