Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Joys of 2020

December 2020 marked our 35th anniversary, and what a year it has been! The worst of times has definitely brought out the best of times. For all of the challenges of this year, it has been an amazing year of incredible major firsts in our married life:

* Home Worship.  

With the shutdown of large gatherings due to COVID restrictions, it has been especially poignant to do our scripture study and worship together at home.  Sunday mornings would normally find me downtown Salt Lake City at Temple Square to rehearse and sing with the Tabernacle Choir for our weekly broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word."  I was set to retire from the choir in April of 2020, but still being able to watch re-broadcasts from home has been a blessing in disguise.  It's as though my mission has been extended!  When the choir does reconvene, I will get to perform one more live broadcast. Meanwhile, I'll continue to sing along and we'll continue to include the broadcasts as part of our home worship services.

* Lake Powell Houseboat Vacation.  

Lake Powell in Southern Utah is one of the largest man-made lakes and is visited by over 2 million people every year.  I had never vacationed there, and Evan hadn't been since he was a teenager.  We joined friends from Choir; Joan, Janet, and their husbands pooled in for groceries and gas, and enjoyed a few days on Joan's houseboat.  It was amazing!  The lake was beautiful!  We spent many hours exploring some of the 2000 miles of shoreline, and took a hike to Rainbow Arch.  Evan and I are not real water skiers, but we did take a great tube ride!  What a treat!  We LOVED that vacation!  See more photos HERE.

* Bobsled Ride! 

The 2002 Winter Olympic Games were held here in Utah, and venues for many of the events were held near where we live, including the Ski Jump and Bobsled venues.  These are now training facilities and even offer tubing down the ski jump site and rides in the bobsled!  For a mere $85 per person, we got to strap in and take an exhilarating, terrifying 1.014-kilometer ride with 14 curves and up to 4 to 5 times the force of gravity all in around 1 minute. Well, our driver did slow down a tiny bit so a squirrel could cross!  Happy 65th birthday to Evan, indeed!

* Built a House together.  

Starting December 21, 2019, we joined 9 other couples in a co-op and began building 10 houses together in a program called Self-Help homes.  Each family committed to working a minimum of 35 hours per week until all 10 homes were complete.  We were each trained on our various tasks as we went along, and Evan and I did the majority of building the staircases and doing the finish carpentry work.  I became very good at using a miter saw, cutting the 2 x 4s for framing, and I cut nearly every stair tread and riser, and each piece of baseboard. casing and shelving for each home.  I installed the baseboard in 9 of the 10 homes, but by the last home, my knees were shot!  It was an incredible experience to build these homes together; building a neighborhood, building friendships!  We finished on August 24th!  We love our new home and I"m so proud of all of us!  See the full album HERE

Finished houses:

* Empty Nest.  

Our single daughter decided it would be a good time to move to Hawaii.  After 33  years of kids at home, it has been an adjustment, but we're learning to enjoy each other more and more, and depend on technology more and more to keep us all connected! 

* Rock Crawling in Southern Utah.  

Because the company Evan works for has done so well in this time of Covid-19, and as a team-building activity, his boss treated the entire company and their spouse/significant other to a trip to Moab, Utah for a rock-crawling adventure!  We had never done anything like this and it too was exhilarating and terrifying at times.  As we made it over the first couple of vertical climbs up and down, we came to trust the trail and the vehicle and really enjoyed ourselves!  Beautiful country!

We stopped at Dead Horse Point on our way home the following day.  

All in all, I think we have spent more time together this year than any year prior. Here's to more wonderful adventures!

~The Momma

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