2016 Year in Review

December 31, 2016

Another year has come and gone with more than its fair share of both happiness and sorrow.

joyce-coulson_2010The year was off to a rough start with my mother’s funeral on January 2. It is hard to believe it’s been a year she’s been gone. On the September long weekend, we held a big family gathering to celebrate her life and bury her ashes.  She would have been so happy to see her kids, grandkids, great grandkids, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews enjoying a great visit. Thank you everyone who came out to bid her a final far

varadero_09_closeupWhile we were celebrating my mother’s life, my sister Laverne was in the hospital fighting for hers. Unfortunately, she lost the sudden and short fight and passed away on September 12. It’s a loss I still don’t quite believe and am still coming to grips with. Laverne and her husband Dennis had just retired and moved to Sandy Lake in August 2015. I am thankful to be living out here and able to spend that year with her.



Jacob 1 year old

Jacob 1 year old


The year, however, was not all sorrow. Our first grandchild, Jacob Peter, continues to be a wonderful blessing. We were happy to be in Kamloops in October to celebrate his first birthday with mom Kelsey and dad Matt. Amazing to watch how much they grow and develop in the first year. He’s no longer a baby but a little boy.


dec-2016_christmas-lightWe spent several weeks in June in BC, waiting for the arrival of our second grandchild who was in no hurry to make her entry into the world. Astrid Beam arrived safely on June 29 and instantly became the center of Christopher and Emily’s world.


november-2016_santa-claus-paradeAfter waiting so long to become grandparents, our blessings are overflowing. Kerry and Megan will be married in February, so Katie and Tyler will officially be joining our fast expanding family. 


September 2016 the Porter family (missing Matthew)

September 2016 the Porter family (missing Matthew)



We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this October and its mind boggling how our lives have evolved over the 38 years since we first met.



PV2016_Family picAs you can see family affairs kept us pretty busy in 2016; however, we did find time for a bit of travel. In February, we travelled to Bucerias, Mexico for some time in the sun and play time with Kelsey, Matt and Jacob and Kerry, Megan, Katie and Tyler.


Giants Causeway

Giant’s Causeway




In May, Ken and I toured Ireland and Scotland with an incredible group of people. We had unprecedented great weather and saw so many natural wonders and historic sites. What beautiful country and welcoming people.




houseeRetirement has been very busy for us, but we continue to make progress on our retirement home. Three and a half years of building and the first floor is close to completion. Major accomplishments for 2016 include a beautiful staircase to the second floor, cork  flooring on the main level, siding the outside of the house, a deck, balcony, foyer, vestibule, two main floor bedrooms, and the kitchen. The flooring was a major accomplishment and changed the house from a construction zone into a home, mainly because the scaffolding and tool collection in the middle of the living room had to go.

dec-28-2016_kitchen-completeWith the kitchen complete, we have just a few more main floor projects and then we can start finishing the second floor. 

With the house at a point where we have what we need to live, the building pace has slowed down leaving more time for recreation. While Ken did not play any baseball this summer (a very sad state of affairs for him), he did enjoy a number of golf games. And he still enjoys organizing group travel trips. In addition to his annual winter trip down south, he is also hoping to have a trip to England available for fall of 2017. 

I enjoy time for meditation, gardening and cooking. I am still giving plant based cooking lessons in Winnipeg and have a cooking blog ponderosacooks.wordpress.com. Check it out if you are looking for good vegan recipes. This year, I even had time to dust off the sewing machine and get a few projects done.  

photo by James Deng

photo by James Deng

Sox up a tree

Sox up a tree







And we both enjoy our furry companions, Sox and Hanna, who remind us to take a break and go for a walk twice a day.

We hope this year in review finds you and your family happy and in good health. Remember to enjoy each day as it comes and don’t worry about the past or future. Joy and sorrow are both part of life. Without the sorrow how could we appreciate the joy!

Wishing that 2017 brings you a year of peace, good health and happiness.


Sunset on the Ponderosa

Sunset on the Ponderosa



About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
This entry was posted in Family, Home, Pets and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 2016 Year in Review

  1. Quite the year for you folks, up and downs & joys and sorrows. Your home is really coming along… it is such a big job, I know, though you are wise to take it a bit at a time and still smell the roses. all the best to you and your family in 2107… peace, Bruce

  2. Darlene says:

    Thanks Bruce. Peace and joy to you and your family in 2017. Have been enjoying your blog.

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