In a recent publication entitled, “Five Pillars of Brain Health,” three of the pillars included were discovery, relaxation, and, connection with others. We’re pretty sure those elements affect a lot more than just brain health, and it seems that they might be apt backdrop for this letter and its many photos:
Our chief discovery came in June & July when we travelled to England and Scotland. Though we’ve had a long-standing interest in the UK, watching the PBS series, “Monarch of the Glen” especially enamored us with Scotland. And by the way, we just happened to trek on over to the grand manor itself and loch (lake) where the series was filmed ~ just plain beautiful!
|Couldn't resist swimming in the Loch -- oh so cold!|
Since Leah and Geoff’s were living in England at the time, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to visit them as well. Geoff was teaching and doing research at Cambridge University and they graciously invited us to join them. Just walking around their little town of Over, and other nearby communities was worth the trip – so beautiful, quaint, and well kept (including Grantchester, for fans of that PBS series).
|Leah & Geoff's cottage in Over, England|
|We loved our days with Lucy, Kate, Isaac, and Leah (Geoff was off working on campus)|
|Enjoying the peaceful campus of Cambridge University|
|If this were our summer cottage, would you come visit?|
|Oh, to die for! Scones, clotted cream, and jam at the garden in Grantchester|
After the fair we were off to some picturesque touring in Edinburgh; and that yummy fish & chips found everywhere in the UK -- unbeatable!
|Edinburgh skyline and the Firth of Forth river heading to the North Sea|
Way too soon, the Wrights needed to return to England so we were off to explore the circumference of Scotland in the cutest little Fiat. We must say that our hearts were smitten by Scotland ~ a beautiful place and joyous people that we wouldn’t mind spending more time with! And that wonderful Scottish accent and unique expressions that kept us continually wanting to talk with and overhear conversations everywhere we could find them – everyday was worth it just to be out among the people.
|Reindeer were once native to Scotland and have been reintroduced|
|Tough to decide just where you'd like to live - but we think this might do!|
Home again, home again ~ and we have to say that daily views out our windows in Corvallis are not too bad!
|"Donna" the deer likes resting in the cool outside our living room window|
|Turkeys love foraging in the yard but they especially enjoy the Fall when we throw them apples!|
|Beautiful Cannon Beach, Oregon|
We love living in Corvallis though few places are more serene and relaxing than New Hampshire and beautiful Squam Lake. The family cabin there is filled with memories and this year we shared time with Annie’s family and our daughter, Emily. Stunning and peaceful . . .
|From Mt. Morgan, looking back at Squam Lake|
|At age 91, Annie's mother, Beverly, hiked on her own to the top of Rattlesnake Mountain!|
|Emily, Annie, Beverly, brother Patrick, & Tom|
|Each week, people from all over the lake boat over to Church Island|
for Sunday services ~ especially cool and inspiring!
|How many feet have smoothed the surface of the dance floor during|
its 119 years of weekly Friday night dances at Rockywold-Deephaven camps?
No matter the setting, best of all is the joy found in connecting with family and friends. Gratefully, we had lots of visiting this year. Here's just a few snippets:
|Grandbaby #21 ~ William James Sherry, born to Caroline & Seth on May 5th|
|Sofia Sherry at her special "re-birth" baptismal day|
|Cousins, Sage Andersen and Chloe Ditto were also baptized this year. We're grateful that our|
children are raising their kids with a firm and joyous belief in Christ!
|Annie & Hazel Andersen|
|A lovely hike in Corvallis with|
Lucy Wright, Cali Sherry, William Sherry, Kate Wright, Tommy Sherry, & Isaac Wright
|Oregon tree huggers|
|Sage and Mila Andersen with Isla Watts. What's that saying? Train 'em up right|
and when they are old they will become cowgirls!
|We had had four wonderful days with Lizzie and Sofia while Matt & Jess were in New Hampshire|
|Kate, Isaac, and Lucy Wright ~ horse lovers too!|
|Sublime connection! Chloe Ditto giving a royal massage to Annie when our|
families met on the Oregon Coast for vacation in June.
We were particularly moved this past summer when attending a Sunday evening “Sing-In” on Squam lake. People from around the region have been gathering each week for years during the summer months in a classy old blacksmith’s shop to share hymn singing. One of our favorites is: “Here I Am, Lord” and the first verse seems a fitting close to our Christmas wish:
I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in deepest pain
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?
. . . and then the choral refrain:
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I. Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, If you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
Here I Am Lord (click here for video)
Reflecting the message of that hymn, it has been said: “While it is a beautiful sight to see the lights of Christmas, it is more important to have human lives illuminated by an acceptance of Him who is the light of the world.”
We so often see that light emanating from you, and wish each a Merry Christmas as we send our love and best wishes for the New Year.
💚 Annie & Tom 💚
Now for those of you who know some or all of our kids, here's the latest family photos!
|Jessica, Lizzie, Sofia, and Matt Sherry (with Milo :)|
|The Ditto family: Alysee, Cooper, Tyler, and Nathan in front,|
Sara, Birch, Chloe, and Alex (who is serving a mission in Romania now!)
|Sage, Mila, Ryan, Truman, Emily, and Hazel Andersen|
|Isaac, Kate, Lucy, Geoff, and Leah Wright on their summer adventure while in Italy|
|Seth, with Willie aboard, Tommy, Caroline, and Cali Sherry|
|Sawyer and Isla welcome new sister, Rue, into the world|
Laura and Jared Watts