The year 2015 was a "Life Changing" year for me. The way I see the world has, quite literally, changed big time. I now sadly see how my vision of this once beautiful planet has been much more unique than I ever thought was possible. I feel it's my challenge to share the beauty and amazing balance this world presents us, if only we could recognize and respect it.
My year started with a freezing cold trip to the N.H. coast with two good friends Robin and Harry. We were in search of "The Snowy Owl". As it turned out the snow banks were so high, our viewing was limited. Instead we were impressed by the concentration of shore birds.
After a great day together, we decided we could endure the cold, so we met for the Laconia Dog Sled races. It was another super day but even windier and colder than the coast.
We lost our old friend Stella the Fella the week before we left for Nepal. He was 15 years old when he died in his sleep at Gretchen's feet one night. What a Guy!
I will tell you the wonderful story of how our lives reconnected with Paul and Kay Bueno de Mesquita, if you ask. We linked up with them and 14 terrific U.R.I. students for Alternative Spring Break in March. We traveled to Nepal and took the training course in "Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Resolution". The group was the Rhode Island students, Nepali students, police and military personnel, professors, writers, teachers, educators, lawyers from South Asia -- and us. What an experience! This truly was "Life Changing"!
After the students left, Gretchen and I stayed in a very gracious guest house called The Paulines in the foothills outside Kathmandu.
Suni (far left ) was the most efficient and kind manager, here with friends we met from England.
We then returned to the Kathmandu Boutique Hotel where we met a bookseller and his wife. These lovely people lived across the alley (open courtyard). We talked from our third story balcony to them on their third story balcony. They invited us for breakfast --and that's another great story.
We flew home on the last day of March and were greeted by a guest under our prayer flags.
I am a member of the Community Photo Club of Plymouth, NH where I've made new friends and learned a great deal more about photography. Here is one of our Challenges on what Peace looks like to me. My piano is where I sit and play "Peaceful" melodies while glancing at the meaningful reflections of our life.
I have also enjoyed great days sharing in the life of an incredible man and a former student. Bill has cut, milled, and built this super house totally on his own ....
He also makes maple syrup.
We had an interesting Spring. Many mornings in April started out with temperatures in the 20's F. Our first peepers were calling on the 17th.
Then the terrible news of the earthquake in Nepal arrived on April 25. Gret and I traveled to Rhode Island for a reunion of our group and we put together fund raising strategies. The students did a terrific job.
Spring brought the loons back to Hermit Lake, but something, probably an otter, did in the two eggs in the nest. When we later traveled to Pittsburg, NH, we found the loons were more successful in raising young.
Also, the moose were more plentiful. Here's a young bull and cow at the East Inlet.
Back home, we had the opportunity to meet many of the presidential candidates, and our choice is with: The Bern!
I enjoyed many paddles on Hermit Lake, sometimes seeing spectacular birds like this Yellow Warbler and Red Winged Blackbird.
Gretchen decided to dive into Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy of Peace and Justice, so she headed off to the University of Rhode Island. She's now a Level 1 trainer in Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Resolution. What an impressive gathering of leaders of Nonviolence. I spent two very full days there.
The garden was a full time job. There were close to 40 tomato plants tied up on supports and pole beans that needed an additional 3 feet above the 14' poles for support.
Northern Pass continues to be a major pain in the ... environment. They continue to tell bold face lies like, "Oh no, we don't go through wetlands. They are all marked and we go around them." Notice the skidder tracks through the wetland . I will be so glad when they pack their bags and sink into the tar sands.
The photo club has sparked a lot of interest in New Hampshire beauty that Northern Pass does not see -- places that are habitats for very special plants like these yellow lady slippers.......
...which support the beautiful Luna Moth.
Or, the spectacular waterfalls in Thornton...
...and North Conway(find Harry).
New Hampshire is a rare place .... and the Northern Pass transmission lines destroy rare places!
We did make one more trip to U.R.I. This time it was National Peace Day. It was great to be back with the inspirational group. We managed to organize a large student body for PEACE.
Some photo club members (and spouses) spent a very "Chilly" night on October 27 to watch and document the Total Lunar Eclipse. Quite amazing!
2015 also marked our 50th Graduation from Westfield High School. Yes, we did attend. (Not as much fun as the 25th) and Wow -- we found some major changes, especially reading the list of our classmates who have passed on. That was very sobering.
We reconnected with lots of old friends: Bob and Chris Piazsic and Gary Marcoullier were nice surprises. I grew up with Bob in the "old neighborhood" and Gretchen knew Gary from the early 1950's gang on High Street.
The next day, brother Rob brought me to some water falls outside of Chester -- really beautiful.
In November, Gretchen and I traveled to Scotland to join our very good friend Kay for her birthday. She celebrated with a fun-filled Jazz trio and Afternoon Tea. A Great Visit and perhaps a quick study (for our own upcoming birthdays)...
Back home, we had the warmest Christmas on record. Some people were out water skiing on Newfound Lake. We were in Westfield with no snow and people in shorts .
One amazing event was the Christmas Full Moon. The last time this happened was 1977, the year we moved into our "Unfinished" house on Christmas Eve. The temperature then was -20 degrees F. This year it was +46 degrees F.
Looking back, this has been a very FULL year. We decided to celebrate my 69th birthday a bit differently, so we went to "A Newfound Bed and Breakfast". Here's yet another good story if you would just post and you'd like to hear more about what made these events "Extra" special.
I hope you can relate to some of these events...
and you share with me the hope for
a more Peaceful Year.