Title-Another Webster

We will remember this year more for the people we spent time with than for the places we visited. With most of you, that time spent was by email, on Facebook or for some by Zoom and Facetime. I almost forgot the telephone. For those nearby, we did share visits, meals and walks, and those personal contacts were more important than in most years.

It has been a year of culture shock and adjustments; a pandemic and resulting economic collapse has brought many unintended consequences. As a group we have dealt with illness, death, job losses, and numerous constraints to our normal activities. At a time when we needed our friends and societal interactions, we have been social distancing.

Pat and I are thankful that today social media does provide multiple ways to stay in touch and to support one another. It's not quite as good as being there, but far better than being cut off from our family and friendships. We are thankful, too, for our faith. "I will never leave you nor forsake you," is a valuable promise from our Lord during these times.

Our large family here in Anacortes has been a boon this year. We did have some gatherings, though perhaps not as many as in prior years. Family is dynamic and the change most startling to us grandparents is seeing all these little kids get drivers' licenses and buying their first cars. The oldest three nephews are now in college.

 

 

 

Family at Washington Park

A Moehl, Vandershuur, Franklin, Webster family birthday gathering at Washington Park. (Pat was not able to make this one.)

 

 

Corey continues to enjoy his scientific pursuit at the Buck Institute in Novato, CA. He works at the DNA level and continues to develop a mouse which will enable researchers to pinpoint the neurons being affected by their research of brain disease.

He finds time for jogging and rock climbing as well as the occasional hiking adventure at Yosemite National Park.

Corey has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years and continues to find it a rich environment for academic, business and social endeavors, particularly for someone who has great curiosity. He always seems to have a project or two on the side and we are often surprised in our weekly calls to find what is next on his plate.

Pat and Corey graduation

Corey and Pat.

 

In March we had a visit from Eric, Irene and the girls. Grandpa and Grandma get some cherished time to catch up in the lives of the granddaughters. For the girls, small town Anacortes in a rural setting is an exciting change from city life. Eric and Irene appreciate the change as well, but particularly enjoy some evenings out with cousins and a date night with each other.

For much of the year Eric worked remotely from home. However, the girls did schooling remotely as well, which made things a little close in the house. The girls are now back in school and Eric works most days at the office, which is much better.

Irene continues to be active as Mom, keeping the girls busy with ballet, swimming and piano as well as managing a busy house. She is part of a group of other mothers and they are always planning interesting activities for the kids.

The family got away with friends to Lake Tahoe a couple of times this year and it sounds like skiing may be soon be on the agenda.

Eric Irene and family

The family at Disneyland.

 

Sewing

Pat gets some grandma time with the girls.

 

Horses

The girls loved the horse riding in Mt. Vernon.

 

 

My nephew, Kaizen, graduated from my alma matter, Morrison Academy, in Taiwan, a year ago and spent his first college year taking courses at Tai Da University due to Covid travel restrictions. This fall he flew to Seattle and we hosted Kaizen and Mom Debryn while they readied for Kaizen's start at Washington State University. It was fun to see both of them after a long absence.

Kaizen has the fun of rooming with his cousin and good friend Cody, who graduated from Anacortes high school the same year that Kaizen graduated.

As I write this, Debryn's father, Kaizen's grandfather, Roy Habecker, has just gone to be with the Lord at the age of 92. He was a missionary in Taiwan for many years and a very easy person to respect and love.

Kaizen and Debryn

Kaizen and Debryn at Rosario Park.

 

I won't say how old Pat is at this birthday party for her, but I turned the dreaded 75 this year. Our group of grandparents, which we call "The Geezers," continue to make time to get together at least once a month. It is a great support system and we just have fun.

 

 

Pat Birthday

The Geezers

 

My Aunt Delcine went to be with the Lord this year. She was only three years older than me and we were close growing up. I had the fun of attending Delcine and Glenn's 50th anniversary five years ago. Another person easy to love.

 

 

Delcine and Glenn

Delcine and Glenn

 

When Pat was a child, her family did a trip every two years to visit her father's extended family in Oswego, NY. It was a fun time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. When Pat was in sixth grade her parents divorced and the trips stopped. She had not seen that side of the family since she was 12 years old.

So, finally, Pat, and her brothers Mike and Tom, decided this was the year to have a reunion. We flew to Oswego in September for a long overdue gathering with cousins.

It proved to be a powerful weekend as each one got reacquainted with childhood cousins who are now our age. Memories were recounted and updated, life stories were told, some exciting, some involving difficult times. As the long weekend wore on, the Gallagher family had real living cousins again and emotional bonds were quickly developing. By the end many in the group expressed real gratitude that they were again part of the larger family. This year was designated, "The Year of the Family," and indeed it proved to be so.

 

 

Masks on the airplane

Flying, 2021 style.

 

Gallaghers at table

Gallagher cousins sharing stories on our first night of the gathering.

 

Gallagher Family

A final celebration at the Gallagher reunion.

 

Pat and I do have our routines. Eighteen years ago, the church started an Adoration Vigil which keeps a prayer chain going 24 hours per day. Pat committed to one hour per week, and she is still faithful at going to the chapel for her appointed hour. This year she is doing a daily podcast to read through the Bible in a year, lead by Father Mike Schmitz. For two years now I have been a part of Bible Study Fellowship, in which I meet with a group of about a dozen men to do an in depth study of one book of the Bible over the course of a semester. As we get to know one another, the fellowship aspect becomes increasingly a part of the experience.

We know that we have been blessed to live in a beautiful setting with a big family close to us. It has made the constraints of the year more than tolerable. Our frequent communications with many of you who don't live as close by has made it even better.

May the Lord bless you with a wonderful year ahead.

 

Merry Christmas Don and Pat