Christmas 2018

2018 - a year chock full of revelations and experiments. Weeks of idyllic road trips and vacations. Months of predictable work schedules. Both a downtrodden herb garden and wildly successful Jerusalem Artichokes.

In the spring, we moved to the countryside in Deary. (I joke about our history with romantically-labelled towns. Valentine, Nebraska…. Deary, Idaho… ) Our humble abode just off the state hwy is a wonderful opportunity for us to experiment with homesteading. We impulsively purchased ducks and chickens and ignored our poor garden. Even now, in the dead of winter, we are scheming ways to get sheep and a spaniel doogie.

We spent two weeks in September exploring the beaches and forests of southern Sweden. What wonderful autumn days! After I returned home, Charlie went on to live in the countryside of Värmland with an intellectual/author by the name of Lars Nordstrom. They spent several evenings communing with Norwegian neighbors, eating surströmming and swapping stories.

This year we’ve been blessed to have friends and family come to visit. Our two mothers made a point to spend time with us and make our home cozy with love and gifts. Nate (from Greenville) also spent a weekend with us, hiking through the Hobo Cedar Grove and swimming at Elk Falls. (Someday we will hop over to Seattle and return the visit :))

We’ve traveled a few times ourselves:
McCall, Idaho (for the Winter Festival - who can say no to snow sculptures and snow bike races?)
Sandpoint, Idaho (for the Draft Horse and Mule Association show. Thank you Elissa for the tip!)
Idaho Falls to meet Charlie’s family for a whirlwind weekend.
Eagle Cap Wilderness - to camp in the Willowa Mountains and hike through national forest service.
And a brief trip to the old home-state Missouri.

Charlie’s one-year position at the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute terminated in August. He truly loved working at PCEI - being able to meet good people and camp in the Nez Perce National Forest for “work”. He is now employed at O’Reilly in Moscow, (just in time to buy discounted car parts for our Subaru ;)) Charlie spends his free hours bread-making, installing wood stoves, fixing various car problems, reading books about invasive species and grouse hunting.

I (Laurel), am still at Latah Credit Union. In August I was promoted to back office where I am known as the “debit card and ATM gal”. I am thankful for my cushy job with good coworkers. Outside of work you can find me planning a small business, decorating our home, crafting, learning about herbalism and striving to be as hippie as possible.

We look back on this year as a time of goodness and maturing. Charlie and I have both grown in stature as a couple and individuals. And we are so so thankful for our wonderful families who have supported us and encouraged us through it all.
To each of you, (friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances), we wish you peace and blessings in this Advent season.

Love,
Chaurel

christmas letter 2018 II.jpg
BeFunky-collage.jpg