As 2006 began, Steve was still driving for Transport America and Jackie was taking a "year off." Jackie’s "year off" began with attending Arisia in Boston with her best friend, Pete. The truck driving went according to plan, but the "year off" morphed into a whole bunch of coding jobs including some *more* than fulltime work.
The coding work was so intense for a while that Jackie barely had time for gardening. She gave away the chickens to cut back on the home chores a bit, but was still overwhelmed with work. Eventually, Steve quit driving to join the coding business at home and we’re planning to give it a shot for a few months to see how it goes.
While the chickens are gone, Kitana, Little Bit, Irena and Id remain! They have murdered many, many mice this year.
But 2006 was not all work and no play! We took two vacations this year, which is way more than we’ve ever done before. The first was to visit a friend in Arkansas who had some land, some building materials, and a bunch of us who showed up to frame her house for her in May. It was a quite fun gathering, like playing with Lego only bigger.
Jackie’s daughter Cindy (23) has decided to move to Houston as she was rather bored in rural Pennsylvania and had some friends down there. So we co-coordinated Cindy’s move with our Arkansas vacation; Jackie took a couple days off from house-building to run her down to Texas.
Cindy flew back up here in October to participate in her birthday/Christmas gift, a cruise to Bermuda! While we are generally more camping type people than cruise type people, the original plan was for Steve’s entire family to go, so we agreed to go too.
Unfortunately, Steve’s father and stepmother were unable to make it for health reasons and his brother and sister-in-law unable to make it because she was too far along in her pregnancy at the time. So a slightly smaller group than planned attended: Steve, Jackie and Cindy in one cabin; Steve’s sister Monique and her husband Ron with the twin boys, Alex and Joey, in a second cabin; Steve’s aunt Elaine and her granddaughter Jamie in a third cabin.
The cruise was an absolute blast all the way down, the time in Bermuda itself (Steve and Cindy went scuba diving; Steve and Jackie went kayaking and skin diving), and most of the trip back. Unfortunately, on the way back, Cindy slipped near one of the hot tubs and broke her leg. It was a relatively nasty break, extremely painful for her, and requiring surgery when she returned to Texas.
One of the fun bits of the cruise was that since the ship left from NJ, we got to visit a few of Jackie’s old friends from English Palace. Amber and Rhythmlady were a blast, as always, and they have a baby brat now, who is incredibly adorable.
Speaking of babies, the one that prevented Dennis and Linda from going on the cruise was born on December 1st. Nicolas is our third nephew on top of five nieces as well! As the year winds down, Jackie is planning a trip to visit Cindy for the holidays, and then we are both going to Ottawa to celebrate with Steve’s family.
In 2007, we plan to attend Arisia in January, begin shopping for land in the Head, Clara and Maria area of Ontario in spring, and likely do a camping trip or two in Algonquin Park in summer/fall.
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