We’re not sure how to summarize this last year in a way that doesn’t leave out a lot. So instead of trying to profile the year as a whole we’ll just tell some stories about what happened.
A quick summary on the family: everyone is getting along well. Barry’s mother Clara is 94 and still in a dementia unit. She is a happy soul. Here she is visiting with Barry’s brother Rob:
A fall put her in a neck brace which she will have to wear for the rest of her life. It doesn’t seem to bother her much although the staff keeps a sharp eye to make sure she hasn’t taken it off. She greets everyone with a ‘Hello dear!’ and she means it. If you’re going to lose faculties, this is the way to do it.
Ellie has continued with her quilting and Barry still takes pictures. Here is a recent wall hanging she did:
Now on to some stories. We don’t get away often and then for only a few days at a time but we have enjoyed ourselves. In April we went to Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana and since it was a special occasion, Barry called ahead to the Inn and asked if they could have flowers waiting in the room. They said sure, but he would have to take care of ordering them himself. They provided phone numbers for a few florists and he called the first one, asking ‘Can you deliver 12 roses to a room at the Clifty Falls Inn?’ to which the fellow replied ‘no, but I can deliver 12 quarts of motor oil’ and burst out laughing. This was an old phone number which now went to a car repair shop and this guy had received similar requests before. He was ready for us. Barry thought the motor oil would be unique but maybe not completely appropriate (47 years of marriage will do that for you) and made some more calls. Flowers were delivered to the room.
These are columbines from Clifty Falls State Park.
Our friend Joyce is living with us; her house in Downers Grove, IL hasn’t sold yet. She had cataracts removed from both eyes and had a hip replacement. She is getting along well. Joyce’s dog Powder tore a cruciate ligament chasing school buses (she was on one side of the fence and the buses were on the other). After surgery to repair the damage Powder will no longer be chasing buses although she knows there are children inside the buses who need to be saved. She has a new strategy. Powder, Ellie and Joyce were out in the car one day and a school bus pulled up alongside. Powder barked at it and now has a new way to chase buses! A car and a driver! What could be better than that? Now, if she could only hang her head out the window she would be in business.
Our dogs have stories too. Both Prince and Tuck tell us they are not afraid of thunder, they just don’t like it so they get in Ellie’s shower stall when they hear it.
Ellie and Barry went to New Harmony Indiana for a few days in early December. They were walking along the Wabash river and Barry was setting up his tripod and camera for a picture of a lovely sweep of the river. Ellie said ‘There’s a bald eagle!’ ‘Where?’ asked Barry. ‘Right over your head in the tree!’ exclaimed Ellie. Sure enough, there it was. Somebody’s powers of observation need a little work.
There were other birds in the area as well.
We hope your year had good stories and that they will continue in the coming year.
You can see more of Barry’s work at his blog (which you are reading right now, just go to Home for more). Ellie’s work? Well, you’ll just have to come visit. Our email addresses are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barry and Ellie Lively
Lovely as usual, Barry. Thanks for sharing.
What a beautiful letter, thank you for sharing! Your photographs a perfect companion to your stories of this year and I enjoyed looking at them as I read. I feel so fortunate to have you as a friend and wish you the blessings of the season with your family and friends. I know your photography let’s you see more deeply things that many pass by….what a blessing!
Barry and Ellie,
Have a happy holiday season!
Barry & Ellie,
Beautiful letter. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and you family.
Ron & Sue
You are truly an inspiration…and so is your mother! I love her spirit – what little I know about her.
Your photography is wonderful, as usual.
Hope your Christmas is perfect. It is simply my favorite time of the year and savor every moment of it. I think about how excited we get for Colts victories, a fantastic photo, or catching up with an old friend…and then I think how all of this pales to the wonder of God actually coming to earth…living among us…so He can save us. Mind boggling to say the least.
Be blessed this Christmas, my friend.
Hi Barry and Ellie,
What a wonderful ‘gift’…..your creative way of doing a newsletter says so much and is so enhanced by the lovely photographs.
After we got to know you at PVCC, we felt that from that point forward, we ‘belonged’. You were so inclusive of everyone, and always had a huge welcome for us. We’re blessed to have you as a friend, Barry, and it was such a pleasure meeting Ellie recently.
Enjoy a joyous holiday with your son, and we wish you much happiness and fulfillment in the year ahead.
Christal & Norm
Barry, thank you for sharing your letter with me. You’re a wonderful person and your writing is great. I enjoyed the images and look forward to seeing more in the new year.
I hope that you and your wife(Ellie) have a wonderful holiday and may GOD bless you and your family.
Be safe as you travel over the holidays
What a beautiful expression of your experiences this 2010. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous, capturing the bald eagle was special, I’ve never seen a bald eagle in Indiana, Alaska yes but not Indiana.
Your mother looks as happy as can be conversing with Rob, even with dementia a mother never forgets feelings for her children.
Thank you for this wonderful way to share your lives with others.
Mr. & Mrs. Lively,
I want to thank you so much for sharing your letter and the wonderful photos! It has been a pleasure and a blessing to have you as church family and true friends in my life for so many years. I pray for safe travel as you visit your family this Christmas.
May God continue to rain blessings upon the both of you and keep you in his protective embrace.
Peace, Love and Blessings
Merry Christmas to you and your family Barry…
Thank you so much for all your writtings and images throughout the year for they are truly inspirational. I and many others, I’m sure, look forward to them…
Doug & Kitty Hart
Barry & Ellie:
What a lovely letter! It’s inspirational. Barry, your photography skills just keep improving. You and Joyce must be raising each others’ game.
Merry Christmas! We hope your coming year is as blessed as 2010.
ei (and Sam)
Happy Holidays, Ellie & Barry!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas letter and photos. We hope you had a safe trip and a delightful visit with your family. Hope to see you soon.
Jim, Carol, Lindsay & Shelby
I second all the positive things the others have had to say… How about that photography class at church?
Barry and Ellie-
I think of you often, though not in touch much. Life here is busy, but I slowed down long enough the last few days to catch up with my Christmas mail.
Your stories and artwork (both photographic and quilts) are beautiful!
Blessings to you and yours!
You celebrate the simple and the real. Thank you. Your photographs are beautiful and so is the quilt.
Thank you Kate.