Sunday, December 31, 2023

Sunday, December 31, 2023, MN

This week has been sad, with the news of the loss of two good friends.  Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I took one look at my iPad, noticed an email from Rudy and learned that Sonja had passed away.  She was 93 and had been suffering from arthritis pain in her joints for years, but she kept busy and did all that she could do.  We met in 2003, while living in Ocala, FL when Mike had his computer repair business going, he went to their home in Dunnellon to help Rudy with his computer.  They hit it off and wanted to meet me, so they invited us to a lovely 7 course meal at their home and we drank and ate and talked and drank and ate and talked and became the best of friends.  In 2006, they invited us to visit them in Switzerland and hosted us on our first trip to Europe and it couldn’t have been a better time.  They arranged all of our transportation, hotels, and sightseeing within Switzerland, and trips by train to Paris, France, and Florence, Italy and to Titisee, Germany in the Black Forest. We met all of their lovely families.  I’m feeling sad at her loss and will miss her, even though we have been separated by long distances.

We were last together in 2016 when I met them at their timeshare in Pinetop, AZ.  I had a trip scheduled to visit them in Florida in 2019 when Covid hit and had to cancel my plans.  They sold their home in Dunnellon in 2021 and have not traveled to the US since then, as Rudy’s vision is deteriorating and Sonja has had difficulty with her hips and joints.  I have many fond memories of our times together and appreciate the friendship that we had.

My friend Marta, from Bend, Oregon passed away on the 16th from dementia.  She and I met while walking our dogs outside Marin Park when we babysat for Charlotte during her first six months of life.  Marta was an avid hiker and knew of so many beautiful places in the north bay to hike and we always managed to have good conversation and have stayed in touch since then.  She and Kerry stopped for a visit two years ago when they were passing through here.  

It has been a week of warm days and long walks because of it.  One of the days was bright and sunny but most have been cloudy.  We got about an inch of snow last night and the forecast is for more wintry weather.  December turned out to be the warmest in history with above average temps all month long.

Camille reached out yesterday and asked if she could have a sleepover, so I met her and Ben at Staring Lake yesterday for a walk around the lake. I always enjoy my walks with Ben that give us a chance to talk.  Camille came back home with me after our walk.  Of course, a trip to my house usually means a stop at the dollar store where she was hoping to get some stick-on nails but they were out.  We played Uno and still haven’t finished it, as it went on and on and on.  It’s 8:30 am and she and Joey are still asleep.