Happiest of Holidays to All (2019 update)

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Here is the (growing) Samoiloff family year in review. I hope 2019 treated you all well. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2020! 

Landon Carrying Wood

We’ll start with Landon. Here he is last winter helping Papa with the wood. He LOVES helping papa with the wood. Every time he comes to the house he says, “Papa, are we gonna chop some wood?” During the year he helped me pull up carrots from the garden. He did enjoy it, but Papa was at work. A few weeks later Alex and I were picking more carrots, called him over as he was helping Papa with the wood, and showed him a wonky carrot. “Want to help us pull more carrots, Landon?” “No, I’m workin’, ” he replied, and returned to Papa.

He also loves playing ping pong and asks to play that every time he comes.

Landon is now in Kindergarten and has shot up during the year. He’s a little boy now.

Leiana Head Shot

And then there is Leiana, our spunky granddaughter. We’ve been blessed with a few Leiana visits, where you can be sure I always take her to my favorite place – Roots, where she gets a smoothie, and a grilled cheese sandwich or a muffin, depending on what time we go. This year, Leiana became brave at the bounce house we go to midway between our house and Tracey and Roberto’s house, for kid exchange. The first time she wouldn’t even go on any of the inflatables, despite Tracey’s really great coaxing. The second time she got brave and now she’s unstoppable, even telling kids coming up behind her on the slides “Wait!!! My turn!” No one is ever going to tell this girl what to do. She’s her mom’s mini me in more than just looks.

She’s so much fun.

In June Andy and my mom competed in the Senior Games. Andy in track and field, my mother in pickle ball. And Will and I, their groupies, went along and we had a nice family trip in New Mexico, visiting Albuquerque (where the games took place), Taos, and Santa Fe. We went through Madrid, where Andy’s favorite movie, Wild Hogs, was filmed, we found ourselves driving through Los Alamos, site of the Manhattan Project (we did a little research about that on the spot, after we drove through security gates, were told the exact route to drive through and instructed not to take any photos. It felt like we were in a movie.).

This was the first trip us old folks used Air BnB, and it worked out really well for us! Andy and I both liked Taos the best. Andy said it felt like a Southwestern Vermont to him. It definitely was the smallest and most rural. Color us country folk. I was happy to get in a couple of short hikes and I also found out that there was an Earth Ship Community near by which we all went to visit. I had learned about them in my permaculture class (years ago) and it was so great to see them in person. (Earth Ships are ecological houses built into the soil).

Earth Ship

The biggest event of the year was Alex and Caroline’s wedding. We are so happy to officially welcome Caroline into the family. She and Alex are such a great couple. And very into family. Caroline’s brothers (Charlie & Nick) and sister-in-law (Zoey), Alex’s sisters (Tracey and Kelly) and brother-in-laws (Roberto and Greg), and their closest friends (Rachel, Sam, Sean, and Kevin) were all in the wedding party. Landon and Leiana were part of it, too. It was a real family affair, and Roberto officiated!

And if a wedding wasn’t enough joy for the year, another blessing beyond words is that Kelly & Greg moved to Massachusetts (from New Jersey) and settled in Medfield. It is so wonderful having them close by. I don’t have a great picture of them in front of their new home, so I am posting this one of them coming to Webster Lake, where my parents had their cabin. My mom sold it this year, a bittersweet ending to some fun family times.

PS Kelly and Greg ALSO got a new puppy. Her name is Ruby. She’s a cockapoo and about as cute (and smart) as they come.

This year turned out to really be full of fun and very busy – a trip to Atlanta for my niece Hailey’s wedding, a trip to North Captiva Island where our friends have a really nice house named “Beauty and the Beach,” lots and lots of prep work getting ready for wedding festivities (some at our house), including converting our porch into a sunroom – which we are enjoying very much post-wedding – painting most of the rooms downstairs (lots and lots of painting), buying some porch furniture and a canopy, re-fencing the garden (thanks a lot, Columbus, we think we finally have it dog-proofed), Caroline’s graduation from her master’s program, and lots of stuff I’m not listing. It was a very busy and good year. 

Oh, and we re-homed our chickens (and ducks and goose) this year. I miss them, but I don’t miss the work that goes along with them. I’ve got a farm girl’s heart in a city girl’s body, and I’m not getting any younger. Lugging big buckets of water all winter was hard on my body this past year.

7 Responses to “Happiest of Holidays to All (2019 update)”

  1. Debbie Crossman

    Beautiful update! Sounds like a wonderfully busy year ❤️❤️. Happy New Year!

  2. Terry

    Beautiful, Chris. A very full year!! Wishing you
    much happiness, health, family & adventures in 2020!

  3. Shirley Johnston

    Enjoyed knowing of all your activities, A very busy, full and interesting year. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year. Thanks for sending this!! Hugs.

  4. Linda Shelales

    After reading this I definitely feel the Samilove! What a wonderful year, full of new beginnings, new adventures. Happy New Year to all! oxoxo PS -I love your candles & especially love the scent of that air deodorizer. I will want more in 2020!

  5. Dot Odgren

    My Dear Chris…you are the best! You have such a big heart that envelopes those around you with love and happiness. Your exuberance and love of life and people, especially your family is wonderful! Thanks for your update.

    I hope the upcoming year will be healthy and joyous!! I look forward to our time together, whenever it may be.


  6. David Knudsen

    I love this, Chris! Your updates are so gentle, and humorous, and positive. I definitely feel the “Samoilove”! My own best wishes to you and yours for a 2020 full of more treasured life experiences.