Two thousand seventeen has been a  momentous year all round when it comes to Ian Malcomson. There wasn’t much that did happen that will soon be forgotten, both as character building and cause for celebration. Month-by-month, something new, unexpected, or monumental popped up. Here is my list of ten significant events for me this past year:

A. Both my mother and step-father passed away earlier this year after a lengthy illness. The blessing here was that their deaths succeeded in healing some big wounds in our extended family;

B. I took on two part-times jobs to see if they helped me get out more into the community in serving other people’s needs. Though I liked both – grocery clerking and caregiving – with respect to the social end of things, I found that they ended up robbing me of valuable personal time while putting enormous strain on my health without improving my financial security;

C. I belonged to a Triples team in lawn bowling that placed fifth out of 29 teams in the city league. I have some very enduring memories of great and close matches played;

D. I was selected to hand out the medals and trophies for the triples at the national championships here in Victoria. What an honor!

E. Belle and I took a four week trip to Spain, Portugal and Ireland. All the great moments are covered in earlier blogs. What a wonderful adventure;

F. Belle and I got fully engaged in the life of our local community garden, with the rental of a box in which we planted a variety of vegetables including pumpkins, tomatoes, beets, carrots, lettuce, mustard greens and potatoes. Learned a lot and met some interesting people;

G. I finally bit the bullet and joined the church choir. It has turned out to be an enormously beautiful learning experience, learning to sing in harmony;

H. I took several very informative courses on Shakespeare, Quakerism, the French Revolution, and International Relations. All helped sharpen my appreciation for humanity’s ongoing struggles for a better life;

I. I watched or listened to the entire Dodger baseball season only to have them lose to the Astros in  the final game of the World Series;

J. We had two occasions to visit with our children and grandkids during the year and all went very well. We remain ever thankful that we can use Skype on a weekly basis to connect with family on  the Mainland and in Ireland.