Merry Christmas from the Bolams   2021

Written by Kath (The paper copy was folded, stuffed, and mailed by Bob)

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We hope you are doing well this year.  Our year started with Bob’s total knee replacement surgery in January.  It was tough to send him to the hospital and not be able to be there as his advocate.  The first week home was super hard but after that we saw little improvements each day.  Bob did PT for almost 3 months and I helped all along the way.  Homework exercises are not fun but oh so important!  Bob kept saying “I’ll never be able to … “ over and over. He can do all those things now!


Bob is doing so great that he chose his next project to be “restoring the inside of a van”.  He found a van in Canada that had already been restored on the outside to look like a 1970’s van.  The guy who did that part’s dream was to only do the outside restoration.  Lucky for us, Bob’s dream was only to do the inside restoration. Win win!  After it arrived and had its mechanical problems fixed, Bob spent 3 months restoring the inside. He fixed the front dash area, added door padding, porthole windows and added a ceiling fan, carpet, walls, pine wood ceiling, added a bed and sofa, and many more features. He plans to show it at local car shows.  He did a great job and spent lots of time on his knees with no problem.


Our friends, the Waddles, continued to spend time with us.  We try to play Farkle (over the internet) twice a week.  It is a dice game that gives us smiles, giggles, and keeps our brains working. They came to Idaho 5 times this year starting with our 40th anniversary in March and ending with their anniversary in December.  We camped at Farragut, ate at Cedar’s Floating Restaurant for both anniversaries, rented a house at Priest Lake, and visited at our house.  Kim & I spent lots of time out with our cameras watching for birds and animals to photograph. She did a few hikes with me which I appreciated since a couple were kind of tough!  Kim has taken up quilting during the pandemic. She does fabulous work! Now we have a new bedroom quilt, Bob has one with fish on it for lounging on the couch, and we have a wall hanging for fall and one for Christmas with two matching pillows!  Thank you, Kim, for all the love!


I spent this year concentrating on bird and animal photography combined with walking and hiking and getting fresh air!  Sometimes I had someone with me, other times I went alone.  I figured out that I went out 82 days this year for photography. I also took photos in our back yard 50 days.  I went to 16 locations, shot photos of 121 kinds of birds including 59 LIFE birds (first time photographing them). Last year was my first year photographing birds regularly.  On these trips I also photographed: turtle, bunny, donkey, otter, muskrat, porcupine, moose, deer, chipmunk, squirrel, dragonflies, butterflies, and Kokanee Salmon swimming in the water.  Bob got to photograph a bear at Priest Lake.


I got to go visit my mom and sister two times this year in Bellingham.  We celebrated Mom’s 89th birthday with her July 1st.  We drove over with Mom’s cousin Sharon and rented a house for a few days.  It was so much fun for everyone. Sharon and Mom had a great time visiting.  The first week of October, my childhood friend Lora and I drove up to Bellingham, rented a very cute little place with a donkey and lots of birds on the property and visited with my mom and family every day.  We hiked and checked out the scenery and watched beautiful sunsets.  Oh what fun we had!


Two days after Lora and I were with mom, she fell.  She spent from Oct 10 – Dec 7 in the hospital and rehab two times each.  She is now moved to Assisted Living and learning all about her new place.  So far she loves it but it is a huge change for her.  I want to thank my sister Linda and brother-in-law Spence because they worked super hard during this time. They found an Assisted Living place for mom after looking at 7 places. They moved Mom out of The Willows, put her things in storage or donated them, and set up Mom’s new room really nice for her when she got there. That doesn’t even count working with doctors and nurses and the people at rehab and Assisted Living to keep mom on track. Whew … I’d be tired! It was hard enough on my side and I was in Idaho.


One of the things they did was send Mom’s bedroom set to our house.  This furniture was purchased in the early 1930’s by my Grandma Atha. My grandparents used it when my mom was young.  When I was growing up this furniture was in my parents bedroom.  I have photos of my mom playing on it as a kid and I remember doing the same growing up.  Mom moved it to Bellingham and used it at The Willows the 3 years she was there. It was carefully moved to Idaho with a moving company.  We created a Heritage Room in our basement with this furniture and several other pieces we inherited.  Now we have a fancy guest room with a story … with furniture you can’t buy this nice anymore!


Daisie and Joey keep us smiling.  For one of our Bellingham trips and the Priest Lake trip we had dog sitters at our home. The dogs did great and the sitters fell in love with the dogs.  It gave us some time to check out sites and scenery without them.  We may have to do this again somewhere next year.  Joey stayed healthy this year. Daisie had all her teeth pulled out, got kidney stones, and loves going to the doggy chiropractor. Even with all that, Daisie is young at heart, happy, loves to run all over the yard, and will be 11 years old soon.  Joey is a couple months away from being 7 years old already!!!


I did get to participate in 3 virtual walks this year.  I walked the “Walk for Kids” with grandson Sam (he is California, me in Idaho); the Memory Walk with Doug & Nancy Purcell (they in New York, me in Idaho); and I walked Bloomsday alone in Hayden.


Merry Merry Christmas to everyone from our family!

Love, Bob & Kathy Bolam (Daisie & Joey too)