It’s a long time since I’ve made New Years resolutions. I never seemed to get past the first couple of weeks without breaking them. The past few years I’ve tried to spend some time on New Years Day thinking of the highlights and lowlights of the year. I’ve been so lucky that the highlights always out number the low ones.
One highlight has been communicating with people important to me who live far away. The Internet and email have made it possible to keep in touch with family and with friends scattered across the country and the world. Once upon a time I wrote letters. Early in our marriage we moved across the country to California. Frequent letters kept me in contact with the people I loved. In those days long distance telephone calls were way above our budget. As time passed, the letters became less frequent as the arrival of children and community commitments made it more difficult to find the time. Now it takes no time at all to dash a note off to someone.
Highlights were many in 2014. I had a week with my sister on three occasions, always at the top of a highlight list. Another big event was our grandson Alex’s marriage to the lovely Jessalyn in September. There were so many other good times with family and friends that they’d take a page to mention.
For an intrepid traveler, 2014 was an especially good year. Two trips to the Dominican Republic, Maine, Florida, Michigan, Baltimore, New York City, Cape Cod, Berlin and France.
Lowlights were Max’s need to have a pacemaker and an injured shoulder that I sustained while swimming. The saddest news of the year was the end of our granddaughter Crystal’s marriage. We are hoping that this will be a year of good things for her.
Yesterday I finished my year end tasks at the orchard and tomorrow I will join Max in the sunny Caribbean for the winter months. I’m already planning trips for the spring and summer. The planning is almost as much fun as the travel itself.
To start the year I’m posting a recipe that I made this week. It was once a staple at our table but it’s been years since I’ve used packaged and canned food. I remembered how much the family had loved it and decided to ignore all the chemicals that go into processed food. It turned out just as I remembered. Delicious.

Pork Pot Roast

3 or 4 pound pork loin roast (a beef roast is just as good)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet dried onion soup mix
Pepper to taste

Put the roast in a deep casserole or Dutch oven. Dump the soup mixes on top. Add ½ can of water, cover tightly and bake at 250 degrees for 3½ hours. The soups make a rich gravy to pour over mashed potatoes and the low oven temperature keeps the meat from drying out.