December 16, 2023

We've often assembled a sampling of our photos and summary of our activities at year-end, so hope you'll enjoy this year's collection. It's mostly been a satisfying year, but started on a down note when we both caught the corona virus; Louise had severe symptoms and spent Christmas week in bed. Our Christmas celebration occurred 2 weeks later with her brother Joe and wife Lynn in Toronto.

On February 1st , we flew from Detroit to San Antonio, Texas and explored that city for 4 days. Then we drove south to the Mexican border where Brian's sister Sandra spent the winter in her camper van. Using that as a base, we swam in the outdoor pool, explored the local area, toured Brownsville, ate lots of Mexican food, then went to Corpus Christi and back to San Antonio. It was pleasant walking around that city, especially the downtown river walk.

Brian mimics a killer bee, in front of a big metal statue in Hidalgo, Texas.

In July, we returned to the USA and attended a theatre-organ convention west of Chicago. We joined about 250 American and British organ enthusiasts for 5 days of wonderful concerts on Wurlitzer (and other) pipe organs.

On our first overseas trip in more than 3 years, we went to England for 2 weeks in May. We drove west from London to revisit Maidenhead, Wiltshire, Winchester, the south coast and Guildford. We had good weather and appreciated the beautiful greenery and spring flowers. The photo shows Louise with her 2nd cousin Clare.

The wisteria flowers were fully out at the Dorney (Berkshire) garden centre.

Brian in downtown Maidenhead, Berkshire where we lived in the late 90's.

Back in Ontario, we stayed in Port Severn at the end of July, and took Louise for a pedal-boat ride on the lake.

We took a break from camping in our nylon tent this year, and rented this Airstream trailer. It was fun riding our bikes around nearby Rondeau Provincial Park.

In late October, we visited Ottawa, and took Louise's friend Heather to the Canadian history museum in Gatineau, Que.

Our weather this year has been quite warm. It reached 28 degrees in April, but then snowed later that month. We journeyed south to Port Stanley on Lake Erie which has a lovely beach. Our last swim there this year was on October 4th.

I (Brian) have taken on an occasional job playing the piano for a female singer who gives 1-hour performances at local retirement homes. The residents seem to enjoy our music. Another project involved giving a 25-minute talk to my seniors learning group. I summarized our experiences of living abroad for 19 years. It went well with lots of discussion afterwards.

More fun events: a birthday celebration with friends, and below, with our friend Nicole Tan, taking a break from one of her fabulous singing performances.

We shall see what 2024 brings! I hope you and your family will have a festive Christmas and much fun in the new year.

Brian and Louise Keith

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