Looking back on 2014, there were plenty of blockbuster global news events — from hysteria over Ebola to a disappearing Malaysian airplane and the cancellation of a Seth Rogen movie because of fears about North Korea (yes, that actually happened) — but in the Ingram family it was a fairly quiet year. There was plenty of travel, as usual, and the occasional mini-crisis here or there (always a risk when one has a teenager) but all in all it was pretty smooth. The girls are growing/have grown into fine young women: Caitlin moved in with her boyfriend this year, and continues to be an excellent pediatric intensive-care nurse, although we hardly see her any more (just kidding, Wade) and Meaghan is finishing up her last year at University of Ottawa in gender studies and linguistics. Zoe played defence on two hockey teams again this year, and was in the school musical (Legally Blonde), and spent her free time learning to drive, and also educating dumb boys on Twitter about why casual sexism is a bad thing. If you want to see some of the photos from this letter all in one place, you can see them in this Flickr album I put together.
Our year began as it has for many years now — with a visit to our friends Marc and Kris at their farm near Buckhorn, northeast of Toronto, where we snowshoed and skated on the pond (after we spent an hour or so shoveling it, of course) and ate way too much great food before ringing in the new year with Auld Lang Syne and Swedish church bells — as well as the ceremonial watching of Dinner For One, a hilarious slapstick sketch filmed in Germany with two British actors that for some bizarre reason has become a Scandinavian tradition. I also got to take a little side trip to our cottage, which we don’t usually see in the winter, which was fun. Then after New Year’s, we had to run away for a hockey tournament, in which Zoe’s team was beaten soundly by a team from Kingston — a team that was captained by Becky’s brother Dave and featured her cousin Laurel as the star forward. To take some of the sting out of that humiliating loss, Becky and I spent a lovely weekend at Scandinave Spa in Collingwood near Blue Mountain, a great spa that features Swedish massages and a series of hot and cold outdoor pools, along with outdoor fireplaces and a sauna and steam room.