As the sunsets on 2016, here is an opportunity to reflect on the happy colors in your life. There is no such thing as too much positivity. I’m participating in the activity below, to list 50 good things about this year. I share my list below in order to encourage you to think of yours. If you want to read other lists, go to Dawn Landau’s blog, Tales From the Motherland. If you are a blogger, help Dawn Landau and others flood the blogosphere with joy!

2016 has been a difficult year on so many levels. Regardless of how you voted, the election season was rough! So many ugly things to digest and so much drama. And this is on top of the other setbacks you may have experienced. For me, it felt like punch after punch some weeks. So let’s flip the switch and flood the internet with gratitude and happy thoughts. Let’s ring in 2017 on a positive note! Join us and spread positivity!

Instructions for Bloggers

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours); 2) click on the link to this/Dawn’s post — link is above; 3) Then, click on the blue frog at the very bottom of Dawn’s post. 4) That will take you to another window, where you can paste the URL to your post.  5) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. And let’s all use the hashtags #BloggersUnite or #50HappyThings, cause everything needs a hashtag.

My list, not in order of importance:

  1. Freedom to write

2. My writing group’s valuable critique

Red Wheelbarrow honors Laura’s big birthday

3. Hanging out with writers








Diana Gabledon

The Charming Diana Gabaldon (OUTLANDER)

Nancy and Perry at Yosemite

Christmas at Yosemite

4. 45 Years of Adventures in Marriage








6.My Bellingham friends

7.My awesoome neighbors

8.My happy kids

children in front of Reichstad





Arabian party








9.Travel this year

purple Lupine flowers below Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

near Yellowstone National Park

dhow in Oman








10.National Parks

hoodoos at Bryce

hoodoos at Bryce National Park

Perry in a slot canyon








El Capitain, Yosemite


11.Flexibility of my job


12.My home







13.Our lake

14.Our boats

15.Birds on our lake










16.Frankfurt friends who travel with us

Campaign team

You Gotta Have Hart campaign



Travel Friends




Friends in front of train

Wilderness Express, Alaska


18.President Obama

19.Michelle Obama

20.Pickford Movie Theater

21.Washington State Wines

22.Open mindedness of Western Washington

23.The internet

24.My computer

25.My iPhone

26.My nieces

27.My brothers and sister + my living parents’ health and longevity

28.The common history I share with my husband

29.Beauty of the Pacific Northwest

bridge to the waterfall hike

Hiking on the Olympic Peninsula

30.Teaching overseas

Graduation at ancient Jerash

Graduation at ancient Jerash, Jordan

31.Student camping trips in Ghana

32.Human Rights work in Ghana

33.Save the Turtles in Ghana

34.Mediation training and employment in Virginia

35.College basketball on TV

36.Working at Eastside Preparatory School

37.Experiencing life in a dictatorship in Congo and Syria


When Palmyra was still whole



So grateful to visit Aleppo before now

38.Going to East Berlin before the wall came down

39.Enjoying my son’s home in East Berlin after the wall

40.Living in Jordan so close to Jerusalem


Climbing the Mount of Olives



41.My diplomatic passport

42.Seeing friends in Phoenix during Spring Training

43.Yoga at the YMCA

44.Fund-raising for Rick Larsen

45.Birding in Hawaii

Red-crested cardinal

Hawaii Red-Crested Cardinal










46.Kayaking in Hawaii


47.Kayaking on Lake Whatcom

kayaking on Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom

48.Good health

49.Ability to hike

50.Mount Baker so close

Mt. Shuksan

Mt. Shuksan near Mt. Baker








51.Craft beer

52.Andrea’s help with my blog

53.Writing for my blog

54.My new State Department friends retiring to Bellingham

55.Dungeness Crab

56.The San Juan Islands so close

57.Washington State Ferries

58.Jeff’s anniversary present, a stay at the Shangri-La in Oman

Shangri-La Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel, Oman








59. Jeff and Roxy in Denver

60. Hank and Helen in Olympia

61. George and Dottie in NoVa

62. Jack and Jan in NoVa

63. Rich and Maryann in NoVa

64. Keith and Judy in Richmond, Va.  and Maine

65. Richard and Tacla in Rome