Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Fond Farewell to 2011

If you pay any attention to the news of the past year you know that 2011 was not a very good year. There were wars and rumors of war. There were protests and angry mobs. The economy was a mess, and politics has been very nasty. Yet, when I look around my little corner of the world ,there has been a golden glow of joy, goodness and peace. In the place where I have lived, the year 2011 has been a wonderful year.

We celebrated my seventieth birthday and our fiftieth wedding anniversary this year. Perhaps all those years have taught us to be a bit more patient and to trust God a little more. In all those years there have have been many dark and difficult times, but we are still here. We are surrounded by family and friends. God has seen us through to the other side of those dark times. We are now enjoying the green meadows and quiet waters that have been waiting here for us all along.

Here is a list of some of the reasons, in no particular order, I have felt so blessed in 2011.

1. We had a most wonderful party for our 50th anniversary which made us feel very loved.
2. Two more of our beautiful, intelligent grandchildren graduated from high school. I see great hope for the world when I see my grandkids and their friends.
3. Our daughter and her sweetheart became engaged. We get to plan for a fall wedding.
4. Our son has lost more than 100 pounds this year. He looks and feels so much better.
5. I get to teach the toddlers' Sunday school class. These beautiful babies are so much fun.
6. My oldest granddaughter bought her own house. How did she grow up so quickly? Amazing.
7. Our long lost son came home. What a wonderful reunion!
8. Our kids' businesses are both making a profit this year.
9. Our grandson’s ulcerative colitis was declared to be in complete remission.
10. We have discovered that retirement gives us time to enjoy all that life has to offer. We have enjoyed beautiful sunsets, good books, the company of friends, the joy of quiet evenings together, and the certainty of God's grace.

My only resolution for 2012 is to continue to count my blessings and to live each day with joy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Snapshots

We began a brand new tradition this year with Christmas Eve brunch at our granddaughter's new home. It is good to pass the joy of hosting a holiday party on to the next generation, even if it is really hard to believe our granddaughter is now an adult.

I love the Christmas eve services at church. The lit candles and music always bring tears and sweet memories.

Christmas day brings the family together. Although we missed our oldest grandson who was needed by the Air Force and youngest son who was need by the Army, we managed to fill the house with love and laughter.

DQ arrived wearing his new Christmas hat.

Not to be outdone, his dad received a new head of hear.

We did have a hula-hoop contest. Girls are better hula-hoopers than boys.

After a long day of food and family our granddaughters crashed as usual in a nap on the couch.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Friday, December 02, 2011


In 2002 our son came home for a visit. He drove his big 18-wheeler down our little street, picked me and took me for a ride. We found a parking place for his big rig, and he stayed and spent Christmas week with us. We loved having him here, but we knew he was going through a difficult time. His marriage had ended and the future was unclear. After the holiday he got into his truck, and disappeared. More than seven years passed with no contact. We knew nothing about his life. The not knowing was very hard.

In the spring of last year a friend called to say that Todd was on facebook. I looked and, and sure enough, there he was! His big smile and beautiful eyes stared back at me from his profile picture. I just cried. He was alive. He looked happy. His profile said he was the army and that he was married! I was amazed. I sent him a message and asked him to call. On Mother's Day, 2010, I got an email form Iraq. It said,
“Hi Mom. I'm sorry it's been so long. I miss you. I love you. I'll call soon. Todd”

We have talked several times since then. We met his wife and step-daughter. We have been getting to know each other again.

Thanksgiving day Todd flew home. He was nervous. I was excited. The moment we saw each other we both started running. It was a wonderful hug! There were lots of tears and lots of laughter. His sweet wife just stood there laughing and crying with us. In the moment of that wonderful hug the long years of not knowing melted away. We were a family again.
God does indeed answer prayers.