I'm posting my Christmas letter since it seems a good way to get to know the everyday part of my life.
Today it is raining and cold. Seems like a good day to watch football and write this letter. Cindy’s girls are coming on December 15 so I’m trying to get things done and not have my usual last minute rush. I need to be available for shopping. Since they live so far from stores it’s a real treat for them and I have a blast.
This has been a good year. Ed has continued to improve from his hip replacement surgery and is now able to enjoy the plane and get around much better. We started a low carb diet about a year ago and both of us have dropped a bunch of weight. We still need to finish the job, but buying smaller sizes is great fun.
In June, I made a three-week mission trip to Kenya with two other friends. We were invited to come and teach on biblical equality for women, which is amazing since it is totally against their tradition. We chose three from a number of invitations and only later discovered that the towns were within forty miles of each other. You can read about our adventure at www.godswordowomen,org/articles/kenya.htm
Cindy is still in Snow Lake, Manitoba. We went to see her the last of August. I love that place. It had been two years since Ed had been up and it was great to see everyone. We went to their cabin on the lake and helped to finish a deck that Cindy and Katy had put up earlier. Brian showed his multiple talents by building steps and then using his tractor with blade to level the foundation pad and driveway. Brittany is graduating this year and planning on attending the University of Manitoba in the fall, and she has a school trip to Europe over Spring Break. She’s working hard at the local grocery and considering a second job because she wants a car. We’re proud of her. Katy remains a delight. She’s in the eighth grade this year and loving volleyball. Our little girl is becoming a beautiful young lady,
Scott’s big news is the sale of his business in late November. Air Gas gave them an offer too good to refuse. He and his employees will continue working for the new owners. Malayne’s pre-school has grown in size, reputation and hours as they are now open every day and keep the children until 5:00. She amazes me. Scott and Jeff continue to hunt and the den is filling up with their trophies. They do both gun and bow so the season starts early and ends late. The other activity is golf. The Andrews girls golf team won State last year and expect to win again this spring. Jennifer is getting numerous offers from colleges both for her golf and academics. She got her State Champion ring when we were there in September. It is such fun to watch her play. Ed and I have gotten to go to the state meet for the last three years. If Jeff keeps on like he has started, we’ll be going for another four. He is shooting consistently in the 70s and occasionally lower.
Mildred, Ed’s mom, broke her hip in June and is now in a nursing home. She has a nice room and the care is what she needs. Physically she is doing well, but her dementia is sad. We are grateful that she still knows us and speaks often of old friends.
My brother Tom and his wife, Carol, came by last spring on their way to see their son Tom and his family who recently moved to Belton, TX. Tom and Shantelle had a beautiful baby girl, Analiese in August so Tom and Carol came over again to see her and her big brother, Jax. I drove up for a short visit. Dana, my niece, is expecting a baby girl in February—the joy of grandchildren. There is nothing like it! Dana and her husband, Chris, have a little boy, Charlie, and live in Atlanta not too far from Stone Mountain, Tom and Carol’s home
Ed and I celebrate our 50th anniversary in February. Seems impossible. Suddenly we are REALLY senior citizens but thankfully, healthy ones. We miss having the kids close, but our lives are fun and busy. I’m doing some grant writing along with websites. Decided I needed to get out of the house so I’m volunteering at hospice and Share, our local food pantry, and recently joined Pilot Club.
We go to the Rosenberg Opry every month with some wonderful friends. The piano player is fantastic and he recently started giving lessons in Rosenberg. I’ve always wanted to play the piano by ear and decided it was a good time to give it a try. Will let you know next year how it came out. I’m having a blast.
Ed camps out at the airport enjoying the comradery of other pilots and the interesting people who come through. We flew over to Uvalde to visit our friends Joe and Wanda Kosler a few weeks ago. We need to do more flying. Our Opry friends all fly and we are planning to do a trip somewhere for breakfast before long.
Christmas is a special time, a time to remember how much God loves us. Often we think we have to clean up our act or keep it clean for God to love us, but that’s not true. We love our kids even when they mess up. So does God. He is teaching me about the unconditional nature of His love. Like a perfect parent, He knows our failings and cares for us in spite of them. He grieves when we insist on doing things our own way and rejoices when we finally listen. We all need His patient hand to get us to a place where we allow His love and acceptance to make us more like Him.
Darkness is only the absence of light—physically and spiritually. Jesus called his followers the light of the world. What will it take for us to grow up and be that light? Are we willing to ask?
May the joy and peace of His love flood your life,
Ed and Pat