This may be the first time we have sent holiday greetings this late in the next year—greetings that were begun early enough in December and then living and enjoying became more important than completing a task. So we celebrate that we can still take some time to check in with you all as we make “one more circle ’round the sun.” This holiday season was a warm and wonderful time, shared with friends in Asheville and with our family. Eric, Annabel and Madeline traveled on Christmas to be with us for five days, Laurie and Nick came to join us later that week, and after Eric, Annabel and Madeline departed, the rest of us went to be with Diane, Dan, Allyson and Jake to celebrate the birth of 2014. Good times for us.
We are still loving our move to the mountains—the sheer beauty is food for the soul. The year was full, with John continuing to volunteer three days a week at Manna Food Bank and picking up some more activity at First Congregational UCC—it was a very short time after he began offering his services that he was given a key to the building. Jane keeps busy reading, doing artwork, and spending time with new found friends. It was also a year filled with lots of travel, not the least of which was about a 6 week grand circle beginning in Memphis, TN on to NM, KS, KY, and OH. El Shaddai, our Roadtrek, continues to provide a great home away from home.
It so happened that on one of our trips to Ohio to see Madeline in her last high school stage performance, we were blessed with the gift of being present for the passing of our dear friend Barb Hasson. While there is a deep, empty space in our lives, it was deeply satisfying and healing to be present with her to the end of her years. Our years of friendship and the many gifts of love she left with us will never be far from us.
We managed to make three graduations at the end of May and beginning of June as Madeline, then Jake and Nick experienced that grand time of closure ending High School years. They all apear to be enjoying their new beginnings to collegiate life; Nick at Northern Kentucky; Jake at University of Georga; Madeline at New School in New York City. Allyson, a Junior at Georgia Tech engaged the Fall semester as an international student in Spain.
As the year came to a close, the world’s attention focused for a time on the life of Nelson Mandela. His life was truly a wonderful gift to the world. Though none of us may ever be willing or able to achieve the embodiment of love that he lived, each of us can make an effort to live a life based on receiving and giving a spark of love to lighten and brighten our corner of the universe
Blessings to you and yours in 2014.
John and Jane