2014 – A year of coming together and growing apart. Paul and I spent a great deal of time traveling with each other this year. A three week trip encompassing Rome and two weeks cruising the Mediterranean was fabulous, but left us exhausted. On board we danced every night until 1 am! During the summer we took some lovely hikes….the longest was 16 miles, 12 hours, over Red Buffalo Pass, from Silverthorne to Vail, 2500’ elevation gain….up and down! October we took two weeks to motor home around the south east corner of Colorado, ending up at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. November we spent 10 days in Phoenix, hanging out on the boat and getting the house ready to rent for the winter.
We also traveled with the grand kids. What a treat! February we traveled with Ruben and Cassie to Las Vegas to hike and hang out with Rachel and her family, anything to get away from the frozen landscape in our yard.
April we took Cassie to Washington DC to spend Spring Break with Alexandra. In July we took two weeks in the motor home with Cassie and Alexandra, hiking and exploring Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Rebecca has often commented that the best times when she was growing up was when we were on the road. 2014 was no exception.
Up next, in December, was a road trip to Houston where I lectured and Paul and I attended an orchestra concert with Jonathan playing principal flute. The following week we all went to Las Vegas to witness and celebrate Rachel and Kellie getting married to each other for the third time! The first time was in 1995. Rachel and Kellie met in college, fell in love and vowed to love and cherish each other forever. June 9, 2001 they had a religious ceremony in front of family and friends in South Carolina……exchanged rings, blessings were shared and gifts showered down. Fast forward to Nevada, Dec 20, 2014, two children later, the third and final ceremony took place. They married each other again ……LEGALLY!
Rebecca (41) and Pedro, after 9 years, called it quits. Very sad. In November I flew to Maryland for 5 days to help them separate their household goods. Rebecca now is living in a darling house, nearer to her work and to Alexandra’s (9) school while continuing her work on the James Webb Deep Space Telescope, due to be launched in 2016. Alexandra, 4th grade in a French Academy, is playing the violin!
Jamie (37) is a much appreciated sous chef at the Chop House, a very upscale restaurant in down town Denver. We spent days searching Denver for a place for him to rent as his income and credit are in such good shape. Nada, nunca, nothing. No one will rent to him because of his conviction 20 years ago, for which he went to prison and is now clean as a whistle…not so much as a parking ticket. It makes me sad for him. We find ways to stay in touch with Alex, Brandon and Jesse, who are all doing fairly well. Amber is disconnected completely from our lives.
Jonathan (40) and Guillermo are struggling with Guillermo’s painful diabetes. Jonathan, still a flight attendant for United, does not like being away as much as he has to be. His flute, piccolo and volleyball team keep him emotionally, mentally and physically stimulated! Matthew (38), now a Captain for Republic Airways, and his fabulous bride Becky are still cruising…..literally. 3 Weeks, Scotland and a transatlantic sailing were their big second honeymoon. Ruben (38) has life down to a comfortable rhythm of work and gym, Cassie (10) and friends. The new addition is a corgi mix puppy, Diezel. He and Cassie are inseparable. I can’t believe Cassie, after 6 years of Spanish immersion, will be going to Middle School next year. She is going to switch from piano to violin then.
Rachel (36) and Kellie, with Derek (9) and Andrew (3) find themselves running hither and thither, running 5K’s, Soccer, homeschool……they are busy…busy….busy! They both teach at The Community College of Southern Nevada and love being away from the “publish or perish” pressure of the University of Nebraska. Robert (37) had a huge mental relapse this summer and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for several months. He is back on his meds and appears stable.
Paul gets up in the morning with nothing to do and goes to bed without getting it all done….the lament of the retiree! In reality he manages the rental of our 5 condos, basement apartment and Sun City, AZ house, while serving as treasurer both at church and for the condo association. Riding his bike in the summer, skiing in the winter, mowing the lawn in the summer, shoveling snow in the winter…..Life is good…..well except for the shoveling snow part. I am finally retired from my private practice….sort of. Mostly I run the Community Dinner every Tuesday. Most weeks I gather the cooking crew about 1:30 and we laugh and cut and talk and chop and sing and stir until 5 pm when we serve a free dinner to 300 – 400 people. My goal for 2015 is to continue to oversee the entire project while turning the Tuesday cooking duties over to other volunteers.
The arrival of Jesus on the scene 2000 plus years ago parted the waves of history. There is BC, before the birth of Christ and AD, after the death of Christ. The 33 year life of Christ …..history stands still while Jesus showed the world how to end the old divisions and begin lives of mutual respect! The end of the rule of war, violence, hunger ……and the beginning of compassion, grace, love, reconciliation. In other words, bringing the kingdom of God to earth. ….Here……Now….. Showing us what life would be like on earth if God were King and the power mongers and money worshippers of the world were not. It is a world where there is justice for all, every man, woman and child has enough and the thoughts, hatreds and reasons that drive countries and religions to war will be gone. And it all starts with one little child, lying in a manger, singing out, “Come follow me!”
Live well. Eat, drink. Help others live well.
XOXOXOXOX Paul and Deborah