Dear Loved Ones!
What can one say about one’s blessings and the wonderful life Paul and I have and the great year we just experienced when, as I write and as you read, tens of thousands of refugees are washing up on beaches or walking across a wintry Europe, looking for a “room at the inn” only to be told over and over, “No room”,
“No room”. We shut the door on our warm churches and piously reenact Nativity plays highlighting Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter….any shelter. Every year we portray the innkeepers as overwhelmed, but still wanting to help, as each sends the weary, mid eastern family on into the cold night. Ultimately, one offers the family a stable, not ideal, but sufficient. Two thousand years after the birth of the one we honor by this holiday we, supposedly a Christian nation, have politicians and headlines screaming justification for turning our backs on the poor, foreign travelers, looking for a simple place to get warm and safe. So much for making room for Jesus: The bringer of unconditional love, “For as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me”, (Matthew 25:40)
His mission, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt 25:35)
His message, “Perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18)
Blessedly, our lives are not haunted by fear. We have all we need and more. Our children and grand children have all they need and more.
Rebecca (43) and Alexandra (10) live in Kensington, Maryland, in a warm house with a cozy kitchen, friendly neighbors and a huge back yard in which they tried to garden this last summer. Rabbits, however, had other plans for the harvest. Alexandra continues in her French school, singing in a children’s chorale and baking. Rebecca’s engineering labors involve working day and night toward an on time launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/. Rebecca also got a write-up in our Summit Daily News
Jonathan (42) loves the travel his flight attendant duties with United allows, going frequently to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, preferring to avoid Lagos. He loves his flutist position in the Houston Heights Orchestra as well as competing in volleyball https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5Sv7u4acW8
Partner Guillermo struggles with diabetes as he balances laying carpet and running flea market booths.
Matthew (39) and Becky have so arranged their jobs and finances (pilot and pharmacist) to spend as much time traveling and cruising as anyone we know. Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Bahamas, Mexico, Portugal……
Rachel (37) and Kellie, both sociology professors at College of Southern Nevada, have found a wonderful way to balance family and work. Derek (10), homeschooled, plays flag football and soccer, seemingly year round. Andrew (4) specializes in tearing around the house, tackling and wrestling with Derek at every opportunity. They all run and run and run. Rachel did a half marathon and has run 5Ks with both Derek and Andrew (well, he sort of ran).
The Mountain Lyon Cafe would shut down if it weren’t for Ruben (39) keeping the line humming. He took a week’s vacation and they almost had to close without him! He and Morgan are engaged, with no date set. Cassie (11) is a 6th grader and top of the heap on her cheer squad.
We are so grateful to Boston House for keeping Robert (38) safe and warm. He has complete freedom to leave his house, walk around, earn a little spending money by taking out the trash or moving furniture at an antique store. Instead of taking his meds daily he now gets a shot every two weeks. The results in his stability have been amazing!
Jamie (38) has found a new love and a new career in Salida, Colorado. He and Tracy make a lovely couple in this rural community where he chefs at The Laughing Lady.
When you go into Little Caesar’s Pizza think of Jesse (36) running one. He laughs at how his unlimited pizza diet is ruining his once slim figure. He lives in Denver with his girlfriend Tanya.
Amber (34) is not in communication with us and what little we know is that her life, right now, is hard.
Brandon (34) lives in Quincy, Illinois with his wife Amanda and her daughter, working as night auditor at a Holiday Inn.
Carlos (36) and his wife Heather have moved to rural Granby, CO with their 2 children where he is a stay at home dad and loving it.
Paul and I have traveled, visited the kids and grand kids, and cruised to our heart’s content this year. One highlight was a 10 day transatlantic cruise to Barcelona ending with a week’s stay on Las Ramblas. A second highlight was a week’s family reunion at Nags Head Beach. What treats! Paul has dropped one treasurer’s position and now only oversees the books for our condo association.
I continue to run the Community Dinner, overseeing the serving of our 100,000th meal in October.
Working part time as a child and family trauma therapist keeps my hand in very fascinating and rewarding work, while deciding to do something fun and offbeat…..a wedding officiant! You want to get married…call me. I can get it done.
Having this huge empty home has turned our thoughts to the refugees so we are in the beginning stages of exploring opening up our home to a refugee family. We will see where it goes.
Hoping this year has brought you warmth and safety and the desire to extend that blessing to others.
Paul and Deborah