I’ve ALWAYS sent a Christmas card. In the 35 years we’ve been married I think I’ve missed two years. I love getting them and I love sending them. But it didn’t happen this year… more on that below. So, rather than letting Christmas pass without sending my greetings, I decided to break tradition and send this digital version.
A Few Reasons I Skipped the Paper Card
I fully intended on sending cards in the mail this year, but life intervened as it often does. First, my father passed away in September. (See the post “Dad has Finished the Race.”) Although he suffered from Parkinson’s, his death was sudden. Then my mother – who is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s – rapidly declined. She is now getting more intensive care at a memory care facility. All this meant several long road trips from Texas to Tennessee this fall to help my brother with family matters.
But the most superficial reason I’m not sending a printed card this year is that we failed to get a family photo that made everyone happy. We tried. We really did. When we were all together for Thanksgiving a family friend took quite a few for us. But the wind was a problem. And the sun. And the toddlers. And Wayne couldn’t leave the frying turkey unmanned. (Both the top photo and the one below were “not acceptable.” Go figure.)
A Quick Recap of Our Year
Yes, the traditional Christmas card/letter gives the reader all the family highlights. So here goes:
- Wayne suffered a ruptured bicep in a freak collision with a big dog in February and had to have surgery to reattach the tendon. That meant Kathy got to learn how to use the zero-turn riding mower to keep our 2 acres under control.
- Our oldest daughter and her family moved in with us in April. They stayed with us three months while they renovated their new home. We really enjoyed this special time with them! (By the way, they own Irwin Construction in Denton, Texas and do incredible work! Check out the “before & after” of their home on their blog.)
- In May, Wayne and Kathy spent a few days with old friends at their farm in Oklahoma. We fished, played games, and fed the cows!
- The end of May and early June, we headed to the Canadian Maritimes. First, Kathy led a couple of workshops at the Canadian National Baptist Convention. Then we explored PEI and Newfoundland with dear friends. We also ate lots of mussels and cod (pronounced “caaahhd”).
- Kathy’s 8th book was released in May. “30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents” is a devotional book designed to give spiritual encouragement to those caring for aging or ill parents.
- We hit the road again in July to spend time in Wyoming. We made the drive with dear, longtime friends to have a reunion with friends from the time we lived in Casper. We spent 3 days at a Wyoming ranch where we hiked, mended fencing, and learned to rope! Well, we kind of learned to rope.
- Kathy spent time on the road speaking and time at her desk writing. Retired Wayne is doing his best to catch up on hunting and fishing. And yes, the arm slowed him down a little.
- We’ve kept grandsons and granddogs. (Big news for 2019 – we will welcome our first granddaughter in February!) We’ve fished and taught our grandsons fish. We’ve done yard work and ignored yard work. We’ve rejoiced and we’ve grieved.
Like you, we’ve had highs and lows. But our constant is Christ. No matter the struggles and difficulties of this life – and we’ve had our share this year – Jesus is our source of hope and strength. Now and for the year ahead.