Monday, December 24, 2018

2018 letter

Dear family and friends,

This season, migration is on my mind, as I think of the poor sojourners from Central and South America slowing making their way toward their dream of safety and a future for their children. We are at the start of our third winter up on our mountain in Cloudcroft, NM, in the cozy little cabin in the village that went from “summer place” to “home” a few summers ago. We came here seeking shelter and solace and healing after some rough years in Texas, and we found the clear air, the piney woods, a community of like-minded souls, the wonderful schools for the kids, and spectacular sunsets over the White Sands to be all that we needed and more.

We still have four kids at home. Eli is 17 and has a great YouTube channel called “Liomations” that has taught him that animation is fun and way too much work for a kid as serious about his grades as he is. He gently urged us to think about him going to high school here instead of in Lubbock, and he is beyond happy to be in a small school that offers a lot of scholarships. We are hoping he sticks close to home once he makes his choice. Corey is 13 and the schools here have made him work much harder and brought him up to speed. He keeps his grades up so he can play basketball and keep his Xbox habit going, which he does with a few close friends. Sierra is also 13, loves basketball too, has many friends, and has decided to go into animal rescue once she gets all grown up. Ava is 10 and her passion these days is dance, and we take her down the mountain to do that, where she is a star. Like the other kids, she has come a long way in the best school in New Mexico.

As for the grown kids and our grandkids, we are proud! Josie, Derek, Layla, and Landon are rocking Lawrence KS, Natalie, Ethan, Kenna, Maya, and Nori are in Brimfield IL, Eric and Jen are still at Jack London State Park in California, Kylie, Josh, Bayleigh, and Madilyn are in Goreville IL, Justin and Marion are in Portland, OR, and are now married, and Noah is in Chicago. It’s hard with them so spread out, but we hope to get them all out to visit this summer, and we are planning a visit in January to catch up with most of the kids and all the grandkids.

Tom and I are easing into retirement, if you can call it that when you are raising three teens and a ‘tween. We are making preparations to move everyone out to 16 Springs, where we have some land adjacent to the Lincoln National Forest. We were lucky to hit water when we sunk a well, and we have the makings of enough room for all of us with a few more improvements to the little hunting cabin out there. We love the convenience of the village, but even more the stillness of the forest, where you can here the elk singing and watch the tall pines dancing in the wind. So we go out there every weekend, and dream of making our journey soon, when Spring comes. Our first winter here Tom’s mom went into hospice, and last winter, it was Jim’s turn. They never got to see where we ended up, although they loved it that we were so much closer those final years. After years of traveling the country in an RV, they settled in this beautiful state, and they were happy here for many years. We are grateful that we got to join them at the end, and feeling fortunate to be able to stay. I pray that all sojourners find their homes and families, their safety and their solace and their shelter, as well. Peace,


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