Over the past couple of weeks we have been receiving Christmas letters from friends and relatives. For many, writing this letter is an annual event which chronicles the events of the family over the past year. I’ve often thought we should do one as well since our family, in my estimation anyway, is as interesting, or, in fact, even more interesting than those recorded in these missals. I know, it all has to do with perspective.
Ours is a family of bloggers so , this format seems to be an appropriate one.
The one key event that 2011 will be remembered for is our walk on the Camino de Santiago in May. We travelled to Spain with a group from Concordia University as part of a course on the history and theology of pilgrimage. Something happened on that journey. We went to look at, study, pilgrimage and somehow the experience changed us in ways that we have been unable to really quantify. It was a humbling experience filled with metaphors and symbolism. We only walked 270 of the 780 km route and talk about the day we will go and do the rest of it. J in particular would like to go back just to prove that her body is not going to hold her back.
The rest of our holidays paled in comparison to the Camino, We spent a week on the Bruce peninsula walking the Bruce trail, and some time with friends biking in Niagara’s wine country. We spent a week at a cottage in the Muskokas with all of our kids and camped Thanksgiving weekend as well. We are really enjoying the freedom that comes with a life without a real job.
Our family is also doing well . R (daughter) and JW continue to work on PhD’s at the University of Alberta. They are hoping to be finished at the end of 2012 and then see where life takes them next. They and their two cats, Molly and Jack, are enjoying their new apartment (south-facing) on the edge of downtown Edmonton.
J (son) and L announced their engagement this year. We are looking forward to a June 9 2012 wedding in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. L is a wonderful young woman with a great sense of humour. She is going to fit in well with the families other “crafty” women. Both J and L are employed by Google.
J (daughter) and M have had the most upheaval and excitement in their lives. They bought a little “fix-r-upper” house in Toronto and before fixing it up, moved in. With the help of family and friends they turned their little hovel into a very livable house and a two bedroom apartment. They live there quite happily with their dog Mocha and their cat Pekoe. J works as a technical writer for a medical software company and M as a junior engineer aiming for his PEng certification.
J (my wife now and not the daughter above) started working as a Wellness Instructor at a new YMCA that opened this fall in a nearby town. She enjoys helping people meet their fitness goals. She leads a cycling class and has started a running class using the indoor track in the new facility. The major downfall comes on Thursday mornings when she has the morning shift and gets out of bed at 5 am. We didn’t get up that early when we milked cows!
I have continued my journey into the world of academia. This year, I pushed straight through the summer with course work. Hebrew has dominated the last eight months. It was really hard getting this strange language to penetrate this old mind. I wouldn’t say that I in any way know Hebrew, but I do know a lot more than before. J and I disagree on the value of this learning. I think, in the end, it was good.
I have also continued to put in a couple of days a week working with Threefold Consulting. Much of this work is nutrition advice for sheep and goat producers. I am also doing a number of different sorts of training.
We put an addition on our house this summer. It’s really just a roof to cover our hot tub and an outside, covered, sitting area. The building itself was constructed by a local contractor. J and I put in the patio that is under and around it. It was very satisfying doing the manual labour and ending up with a pleasing result.
We have been blessed again this year. All of our immediate family has enjoyed good health. God has watched over us and continues to walk beside us as we journey on. (It would be nice to have some indication of the destination though)
I hope that you too can feel His leading and care in this coming year.