Woodsong Christmas 2014
Dear Friends and Relatives,
I debated not doing a Christmas letter this year since age is definitely limiting what I get done. However, at our sister-in-law Ginger’s funeral , a young adult told me that she read every letter I wrote, and that inspired me to continue the tradition at least for this year. Gerald has not slowed down as much as I have, but he is inside a bit more, and I am glad since he helps me. However, he just finished cleaning a fence row so the trees wouldn’t shade son-in-law Brian’s crop next year, so he is still outside a lot. Always has a project!
There have been many changes this year. We spent spring watching the University of Georgia softball team on Game Tracker on Gerald’s computer followed by watching USSSA Pride, which Gerry coached last summer. It was exciting to see UGA win their first conference championship with Gerry and his daughter Tara assisting Coach Lu Harris-Champer and granddaughter Geri Ann pitching or playing first base. DuWayne, our nephew, was a great help in driving when we went to Athens once and over to University of Missouri to see the team play in person. Mary Ellen went along to Missouri. Spring 2015 will be different, and we will need to be watching two games at once.
Gerry and Vickie moved to College Station at the end of the summer, and Gerry became associate head coach at Texas A&M. Tara and husband Bryan Archibald and our three precious great grandsons--Aidan, Maddux, and Payton--also moved to College Station. Tara took a job as manager of a sports complex that Ty and Keesha Warren are building. Bryan simply kept his job in Chicago area and continues to work out of their home as he did in Georgia. They are renting a house just a short distance a way from Gerry and Vickie.
After teaching junior high math at Corsicana last year and coaching in the junior and senior high schools, Erin was back in College Station (her old stomping ground) looking for houses and paving the way for her families’ move there. This year she is living with Gerry and Vickie and teaching sixth grade English at Rockdale and loving it just as she did teaching math. She’s also coaching. Naturally she delights in being able to share her nephews’ lives and for the first time in seven years was able to be with her family on her birthday! She and her parents came to see us in October when her high school softball uniform (Number 12) was retired at the Johnston City Homecoming.
The only one missing in College Station except on holidays is Geri Ann. She is living in Oregon as a junior at the University of Oregon. She will be playing softball with the Ducks this year. We are excited and eager to see her in green and yellow this spring!
We only have two grandchildren still in high school. Jeannie and Rick’s Cecelie is a sophomore at Freeport, and she’s keeping up her siblings’ theater and speech contest traditions. Rick and Jeannie still teach math and art. A wonderful treat for us was seeing Cecelie in Grease last month. We went up with Leslie, who came up from Nashville, and then piced up Elijah, a senior at Illinois State, at Normal. Elijah did an internship in Chicago last summer, worked at Indiana School for the Blind and Seeing Impaired this fall and is finishing up the semester driving to Springfield to work with students at four schools there. This spring he will be student teaching in Chicago for his last semester.
Last spring I was able to catch a ride with Jeannie when she came through to see Leslie in the Narrator role she had always aspired to in Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. So I got to see her and Mike’s home and Sidney and Millie, their two dogs. She is now rehearsing for Ragtime in the evenings, and continues working at Word Music Publishing. Mike is a personal trainer, and he and Leslie are all doing extremely well competing in Strongman competitions in Tennessee.
Brian and Mary Ellen continue to live nearby on their farm up on Route 13. They had great crops this year and continued their over-busy lives with Brian working in his office at home and making trips to St. Louis and other places when necessary. Mary Ellen is selling real estate with Century 21 House of Realty. Trent, our computer whiz, is making the honor roll at John A. Logan College and is on the CyberSecurity team there. We all enjoyed hearing about his summer trip to New York City to visit his friend Rachel. Brianna continues doing extremely well at Murray State, but she is making an exciting transition to work as an intern at Disney World during spring quarter. We will want to hear all about that too.
Sam Cedar, Katherine and David’s son, is a grave old senior at Marion High School. In addition to filling out college applications, his life also is over-busy with honors classes, leading the marching band as drum major, developing a great reputation as trombonist--once again making the state band, playing basketball in the church league, and on and on. Somehow he always finds time to study with Anna.
Despite all the blessings and good things we have to report, our hearts break every day as we have watched Katherine’s health decline with multiple sclerosis. We are grateful for aides and friends who help her, and we pray for miracles.
There has been a great deal of sorrow in our community this year. There is much sorrow and injustice in our nation and around the world. I will grieve always for Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Cairo’s straight A student Myron Jordan, who did not have the opportunity to grow up to see what they could achieve in life. Those of us who believe in right to life know that all lives matter. Here is a comforting scripture verse gift for you from Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither pain: for the former things are passed away.” Hallelujah!
Love and Merry Christmas,
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