Christmas Greetings…

“…share your bread with the hungry…bring the homeless poor into your house;

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn…” (Isaiah 58:7-8)

As I reflect on the year I cannot help but feel that the world has drifted from compassion & love for one another to self-centeredness and indifference.

At least according to our social media.

My question is, how do we live in such a world?

For Larry and myself our year has been at once challenging and rewarding. Our perspectives have broadened as we shift from parents of dependents to parents of independents.  Our listening ears have been honed, our minds changed and our joys increased as we’ve watched our “light break forth like the dawn,” one ray at a time!

We’ve learned to slow down by watching our cats.  They get up in the morning, early, stay awake to run and wrestle until we arise and have breakfast, then fall back to sleep again basking in puddles of sunshine around the house, stretching luxuriously on beds and couches, curled vulnerably in baskets.

CatSleep

Refusing to be roused, yawning deeply…completely at rest.

We watch, amazed as they sleep oblivious to the world, fully surrendering to the safety of their surroundings.  Just walking past their slumbering forms reminds us to breathe and be thankful for our shelter, our food, our love.

We travelled a little this year and took for granted our freedom of movement.  We flew to Petaluma in June sampling California’s Sonoma valley with its grapevines,

Petaluma

dairies, olive groves, Missions, art galleries, redwoods, town squares and Petrified Forest.

With no WiFi in our rented loft we enjoyed books, music, food, sunsets and long walks in each other’s company.  We heard the sounds of hoofs clopping and soft whinnies rising from the stable below reminding us to take life as it comes, one sunrise at a time.

In July I joined Ian for a podcasting convention in Philadelphia where I surprised both of us with my knack for schmoozing!  A son and mother trip is always rewarding,

Philly

with our core values intact we were able to put our world to rights staying up late, in the modern living room of an historic brownstone, talking about religion, perseverance, relationships, work and art late into the night with a glass of wine.   I’ve known him longer than anyone else, except God, and we were able to strengthen our ties despite our three state separation reminding me to be grateful for my son, our ability to talk, hug and eat together.

Larry and I drove to Fredericksburg in the hill country of Texas and became aware of the beautiful countryside in our home state, just waiting to be explored. It is an historic German settlement complete with good food, a wildflower seed farm and Nazi memorabilia in some of the antique shops; my good fortune to have been born in this time and place made my heart beat a little faster.

I became a nurse for a season when Larry had his total knee replacement, which re-affirmed my decision not to become a nurse after I left school choosing teaching instead.  Larry and I struggled through the summer heat together while he learned how to walk again and I learned the ins and outs of pain management and the making of peach preserves.

Peaches

Rehabilitation changed the rhythm of our sultry days; I learned the lanes and roads surrounding our abode by being the sole driver; everywhere looks quite different from behind the wheel.  It was indeed a year of changing perspectives.

We replaced our Lexus with an eight-year-old Cadillac with only 50,000 miles on her clock.  The irony that it was a Caddy that had caused our accident last year resulting in having to replace our car was not lost on us!  The unpredictability of life comes home from time to time.

Ian continues to do well with MTI, a post-production company where he recently changed jobs.  He now meets with the producers and directors whose projects he is working on.   Quite a change from the nights he spent keeping company with large computers and editing machines!

Paris shares her life as a nanny with us via Face-Time and we are heartened by the brilliance of technology that allows us to see her with the touch of a button.

Paris

Virtual hugs aren’t the same as real ones but we’re not complaining, we can air our differences and offer two way advice and see life through the eyes of a three year old who thinks Paris is hers and the world is full of surprises!   How hectic our lives were as parents of four, “I don’t know how you did it,” Paris remarks gasping for breath, me neither!  The here and now of our quiet, cat-watching interludes is a gift we cherish alongside the hustle and bustle of her days.

Simon and Lindsey continue to do well with their non-profit; their fortitude in growing Window to the Wild is quite astounding and we are thrilled to be a part of their lives.  They recently flew to and drove home from California to collect an Egret and managed to squeeze in Muir Woods, Yosemite, (to see El Capitan, the granite wall and subject of many rock climbing documentaries) a few wineries,

Simon&Linds2

and a whirlwind visit to big brother Ian while they were at it!  A few weeks later they drove to Alabama to pick up a bald eagle; she is six years old so has the complete white head.  She was at the rehab for about 230 days while they were trying to re-home her.  She had been blinded in one eye and is still very wild and timid.After a few weeks she is responding to food now they’ve managed to get her weight down and they are working with her daily to prepare her to at least be comfortable on their gloved hand for photo opportunities.  We are blessed to have them close enough to help at some of their festivals and events several times a year.  Their ongoing project is looking for their own property to build permanent enclosures for their birds and park their tiny house.

Malia and Sam are still happily living in our Barn-dominium.

Malia&Sam

They both work in their fields, he at a medical accounting firm and she at two dance schools, one in the morning from 8-1 and twice a week at a local studio from 430-8.  Malia is never able to work from home but Sam is lucky enough to be able to one day a week. They enjoy having experiences together so go to adventure parks, wildlife drive-through parks, Safari’s and hiking at the weekends.  They have two dogs, a six-year-old schnauzer and a one-year-old toy poodle/Aussie shepherd. Malia bought him to snuggle with and carry around, but he has grown into a 60lb fuzz ball, hardly portable!  I enjoy her walking company several times a week when we rejoice with nature while keeping our hearts healthy.

I continue to substitute at McKinney Christian Academy where my homeschooling and teaching skills come in handy… sometimes.  For the most part I interact with the students who warm my heart with their smiles and greetings.   At the weekends I still work at the winery, and have been awarded a few bottles of wine for selling wine club memberships.  It keeps our wine rack looking healthy!  I meet a lot of very interesting people and am a captive audience for their stories which are almost as amusing as Larry’s!

Larry is working for Teen Cancer America, The Who’s charity.  He and his creative partner are putting together a prospectus for a huge orchestral concert event which they hope will become self-sustaining and raise plenty of money for hospitals to build and convert rooms and wings into treatment places especially for teens with cancer; complete with cooking facilities, media set-ups, relaxing sofas and chairs and other amenities.

On that note my hope is that amidst our busy lives we can slow down enough to see the glory of God in all that we do and embrace the diversity of humanity right along our lanes and hedgerows and,

“share your bread with the hungry…bring the homeless poor into your house.” (Isaiah 58:7-8)

 Viv&LRay

Merry Christmas and a joyful and fulfilling 2019 to you and yours.

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1 Comments

ElRay Mac

2018-12-20 19:24:50 Reply

TTTTTTTThats all folks!

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