Winters’ Wramblin’s ~ Christmas 2008
Dear Family & Friends,
Another year—this one especially turbulent in politics—is wrapping up with our Christmas season, a beautiful distraction from those other events! The Year of our Lord, two-thousand eight is nearly over. What a journey it has been!
Planning to use 2008 for personal projects, I began about a year ago by resigning from (or drop-out of) my extra-curricular activities. I wrapped up that process in March and, except for playing piano every Sunday morning at my church, my time has wonderfully been much my own.
I participated several weeks (May-July) in a Writing Your LifeStory class that met mid-day in Meridian with about a dozen other seniors. The interesting class provided momentum for me to get back into my own life story begun 20-some years ago… Still, here it is the end of the year and I haven’t accomplished all that I set out to do! Not that I have lost any sleep over it, but this project (and a couple of others) will simply extend into 2009. I would love to complete those before returning to other activities. We’ll see!
Summer was great! In June, Judi and I attended our Andrews Cousins’ Reunion at Pacific City, Oregon. Lee & Nita were there, too, and Tami and children came for a couple of days. Everything was just right! When we returned, we attended the 100th anniversary celebration festivities for the high school all five of us kids attended/graduated—Greenleaf Friends Academy at Greenleaf, Idaho. It was another wonderful time to reconnect with former classmates, school chums, and see many folks from our growing-up days! To my great comfort, July was NOT as HOT as 2007, and our autumn was positively spectacular! I probably haven’t had three months of glorious AUTUMN since I left Idaho in the late 1960’s… Not wanting to lead you astray, ALL Idaho autumns are not as great as the one we just enjoyed!
The biggest, best wonder of my year was getting Katie, a one-year-old mini schnauzer, from my neighbor‘s daughter who was moving and couldn‘t keep her. I had been thinking of getting a little companion for Buddy, but what happened was an amazing twist of fate! Katie was placed in my arms on Kasey’s (1988) birthday—May 3, which still gives me goose bumps to consider! The next day, May 4, as we [Miss Jess, Katie & Buddy, and I] were gassing up the car, we met some folks who were looking for a dog like Buddy! They live on a 200-acre ranch south of Nampa, and the Mr. had been searching for a companion dog. To make a long story short, Buddy went with them, to ‘try out’ and he never looked back! I talked with Lamont on the phone several times, finally met him to pass on Buddy’s UKC registration paperwork, and I got to see Buddy again, too. What a GREAT MATCH! I’m just amazed how smoothly God worked out circumstances for this arrangement, although it should not surprise me! Life on the ranch is FAR more appealing for a Rat Terrier than life in a senior retirement park… Still, I deeply loved that dog and I MISS him!
This time of year I’m terribly MISSING Kevin in Alaska… Kevin and Tanner, his golden lab… I have no idea WHEN I’ll go back up there, but it will be at the first opportunity!
Dustin (a senior) was chosen by his instructor and classmates in his Auto-body vocational studies at Nampa High School, to be Parliamentarian, as well as a participant, in the Skills USA competition in Spring 2009. It’s a really big deal, and I hope that I can attend as a spectator! Dustin has also joined the Delayed Entry program into the military (Army) and will be headed out to Ft Benning for basic training in mid-June about two weeks after his high school graduation. His testing scores were all high enough that he gets his choice of service… right now (still subject to change) he’s going into ‘The Airborne’—Rangers or Special Forces.
Jessica is a sophomore this year… She’s still my sweetheart, the light of my life, and I thank God that He so richly blessed us with that girl! Derryl is doing fine. His hands are full with two teens, but his life will change as the kids grow up and leave home! He will be ‘empty-nesting’ before he knows it!
Our Idaho Winters family gets together periodically for various occasions—birthdays, holidays, etc. One big event in September was a fund raiser for Donna Cooke‘s kidney/pancreas transplant. Some may remember that Donna is my sis-in-law Esther’s daughter, and Derryl’s cousin who is two years older than he. Donna has had Type 1 diabetes for years, and has been on nightly dialysis for awhile. What a gal— Pleasant, never complaining, ambitious, a hard worker—you’d never know to see her how much she has endured! Much loved by family and friends, our prayers are with Donna!
* Our Class of ‘59 will celebrate a 50th reunion in 2009, the Lord willing.
* I am partnering with several organizations to be somewhat more involved in political awareness activities. [Grassfire.org / PresidentialPrayerTeam.org / AmericanFamilyAssociation.org / OurAmericanValues.org (Gary Bauer) / TeamSarah.org / NationalRepublicanTrust PAC/ ConservativeActionAlerts/ ACLJ.org (Jay Sekulow) and possibly others…]
* Always (every year!)working on health issues, and general health improvement.
That’s about all I can handle, I’m sure, without spreading myself thin, as I did in 2007!
This is how I ended my Christmas 2007 letter, and it seems even MORE appropriate for 2008:Another year in history is quickly coming to a close! Another year closer to the return of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, whether by the Rapture or by our transition from life on this earth as we know it to live forever in eternity! … What a sobering reminder that we need to be ready! “No one knows the day nor the hour…” And I might add, nor the WAY in which our time will end. Are we ready? Be ready
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!