Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Christmas Letter After All

I told my book club this fall that God is actually the best writer of irony. And our family's lives in 2013 were surely evidence of that.
Captain was laid off 79 days ago (but who's counting) from his job of 17 years. And he couldn't be happier! (I had been praying for him a long time, so perhaps it's not ironic....) We are treasuring the time together--realizing that Captain has been gone enough overnights to equal about 10 years. We are dreaming about future jobs--ones that include intelligent diversity and professionalism (such as set vacations). We are living on our savings--given that we have not inherited money from our parents nor mooched off the government. (Neither are we signing up for the "Affordable" Care Act of Obama.) 
Fortunately, Captain was able to spend 23 days in December training for a newer/bigger jet called the Global Express (sounds like a Christmas movie...) I'm proud to report he scored a 97% and even found an error on the final exam (much to the surprise of Flight Safety staff). 
Other family members also did well on their final exams: Dorito will be initiated at Phi Kappa Theta at K-State since he managed to pull good enough grades (even with Calculus I), and Meggar is on the honor roll with only one semester left until graduation. She will be taking her Piano degree with English minor to St. Louis after May and hopefully landing a job in event/wedding planning. She has plans to room with Lois, who has been given use of her Grandma's house. They have become wine aficionados after traveling with Captain and I to Napa Valley shortly after Meggar's 21st birthday. She graciously attended several hockey games for her little brothers and was the Christian DJ for their Prom. She even introduced us to Spencer's parents following a St. Louis Blues game last spring.
Dorito's adventures as a Wildcat would fill several pages, but suffice it to say we all enjoy hearing his stories of 5K runs, flag football, Ultimate Frisbee, Homecoming float-building, sorority serenades, and building a motorized bicycle for M.E. He wears a purple shirt nearly every day. He finished his high school career winning top student in Robotics at Hillyard, chosen by mayor as Young Artist of the Year, and saving the lives of 10 boys at the pool while on Scout staff for seven weeks at Camp Geiger. 
The twins are having their own adventures in Music City. They are renting a house with their homeschool teacher while playing for Thunder AAA Hockey (U16 team). Their driver's permits have come in handy while getting from Nashville to tournaments in Boston, Detroit, Philly, and Pittsburgh. It was memorable to stay a week with our cousins in Connecticut, whose house is on the beach. Even in October, it was a treat to get sand between your toes, see tall ships, and feast on clam chowder. Using their one weekend off per month, Polar Bear and Winger squeezed in Mic-o-Say dances and a hunting trip with Father Benjamin. Winger bagged two does and everyone has enjoyed venison chili, tacos, and meatloaf. Last spring, the twins were confirmed at the Cathedral and invited Bishop Finn to dinner at our home. This spring, they are becoming tight with Jimmy's HAWC group and can't wait for the Bosco Ball games discipleschip talks.
I try to capture teachable moments on our hockey trips, but the trip to Atlanta for a practice weekend included a purely selfish stop-off at the High Museum of Art to view Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring." (pleasure sigh!) 
Once my book club finished "The Brothers Karamazov," we also read a few books at the other end of the spectrum. I loved how Dostoyevsky was brilliant in his subtlety and his paradoxes make a constructive use of irony. So I'm sure the same will be true for our family--and the future will bring many happy twists and turns that even Sherlock Holmes could not anticipate.
Merry Christmas to all our friends and family, and may Peace be in your hearts this New Year.

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