Saturday, December 15, 2007
Christmas Greetings 2007
Dear Friends and Family,
It is hard to write this year’s letter without the help of my first reader, editor, proofreader, best friend, and life partner. Ed’s death on June 2 utterly changed my life. The adjustment is ongoing. He lives in my thoughts and memories every day. We were blessed with 30 wonderful years together. I haven’t yet figured out what’s next. I have been busier than ever, which is in some ways a blessing.
We had a couple of trips before Ed became too ill to travel, with two days in Santa Fe in January and a lovely week at Ixtapan de la Sal, a spa south of Mexico City in February. Psyche came at Easter, and Julia and Michael came in May. I was touched that all seven of the living children came for the memorial mass in June.
In late June, I went to
I have continued to work on genealogy. Perusing old Swedish church records and discovering names and facts has helped me feel connected to those who have gone before. I’ve also scanned many old family photos, some unidentified, which can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/manga_mom/
November took me to
Jesse continues to make his living as a free-lance artist. He comes over now and then to cook dinner for me (and do his laundry). His art can be seen at: http://www.miniml.net/jesse/
Psyche continues in her job with Hellman and Friedman in
I enjoy my half-time job as elementary school librarian, or as I like to say, the job I’m paid to do half-time. Another teacher, Susan Fuller, has been renting part of the guesthouse since fall, and it is great to have company and someone to look after the animals when I go away. I still have one sheep, three chickens, bees, two cats, and Bert, the dog. I planted some tulip and crocus bulbs the other day, just before several days of rain and snow, so I am hoping to see flowers in springtime. Life is still good, although greatly changed. Every day is a challenge, a mix of tears and joy.
When I drove to
Finally, two poems, the first, by Emily Dickinson, the second by me.
After great pain a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions--was it He that bore?
And yesterday--or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.
This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.
Cereal in the Morning
I can almost smell it now,
The oatmeal or the cream of wheat
Sifting into the boiling water
Ready when I came out
Perhaps already slightly cold.
“Ah, cream of wheat,” I’d say
Your spoon clinking in the bowl as you finished yours.
God’s blessings on all of us, as we continue on our journeys into the unknown.