From Linnea Hendrickson and Kent Kedl
What a year this has been! We began with a large party on New Year’s Eve to celebrate milestone birthdays of Kent and our friend Anne Sensenig.
Then, while recovering our “lost” sailboat in Venice, Florida, in February, we received a phone call from Psyche in San Francisco, that she was now engaged to Saad Hasan, whose family lives in Karachi, Pakistan.
Shortly afterwards we got word that Linnea’s beloved eight-year-old dog Bert, while visiting a neighbor, had bitten a UPS deliveryman. After a traumatic hearing when we returned home, we were able to save Bert’s life by turning him over to the Brittany rescue group from which we’d received him as a pup. He has come back to visit a couple of times, and we miss him terribly, but not the tension of wondering when he is going to take it upon himself to protect us from some man in uniform.
In March we took a road trip to the American Pilgrims on the Camino Gathering at the Santa Barbara Mission in California, camping and visiting friends and relatives along the way. Our tent nearly blew away in both Joshua Tree and Death Valley, and we navigated a snowy mountain pass and torrents of melting water crossing the road east of Ojai, California.
Having weathered (literally and metaphorically) all these adventures, we decided we liked being with each other enough that we wanted to always be together. So, we began moving Kent’s furniture from Las Cruces to Albuquerque, making many trips in the van and with the Suzuki pulling a trailer, and finally made one last big push with a rented truck. Moving another whole household into a house that was already completely full of twenty years of accumulated belongings was quite a challenge, but with many trips to Goodwill and Savers, and several listings on Craigslist, we have managed to pare down the excess so that everything we still own is finally stored under cover. We are still working on the sorting and paring down, and had some challenging fun integrating our art collections. Only last week did I finally “marry” our kitchen knives, realizing we did not need two Chicago cutlery blocks with three chef’s knives and assorted other duplicates on our crowded kitchen counter.
We were married on April 27, by chatty judge Alice Salcido at the Dona Ana County Building in Las Cruces, with our friends Jeanne and Ross Burkhardt and Terry and Ruth Branson as our witnesses. After a celebratory lunch at the Double Eagle in Old Mesilla, we departed to the historic Sierra Grande Hotel and Spa in Truth or Consequences, then after one night at home in Albuquerque, headed to Minnesota and Michigan, where we visited numerous family members, including Kent’s sons Jake and Andy, the Philips children and grandchildren, numerous cousins, and both of our brothers.
During the summer, we enjoyed several outings to the Santa Fe Opera, picnics with friends, and a two-week visit, including a trip around New Mexico, with Kent’s three lovely granddaughters Melanie, Rachel, and Vanessa.
In June we thought Kent’s house had sold, but the deal fell through two weeks before the scheduled closing. We rushed to clear the house because the buyers wanted to move in early, so now it stands empty, and when we go down to check on things we sleep on a foam mattress on the floor and eat at a small folding table and chairs. If anyone wants a nice three-bedroom house in Las Cruces, NM, please let us know!
We spent the fall working on projects around the house. Most ambitiously Kent tackled a remodel of our main bathroom, running into numerous complications inherent in working an old, very solidly built house. We’re not done yet!
We had a lovely mingling of friends and family here for Thanksgiving, and in another week we begin what is probably our biggest adventure of the year – a trip to Pakistan for the wedding of Saad and Psyche in Karachi over the Christmas holidays, preceded by two weeks in Turkey and followed by January in India. The itinerary is finished, but we are still packing and preparing.
This year I have been especially saddened by war and violence, especially as we have been planning our journey to Pakistan. Not only are we not free to travel as we’d like, but I think about the way war destroys the lives of innocent bystanders as well as the lives of young soldiers. I worry about the escalating anti-American sentiment and demonstrations we may encounter in Pakistan as we prepare to celebrate a joyous and hopeful union between two greatly loved children from two wonderful families from different countries and cultures. I cannot comprehend how anyone has ever thought that war is a good idea or a solution to any problem.
With that thought, I leave you with prayers for peace on earth, good will to all, and hope for the future, as evidenced by the transforming power of love in our lives.
Linnea and Kent