Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Greetings 2015

Christmas 2015

Above: Jesse, Psyche, Saad, Linnea and Kent

Dear Friends and Family,

Although it is great to keep up via Facebook and e-mail, it is also nice to get real mail and printed pictures, so I am sending out yet another Christmas letter.  I was surprised when the young woman presenting a class on the iPhone camera emphasized that it was important to print pictures that you want to preserve, even if you have backed them up elsewhere.  I treasure the old photos I look at as I work on family history, and I am so very glad to have them.  Some old technology is not dead yet.  Young people are now collecting vinyl record albums that many of us threw away years ago (I’ve got mine). Despite reading some books on Kindles and iPads, we also treasure “real” books.  Kent, of course, is waiting for electricity to fail, so we’ll return to typewriters.  Quill pens, anyone?

(Apologies to all of you who are receiving this only via blog and email:  but you do get to see more pictures! I also just found a mistake in the printed letter, which I have fixed here.  If you can find it you get my proofreader of the year award!)

We have had a relatively quiet year since our return from our Far East adventures, traveling no father than California, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Michigan.  We loved Iowa!  And no, we’re not running for political office (although maybe we should).  It was great to get together with a lot of relatives in both Michigan and Minnesota. Sadly, Kent’s vibrant sister-in-law Phyllis Hendrickson Kedl lost her long battle with cancer in October.

Family Gathering in June at John Hendrickson's (standing, l-r): Keith Hendrickson, Linda Hendrickson, Don Hendrickson, Betty Hendrickson, Dale Hendrickson, Tammy Hendrickson, Jerry Hendrickson in doorway behind Tammy, Betty Bergquist Honold, Herb Honold, Mary Ann Peterson, Joe Garnett, Sherri Erickson Garnett, John Hendrickson behind Sherri, Cindy Hendricks, Mike Hendricks, Jane Bruemmer, Doris Hendrickson.  (kneeling in front): Linnea Hendrickson, Mike Hendrickson, and Jeanette Hendrickson.

We had some wonderful visits with old and new friends, including Jenny and Jim Quinn from Australia, whom I had not seen since 1989! The recent loss of so many dear friends and family members and the serious illnesses of several others, has inspired me to “do it now!”

Jim and Jenny Quinn with Linnea and Kent at the Golden Crown Panaderia in Albuquerque

So, I will be joining cousin Connie Hendrickson on a two-week trip to Antarctica beginning on February 1.  Kent will meet me in Ushuaia (the southernmost city in the world) on February 14 ยช.   We will then sail (on a cruise ship, not in a small sailboat as Kent would like to do!) around Cape Horn to Punta Arenas, Chile.  We have planned two multi-day walks in Patagonia, and will fly home from Buenos Aires on March 23.  During the last week in May we have scheduled a week’s stay in the Shetland Islands, halfway between Scotland and Norway. 

The big project this year has been Kent’s kitchen remodel, which will continue well into 2016.  You can see a small bit here:
This week we will be without the kitchen sink.  Christmas baking will have to wait.

I have finally found a welcoming church home at St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal, a congregation that has welcomed several refugees from the wonderful old Aquinas Newman Center from which the Archbishop dismissed the Dominicans in 2014.

Lots of people beg on street corners in Albuquerque.  The other night while waiting at a red light, I tried to read a fellow’s lengthy sign, then looked into his eyes.  He gave me a sad bit of a smile and a little wave.  I was reaching for my purse, wanting to give him something, when the light turned green.  I could have made a right turn and circled back through a parking lot.  I should have, but I didn’t.

 I thought of a letter my grandmother Hulda received in 1942 from a man then living on Como Avenue in St. Paul, MN.  Her husband, Rev. John Hendrickson had died in 1915.  The envelope was addressed to “Mrs. Rev. John Hendrickson, Stephenson, Michigan” and bears a three-cent stamp.
October 29, 1942

Dear Mrs. Hendrickson,

Just received your address this morning and am so glad that I can send you the monney [sic].  In 1892 (winter) Rev. Hendrickson saved me from starving.  He give me food and shelter for one day and night and when we parted he give me 5 five dollars, a kindness that can never be repaid to him, and I am so glad that I can send it to you now.  I am sending you 10 ten dollars and hope it will reach you in good health.  Again thank you, 

Alfred Edwall.

A kindness remembered for 50 years!  Maybe that young man on the street corner will remember that I looked into his eyes and connected with him as a person, but I could have done so much more.  Maybe he will remember that I didn’t give him anything.  I will remember that.  Although I’m not sure that giving money to beggars is the best we can do.  How can we care for those most in need in this most wealthy and fortunate country?

It is easy to be discouraged in these dark, violent, troubled times, when so much is wrong in the world.  But, perhaps it has always been so.  This is the season when we welcome light in the darkness – light that can help us see what is right to do.

We wish you all light, peace, and joy.

Kent and Linnea

Kent's son Jake Kedl, with daughters Rachel, Melanie and Vanessa Kedl, Christmas 2014

Linnea and Kent with Saad Hasan and Psyche Philips at Yosemite Falls, November 2015