Dear Family, friends and everybody else,
This is the 28th edition of our annual Christmas letter where we share with family, friends and others what's been happening in our lives during the past year.
What do you share when the kids are gone, the house is quiet, the plumbing works, we are both retired and we are both committed watchers of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy?
We are thriving. And we hope you are too. This Christmas we invite you to join us in our prayer to do more than observe the birth of Jesus Christ this year. We want to experience it. The Apostle Paul said it in Ephesians 3:19:
QUESTION: So, do we have any big news to share from this past year?
QUESTION: Who's getting into who's hair now that both of us are retired and that we spend a lot of time together?
QUESTION: What's this about Gladys getting back into the classroom?
QUESTION: Was that us who was spotted at six different wine bars on the Old Mission Peninsula by Traverse City, in the woods just outside of Caseville at the tip of the Thumb, in Brewton, Alabama eating sweet potato french fries, on the streets of Washington, D.C. this summer and fall and in Indianapolis a couples of times? And what about a 'Wes and Gladys sighting' in Michigan's Copper Peninsula?
ANSWER: That was us. This past year has had a "Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego" quality to it. As a gift, Justin wanted to share his love of wine with us by giving us a very special wine tour on the Old Mission Peninsula. Riding in a special limo, we stopped at six different wineries and sampled the results of their efforts. There were five or six offerings at each stop. We quickly learned the value of taking a sip and pouring the rest in the bucket. We had a great time.
Then there was Caseville where we stayed at our first bed & breakfast. It was a gift from Krista and Adam. No television. Just a nice suite in the woods with wi-fi, a hot tub for two, a screened-in porch where we could watch the deer and a fireplace. Great time. We'd do it again.
We flew to D.C. for Justin's birthday in June and last month. Special stops included the National Food and Wine Festival, some of the Smithsonian museums that we hadn't seen before and some really nice restaurants. It was good family time with Krista and Adam joining us at his apartment for Thanksgiving holiday.
The sweet potato french fries were part of our road trip to Florida where we stayed with my aunt and uncle in Destin. It was a great drive down and back on Easter weekend when we stayed in Indy and celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus.
Ask us about our trip to Michigan's Copper Peninsula. We met Gladys' siblings there during the last weekend of August. We had a great visit in Houghton-Hancock, an area that has an Artic Circle flavor.
ONE LAST QUESTION: How do we feel about the upcoming year with all the uncertainty and turmoil in this country and around the world?
ANSWER: Because of Christmas and the birth of Jesus and because of Easter and what happened there, we feel confident about the promises of God to see that we get what we need regardless of the circumstances.
This newsletter is just a birds-eye view of our life during the past year. I invite you to visit my personal blog to follow what we are doing. The address: www.dailygrit.com. We are both on Facebook and so are our kids. Give a shout there. We'd love to visit. And, of course, you are always invited to call, write or visit.
Regardless of how you do it, please stay in touch. We value our relationship with you and let us know what's up in your part of the world.