Another year has rolled around and I have received many of your Christmas letters and cards--though I must admit with moving I seem to have dropped off many of your Christmas card lists.  Perhaps you are like me and just could not seem to get it together and get those cards out the door or also like me  are still trying to figure out where the heck I am.  I am always amazed at how well you seem to be doing and wonder at what point my life will look perfect so I can also send out a glowing letter .  You seem to live in Lake Wobegon--where all the women are good looking and all the children are well above average.  I still live in "Real World", but am slowly becoming accustomed to the place I seem to stay.

Many of you have reported your many athletic accomplishments--marathons, triathlons, cross-fit goals met, and bicycle races finished.  I seem to have slipped into the Land of Sloth when it comes to cardio fitness.  I stopped running last December with the birth of the fifth grand and a few weeks of helping his Mom.  I continued walking until July--and then fell off that wagon also with the climb up the stairs to my apartment being the totality of my cardio workouts .  I do give a brief nod at fitness while taking a weight lifting class--  Strong & Slow--that is my new mantra!

The annual hiking trip was quite the adventure.  Hauling 40 pounds on my back at 13,000 feet proved to be bit much.  The only thing that probably got me off that mountain was the leaky tent--being wet and cold all night sent me scurrying back down to a warm shower and soft bed.  It was still a wonderful adventure AND I learned that men that wear skirts can be quite manly!

The move to Fort Worth was reminiscent of the covered wagons of long ago---things hanging from the sides and dragging along behind as we rolled down the highway.  Paring down all the stuff accumulated over a life time has been quite freeing.  Most things I never think of or miss---it would be nice if I knew what I did with my coats though!  

Moving into a college neighborhood has been quite enlightening and educational.  My vocabulary has expanded--usually in the middle of the night--who knew the suffix    -ing-   should always be placed at the end of profanity!  My efforts to keep the world green have centered around picking up the beverage bottles up and down the street the morning after parties.  In an effort to expand my love of art, I viewed the neighbor's pumpkin carving contest--only to find the display centered on eroticism in the pumpkin medium.  The realization, through watching the coeds, that the world of fashion now centers on tights and big shirts has found my wardrobe woefully inadequate!

Officially becoming a citizen of the great state of Texas was quite the experience.  Who knew proving you were born and where you stay could be so difficult.  After proving that I knew the Texas Pledge, could sing the Texas song, and owned a pair of cowgirl boots, they finally gave me a Texas drivers license AND taught me the secret handshake.  They are quite proud of their state over here.  No laughing when you mention the Great State of Texas--unlike Louisiana, you are expected to stand up and salute anytime the Lone Star flag is in sight.  The fact that I have a relative that fought in the Texas Revolution is MUCH more important here than the American Revolution Fighting Relative OR the one that came over on the Mayflower.  Life began with the formation of the GREAT STATE of TEXAS!
The new climate I am enjoying here in the Great West has been quite the change.  No more worries about high humidity---it is the super high temperatures that cause distress.  With no moisture in the air, it is similar to living in a de-humidifier and slowly becoming a piece of jerky.  NOT TO WORRY--though the weather took a drastic turn to ICE this winter.  This led to the discovery that I am not talented in ice skating AND FIVE days of chili will push anyone over the culinary edge.

My move and new adventure of living in Texas has led to a different Christmas, but as in the past three things remain constant:

Joy--the constant joy that fills my life--the joy of my great love for all of you, the joy of a good laugh, and the joy of Him walking by my side.

Peace--the peace of knowing that He has a plan for me--a plan to bring Him good pleasure and great glory--the path has all been marked out and as I seek Him, He will reveal it to me.

Hope--the hope based upon the knowledge of Who He is and the birth of a baby long ago--that today and tomorrow are no surprise to Him-and He will continue to use me as I look to Him for direction--hope based upon knowing how my story ends.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, Dear Friends, whether your life is abundantly blessed and filled with accomplishments and joy, or you, like me, struggle with the reality of today while pulling Him close for comfort as you trek down the path.  May the Joy, Peace, and Hope that was born long ago--fill your life and permeate your very being--ensuring you of His great Love for us all. With great fondness I wish you all a 


"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Luke 2:10

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Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!