Christmas 2011 Letter
December 25, 2011
Here’s an idea for your Brown Shoes Project: Have you ever thought about doing a couple of paragraphs on all your Navy buddies that became test pilots or stayed in Aviation in another capacity after Korea?
Lou Ives & etc.
All the best to you and Ellie,
“December 31, 2011, Christmas Letter”
Christmas - Dec 31, 2011
Dear Friends & Family,
Another year another Christmas to experience God’s blessings. The greatest blessing we & the world have is the birth of Jesus Christ, our savior in Bethlehem. No, the greatest blessing is that in accordance with his Father’s will he shed his blood on Calvary’s cross for the sins of the world.
The world is in a terrible mess, Physically, with the ever increasing earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, floods & drought. Financially, with the U.S. having over 15 trillion dollar debt, the falling of the stock market, Europe in dire straits with Greece and other countries about collapsing. Spiritually, worldwide persecution of Christians & in many countries they are unable to celebrate the Lord’s birth.
Despite all this we acknowledge God’s sovereignty & look forward to 2012. Maybe this will be the Year of the Rapture. In any event we can always count on God’s love & provision for us as the faithful remnant.
Here in Fiddletown [near Placerville, California] we are in the 80s and we’re not talking about the temperature. Nellie just turned 84 & I’m 86. Along with age comes physical issues, Nellie’s health is deteriorating as a result of her MSA, Multiple Systems Atrophy, a malady that affects her nervous system—especially her balance and posture. As she says, “I can’t walk without Jerry’s arm, I can’t read without a magnifying glass, I can’t write due to my palsy & coordination, my voice is softer & I have trouble talking, but I can still tell Jerry what & how to cook. This malady is debilitating but no real pain except for my back from sitting all day long. God’s grace is sufficient & so far I’ve been able to keep my spirits high. Since I’m unable to go to church the Pastor sends me a CD of his Sunday sermon & I know all the Christian radio stations.”
I, Jerry, am looking forward to the 2nd surgery to repair my injured eye. Six months ago I jumped out of bed in response to Nellie’s cry, tripped & fell hitting my eye on the marble night stand. I have been blind in that eye ever since. It’s not too bad though, it doesn’t hurt & I’ve been able to keep my driver’s license. However, I’ve decided to sell my present motorcycle after 25 years of riding. That hurts my pride, but the danger of falling is too much due to my impaired depth perception. Hopefully in a few weeks after the operation I’ll know whether prosthesis is necessary.
The news media frequently reports about how the Muslims are taking over & having a greater influence in parts of London, Paris, et. We see this too in the U.S. as our President gives priority to Muslim immigrants. It’s the Muslim desire to incorporate their Sharia law over our own. What a terrible prospect that would be. This action by our President is just one more reason that we are hoping for a new president in 2012.
Our foster son, Bob, is living with us again. Being a bachelor he has been working all over the U.S. from Mexico to Alaska in various capacities installing office cubicles, constructing metal office buildings, building sun rooms & you name it. He is very versatile, has a wonderful work ethic, owns all kinds of tools & equipment & is available anytime, any place on a moments notice. Right now he wants to stay home & be “Uncle Bob” to Sheila’s kids. He built a huge metal Quonset hut in exchange for a huge wood chipper. It can take a 6” log & throw the chips 120’. Right now he is working as a handyman for the local wineries in the area. What a privilege to see how he has grown spiritually as a Christian.
Coleen, our eldest daughter, has a new job as a medical transcriptionist at a Sacramento prison, no less. She loves it, the working conditions are ideal, & a great Boss. She has her own cubicle, desk, & can you believe it, she got to chose whatever desk chair she wanted & they purchased it for her.
Her son Chad works in a bank & so does her son-in-law Alan. Her two daughters Chandra & Candice both teach in Christian schools. They both also teach English & Spanish but Candice also coaches her school’s girl basketball team. Chandra lives in So. Calif., Candice in So. Carolina & Chad in Alabama. Coleen visited them all this Thanksgiving.
Kathy, our #2 daughter, lives in So. Calif. & since Nellie can’t travel, she visits us. How Nice ! The bad economy has hit her family, her husband Robert has been in and out of work. Although he now has a job at Disneyland & just got promoted. Sue Ann, their oldest girl, works there too. Kent & Shane (just graduated from high school) work up in the snow teaching snow boarding. Kathy stays home and takes care of Su Anne’s little 3-year old girl.
Sheila is next in line. She manages to stay busy with homeschooling her last 5 children. They still have cows and they provide us with raw milk. The kids do the milking. They also have 5 dirt bikes & a 3-wheeler. Our land now is full of trails and jumps—a literal motocross. Her two oldest girls, Hannah & Leah work for a caterer & serve at weddings. They also work at a local restaurant/bakery. Between those two jobs they have brought home some delicious recipes.
Her son, Wade, after graduating from home schooling at 16, enrolled at a trade school to learn how to become a diesel mechanic. He is the youngest student ever enrolled there but he is at the top of his class. It’s an 18-month course & now with just a year to go he is in an enviable position since the school helps them find employment. The school is expensive $37,000. But with his savings, scholarships, & borrowing from his parents, he is making it. Our hats go off to him!
Becky, our youngest, is very busy too, what with her home schooling, Zachary her 6-year old & church activities. Her husband, Myron has had difficulty keeping his jobs. Business cutting back and attrition take their toll. This very week his 6-month trial period expires & he doesn’t know whether he’ll have or have not a job come Monday. He is a credit manager & in the past has been fortunate to land well-paying positions. One more thing to pray for.
So, regardless of what happens or the many distractions that tug at us, we have every cause to rejoice in the unassailable fact that we have ‘God with us,’ & all is well!
With our love & Merry Christmas,
Jerry’s address (he’s too cheap to get a computer):
3361 Bridgeport School Road
Fiddletown, CA 95629-9613