I guess we can honestly say that this year has been a challenge for many of us. We have endured great losses, on-going health and financial issues
and a great many other things. We have also weathered them all and come to this blessed season of peace with grateful hearts.
Michael (Chad) finds himself among the ranks of the unemployed after losing his job a few months ago. After being in the corporate world for years
and having found a job to his liking that was more laid back and far less stressful, the powers that be fired him when the company Dr.
told him to take time off work for a heel injury. It was quite a blow and he is still looking for employment which seems pretty hard to come by
these days. Matthew continues to work at Hy-Vee and has picked up a few hours, which has helped. We are hoping that things will turn around for them in
2011. They continue to reside in grandma and grandpa's little old house down by the river with their two cats, Cleo and Seth and their sweet little Rat Terrier
Jas is still working way too hard in the hospital ER. Many, many long hard hours! He is gracious enough to indulge two old phogies and allow us respite
in our dotage, by providing us living space with him in his lovely church home (a work in progress). We love him to bits and can honestly say he is one of, if not THE, nicest guys we've ever been privileged to
have in our lives. He's still his dependable, generous, fun, good, kind, thoughtful, silly, fun-loving self after all these years of putting up with us. Hopefully this new year may find him going back to school to even
further his education and expertise in his chosen field of health care. If I ever have to go to an emergency room, his is the face I want to see first! He's very good at what he he does, that's
I was able to publish a life-long dream in the form of a poetry and short story book earlier this year. I had talked about compiling many of my poems and stories/quotes/life observations into a book for years,
and finally decided that if I was ever going to do it I'd better get it done! It was published primarily as a legacy of sorts for the guys. My own mom was a very gifted lady and wrote quite a bit in her
lifetime. When I lost her at the young age of just barely fifteen, all of her creative gifts were gone and I had only a handful of her things left. And that left a huge impact on me. I guess in my senior
citizenry, I felt that I would like to give my children something from their mom that I was never able to have from my own. The book is called: Wandering, of a wayward heart - Pondering, of a well found soul, by Trafford
Publishing. It is available through the publisher, Amazon, and book sources like: Barnes & Noble, and, it is also available to read at both the Boone and Ogden community libraries.
I keep busy with my online communites, and with publishing my own and other writers works submitted to The WordSmith web site, and of course, Facebook. Who ISN'T on Facebook these days? It's been good to reconnect with old
friends and relatives who have looked me up over there and vice-versa.
My eight line children's poem called,Immovable was chosen to be published in this year's Lyrical Iowa, an anthology of poems written and submitted by
Iowa Poets only. Out of hundreds of submissions, it's quite an honor to be chosen by their independent panel of judges. Made me feel very proud to be considered among the ranks of some of the best writers in the state. And I also made it on the Iowa Author's List
just recently. Not bad for an old coot that has just sort of dabbled at it for over half a century.
Jerry takes it all in stride and goes about finding "projects" around the house to help Jason with. This summer they finished trimming trees and mulching and planting the side and back yards. Finished fencing and building a
nice back entry gate. They even took out all the old gravel from the back yard which was at one time a driveway, and filled in and moved it around to the garage front and Jason purchased several loads of white rock to level over it all
for a really nice new drive. They trenched and layed drainage pipe along the building and sides of the garage. And that's just ONE of their many endeavors! They have many many many left to go, both inside and out! It keeps Jerry
busy and out of trouble...for the most part!
We hope to get a trip to Beatrice in, come this next Spring (late spring) to see our 93 year old Uncle Gene who is still full of spit and vinegar! We plan to try to take brother Jerry along (and maybe Sandy if she can go). There are many things we'd like to do,
places we'd love to go if only time and health would allow. We are praying that my sis Sandy can get moved back down around here closer to us all this next year too. Our little family seems to shrink more and more and we truly need to
be in closer proximity to one another.
All in all, we can say that even in the times of great struggle and trials in our lives, we have sooo much to be thankful for. And so much to look forward to in the next new year just ahead. We have learned to count our blessings daily
and to reach and dig a little deeper, make more of an effort, and stop to consider what's really important in life. Our family and friends. And we look ahead with anticipation, despite the harships endured the past several months,
and regardless of the "unknown" and unforseen things that may lay ahead. For we know that in all these things, that God is with us. He will never leave or forsake us, that He loves us with an everlasting love. And no matter what the future may bring,
He is the blessed controller of all these things and will see us through.
May God bless and keep you as you embark into another twelve months of life's new adventures. And may you be blessed in many small and big ways in the days ahead.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from the Carlson's