Thursday, December 20, 2007

December 20, 2007

For the first time in a good while, morning has broken with bright sun in the sky, frost-covered grass twinkling in the light, and a flawless blue sky. I’m at home with two purring kittens who snooze on the computer table as I write and two corgis who long for a walk in the back field…..a silent, peaceful winter morning on Solstice Eve.

In a nutshell, here’s a look back at 2007 with the Wilders and farm family….

Eliza started the year with a nasty bout of mono that zapped her for a good three weeks. Fortunately, she’s rebounded and is the picture of health now. With as much objectivity as a very proud mom can muster, Eliza’s beauty and grace on the field as a color guard member with the high school band was amazing. Her band placed in the top third of the competing bands at Grand Nationals in Indianapolis in November, and she was delighted! Long phone calls, weekends with friends, and extended computer conversations on IM every night haven’t impacted her school work, thank goodness. Academically and socially, she’s at the top of her class. :0) Driving on her own is just around the corner! (And that means looking for a job is in the new future,)

Samuel has only one more semester to go until he’s an official college graduate. Appalachian State has been the perfect fit for him, and as he looks toward graduate school in the next few years, I’m confident he’ll be well prepared. He wants to be a novelist; reading and writing are his passions, so I foresee work in creative writing on the graduate level. However, after four years of intense academic demands, a couple of years off seem like a heck of a good idea. Thoughts at the moment are that he’ll stay around the Boone area, do some writing / traveling, etc., and take some time to breathe and play. Employment at The Gap has confirmed that work in retail is NOT the career he chooses to pursue although he was recently named Gap Employee of the Month. (The recipient of the award receives the honor of having his/her photo posted on the wall in the employees' station for a month--Samuel posed for his with greasy hair styled in a comb-over.)

The Philadelphia contingent of the farm family thrives as well. Isabella’s in 2nd grade, and Bobbi’s yoga/pilates/gyro/massage business has grown tremendously. Never one to let a moment pass by without living it to the fullest, Bob’s recently taken up the tuba and plays in a neighborhood band for peace. Isabella recently sang a solo in the school Winter Holidays pageant and stole the show with her on the spot choreography. (For those of you who know Bobbi, Isabella’s her clone!)

I continue to teach at the local community college, direct the arts and humanities series there, and keep up on the farm. The barn’s still standing, and there’s new siding on the house. Despite the summer’s drought, I had a huge and fairly successful garden and some rather spectacular flowers. Plans for the coming year include taking a break from my adjunct position at Marietta College to work on a Student Activities Manual for the Conexiones series at Prentice Hall. Something tells me I’ve jumped from the skillet into the fire, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can graduate from the activities manual into a more lucrative position with the company. That certainly bodes well for thoughts of retirement in the next 5 – 10 years. And, I continue to faithfully work with human rights issues in Cuba. (Hopefully one of these days, the Christmas letter will include an invitation to come visit me on the beaches of the island…don’t hold your breath, however!)

I think the family vote for the Highlight of 2007 award would go to our vacation week at the beach in Avalon, NJ in June. Samuel, Eliza, Joe Davis, and I drove to Philadelphia, met Bobbi and Isabella, and headed off to the shore where we completely relaxed for a week, played lots of bocci ball, cooked up some good food, rode the cheesy rides in Ocean City, hung out in our unique beach garb every day, and laughed, laughed, laughed.

As I reflect back on the last 12 months, once again I am in awe of life. Here at The Farm, we’re all happy, well, and thriving. What a blessing! We’ve laughed much, much more than we’ve cried; we’ve made wonderful memories; we’ve honored those who have moved into the world of spirit; and we’ve rejoiced at the good news of births, engagements, degrees completed, new jobs, etc. for our beloved ones. Our extended farm family remains close, and their love always vibrates in the house.

So, our wish to all from The Farm this holiday season: be merry, imagine, and rejoice as we move into the New Year.

Peace & infinite love, to all….

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