We did not send Christmas cards this year. I actually feel somewhat guilty as I open cards from family and friends that I rarely see and remember that I did not even send them a little hello this year. I thought maybe I'd send an "After Christmas Card." What do you think? Or maybe I should do one of those holiday letters that some people do. Hmmm...
The past year was full of ups and downs. I'm not even sure what was happening a full year ago. Let's see...
My Mother-in-law became gravely ill this past year. Getting out of town to be at her bedside was not an easy task. As it goes, we were able to meet up with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law at the airport half-way and we visited while we sped our way into the night just to arrive at the hospital in time to catch the surgeons report after emergency surgery. It was a difficult time, but she grew stronger slowly and steadily. Even after we departed, my Handy-hubby would return every couple of weeks to check on his family and see what he could do to assist around the house. We thank the Lord for his healing touch.
In the summer I was able to bring back the love of my life... my pony. This was the highlight of my year by far. Most of you know the long story about her, but those that don't... just know that when you set a loved one free and it comes back to you... it's meant to be. The Lord heard the pining of my heart from the separation from her and answered many prayers. My bestest friend went way out of her way to help me get her home and to find a place for her to stay. Now she's in a new home and loves it. I love it. I love to take care of her. I love to brush her and spoil her and I'm happy to say that I've put a few miles on her this year. :) I even took a spill... first time in at least 10 years! First time ever off of her! WOW! I'm all recovered now.
Also this summer my Handy Hubby went to another Nascar race. He was delighted to have gotten Keifer Sutherland's autograph and many others. He is now fully set with racing attire... hats, t-shirts, and the like. He LOVES racing. Oh and his other sporty love is football. He got an authentic Steelers jersey for Christmas. He didn't want to take it off! I practically had to bribe him out of it!
The car inspection was an ordeal this year. The Saturn has pretty much run its course with us. Our good old trusted mechanic gave us a run for our money this time. After calling every day for a 2 weeks asking how much money it was going to cost and getting no answers I was a little irrate to say the least. In the end I was so furious and trying so hard not to be ignorant, but the mechanic's response was stuttered "I-I-I We-We-We..." I think I made my point. They appeased me by not charging us any labor fees, only the inspection fee and actual repairs. It's a good thing. The car is inspected for another year, but we'll be hard pressed to go through that scenario again. The search is on for the next vehicle, but not for a while yet. We need pay off the Corolla and figure out what the best next vehicle is going to be. Of course we both have differing opinions... so we'll see.
Our jobs are nothing to brag about. My Handy-hubby continues to work for Starbucks Corporation. He made a move to a different store this year. He likes what he does and thrives in the social environment that it provides. I love that he loves his job. The economy is cutting some of his hours. That's not a good thing. My job is forever challenging, stressful, and overtime is expected. After losing a co-worker last year we had a temp worker for a full year before the institution pulled the plug on that. I'm supposed to get some help from another avenue, but we'll see how that pans out as the upcoming days unfold. Overall I do love what I do. It protects not just the hospital, but the community as well.
My Dad's health has declined and at least one of his doctors indicates the severity of his illnesses. All of us kids have reached out from time to time to assist him with whatever needs he may have; however it is difficult to realize the actuality of the deterioration. The Zombecks have made lifestyle changes right alongside him and assisted with meal-planning and the like. Mom is taking him swimming occasionally. It is very important for the both of them to exercise on a regular basis, especially in this phase of their lives. Trying to maintain the focus that overcomes poor health choices is a battle we all face. It's no great wonder that I struggle with it myself. We celebrated Christmas with my Mom & Dad by taking them to the Symphony. This was my first show of this sort. It was an interesting trip. I do thank the Lord for special times with my parents and ask for continued healing and increased focus and incentive for improving their health status and especially strength for my Mom who is my Dad's primary caretaker, that she will fully embrace her role as his helper and caretaker. I am grateful that she is a nurse and able to understand the needs of a diabetic husband.
We visited Kentucky again for Christmas. My Mother-in-law was again recently hospitalized with chest pain and my Handy-Hubby's grandma was hospitalized with some health problems that will become bigger issues as time goes on. She did get home for Christmas, and we did get to spend some time with her. She has an apartment in a building that used to be a school. It's an interesting place with very high ceilings and windows. My in-laws have a new dog, Toodles. He's still a puppy, a minature poodle. I'm not much of a dog fan, but he does have a cute personality. We also got to visit with our nephew, Hayden for several days. He likes unwrapping presents, but could pretty much care less about what's inside. He's so darling.
It is difficult to witness the declining health of loved ones. It's even more so difficult to be so far away and unable to do practical things to help out. If we learned nothing else this year we have learned how precious our parents are to us and to cherish each moment with them.