Christmas 2005

Dear Friends,

Wise Men Still Seek Him! How true! Christmas is here, and I’ve had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit – there is so much going on in the world and this country that is "un-Christmasy", even among those who claim to celebrate the birth of our Lord. We pray that this Christmas season you will join the Wise Men in seeking him who is the source of the love and peace proclaimed by the angels at Jesus’ birth – "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men".

This has been a relatively quiet, but busy year for us. We did go to Arizona in February for the reunion get-together of Bill’s seminary class – always a delightful time, though I came down with a high fever the last day, which cleared quickly with rest. That seems to happen all too frequently with travel. More reunions in May as joined my class at St Olaf for our 50th anniversary. Lots of fun and silliness – including an amazing style show of 1950’s fashions. Those of us who were former choir members put on a little operetta, The Waltz We Never Had, written by one of our talented class members – it was a sketch!

 

Then we headed for Rhode Island to spend Thanksgiving with Bill’s sister, Eleanor. Our main accomplishment there was helping Bob and Barb (El’s daughter) set up their flying Santa and reindeer – El had to try out the sleigh first. Yes, that’s a flamingo at the head of the line – B&B’s ‘logo’. Son, Jeff, and his family also joined the celebration.

Bill made an additional major, but short trip this fall to Serbia with folks from our synod, including our bishop, to visit our new companion synod, the Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia and Montenegro (yes, that’s the full name!) – a great contrast to our other companion synod in Tanzania. Beautiful churches, babushka ladies (it was chilly), and interesting faith issues. They learned a bit about the complicated political and geographical situation there. The bishop and some of the group, but not Bill, continued on to Tanzania.

Bill continues with his genealogy activities, including the Genealogy by Computer Society, though he’s getting to the end of the line on tracking down family history. He picked up a new job when our Scandinavian Club was looking for a vice president, and then the president, who had already served many years, got sick and resigned. This is an interesting group of people, including a writer, artists, a sculptor, a violinist, a dancer, and university professors,– all now retired.

We both sing in the choir at church, and are involved with other church committees, including the synod global mission board. Our first Global Mission Fair was the major accomplishment of the year, but we learned all about ‘scrapbooking’ as we helped prepare scrapbooks about northwest Ohio for the bishop to bring as gifts for our companion synods.

I (Kris) continue with my gardening activities, working especially this year on improving the fertility of my garden soil, after realizing that my vegetables were not as nutritious as they could be. In fact I put together a course called "Gardening for Maximum Nutrition", which I presented at a special gardening day at the library, and will present again in March. That evolved into a page on our Website to pull together all the elements involved. Soil fertility is a complex and fascinating study in ecology and natural systems. Unfortunately, the shortcuts used in agriculture to bring us cheap and plentiful food are undermining the nutritional quality of that food.

I’ve also become very involved at chapter leader of the Toledo Chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation. My co-leader, Lisa, and I have given several presentations, with more scheduled in 2006. Our January class is called Cooking for Health – Raising Healthy Children. The current state of health of the children in this country is alarming! Unfortunately misinformation about nutrition fills our media, promoted by those who stand to profit – but I’ll get off my soapbox – go to our Website if you want to know more. And check out Cancer, Nutrition, and Healing - A Person Odyssey I've heard Jerry speak. He has a powerful message!

News of the children has not changed much since last year. Dot is still working more than one job trying to make ends meet. She enjoys the fellowship at her new church, Christ United Episcopal/Lutheran Congregation, where she rejuvenated their garden labyrinth.

Mark continues his work with the infant neurology department at University Hospital. Jeanne continues to work with her clients from home, which is fortunate as her mother lives with them and has had some health problems. Emmy and Will continue at their excellent schools, with many outside activities – hockey, choirs, violin, Girl Scouts & Cub Scouts (Mark is the Cubmaster of Pack 36, and Will was the runner up Pinewood Derby winner), etc.

Pete and Caryn have finally resolved the problems with their builder and are full owners of their house (with the bank). But they are not in a hurry to move until they can do some work outside come spring – driveway, post lamp, etc. Their dog, Hollis, is having a hard time getting up stairs which will be a bit of a problem in their two-story new house.

That’s the news from Williston. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

With much love,
Bill and Kris