Merry Christmas 2005
December 24, 2005
Christmas blessings and warmest greetings of the season 2005! This is my eighth annual Christmas letter since beginning the Nanty Glo Home Page in 1997 and since 2002 it has been the replacement for hard-paper Christmas cards. As always, its purpose is keeping in touch with old friends and new, updating you all on our Kennedy family activities, gains and losses in the year past. We look forward to receiving the letters of those of you who share this way of keeping Christmas contact.
This year's letter is being rushed into circulation at the last minute, because since October I've been occupied in all my "spare" moments with a major project, an 85,000-page book, the full manuscript for which is due on January 13. I'm over 49,000 words and have the whole week through New Years off to do most of what remains to be done. I'm still not officially contracted on the book so I'm reluctant to give any more details but will let you know when it's about to be released or when it's available online and in stores. It's part of a series of books that has been widely circulated, even some of the more than 300 titles thus far sold in Wal-Mart as well as in most bookstores, so it should be a big boost in my aspirations to break into publishing and commercial authorship, if and when it comes about. It's the surest bet yet, but as you can see, I'm cautious about assuming anything in the publishing world until it's fiat accompli.
The saddest family news is that after most of a decade together, my son Kevin and his former fiance, Maya, called it quits early this year, so it's been like losing a member of the family. Mike and Tracey are still together and there are rumors that there may be bigger news from them next year, but wait and see. As you can see, I haven't been able to get a newer picture of the whole family together, so am repeating the now out-dated one above.
The biggest family news at least from my perspective is that daughter Chris and the grandchildren Brandi and Antony moved in with me at the beginning of November, so I have a family again, which is something of a relief. I went from wondering in October if I'd even decorate for Christmas this year, expecting to be alone, to having a houseful and fully decorated, mostly by Antony but with much input from Brandi, too.
My brother Bob and sister-in-law Katie continue to hold steady, she still disabled from her stroke of three Christmases ago but having made a bit of progress this year at becoming more mobile.
My only travel this year was to Pennsylvania to install a webcam in Nanty Glo connected to the Home Page (my major avocational project, if anyone new is reading this year), but after getting it to run and flying back to California, it soon went dark and hasn't been able to be restored since then, so that was a failed project. Most of my week back "home" I stayed at the Johnstown home of my longtime friend Clem Deffenbaugh, who I hadn't seen for some years and it was fun getting caught up again.
Though for some years I'd been in a routine of writing and putlishing three short essays every week under the Nanty Glo Home Page Postcards department, I've had to suspend them through the book project deadline in January. Likewise, I have suspended my Christian news and media website/ministry until January 15.
My job has been a blessing this year, with no major disruptions. That being the case, I put down my signature for another car purchase in July, thinking it my last car before I retire (when I'm 66 or thereabouts in a little over two years), and it's likely the last "new" car I'll ever have. Under pressure from Mike and Kevin, I get a 2005 Mustang, which has proven as good as a dog at getting people to start conversations with me. I like the car almost as much as Kevin does.
May the joy of Christmas fill your holidays and the Babe of Bethlehem dwell in your heart now and always,
Theme photo by Judy Rose, Nanty Glo, December 2003