Merry Christmas 2006
December 20, 2006
This is the 2006 edition of the annual Christmas letter in which I recap the year's highlights (and sometimes lesser lights) of the year before, and wish you all the blessings of the nativity season.
Thank the Lord the year has been one of no family losses. Brother Bob's wife Katie continues doing well though wheelchair-bound, since her stroke of several Christmases back. Our beloved aunt Tommy in Myrtle Beach, S.C., 101 this year (!), also is doing better than anyone would have expected. Cousin Sandra reports that her mom has "in and out" periods.
My household situation is the same as last year, with daughter Chris and the grandchildren, Brandi and Antony, with me. Brandi has her driver's permit and will turn 16 next month; Antony will be 11 in February. Son Mike and his fiance Tracey have set the date for their wedding, next May, so we're all anticipating that. Kevin is still single and he and I are looking forward to a trip to Greece (and possibly at least setting foot in Turkey) next spring, having failed to keep similar plans for earlier this year.
The book project I announced in last year's letter, The Everything Jesus Book, was completed on schedule and published in October. Part of the "Everything" series of books that numbers over 500 titles now, it is a mass market paperback now on Amazon and in bookstores throughout the country. And the great blessing of '06 is that I've been asked to do a second Everything book, on C. S. Lewis (my longtime favorite author) and Narnia. I am now in Chapter 7 and hope to be half way done by New Years (20 chapters in all). I'm hoping this will lead to many future book projects, to keep me busy when my social security is set to kick in in about 15 months, when I hope to either retire or cut back days of week at the office. (The "office" job continues to be a very good one because we have such an amenable team and supervisor.)
Part of my reorientation to authoring books is that I've cut back my involvement with my major avocation for some years, the Nanty Glo Home Page. Last July I suspended the production of my three-times-a-week "Jonals" (a reflective blog about many things, mostly my "take" on issues of social interest). I had indexed the blogs through 2004 a year and a half earlier and kept the index current as I added new ones, until I reached 1000 articles, and then cut them off. Since then, I have been recasting my other regular Internet project, Xnmp, to be less regular (it had been updated daily until I started the C.S. Lewis book) and to be more like the "Jonals" rather than short editorials about current news or columns linked there. That process is still ongoing, so if you're interested, check it out and contribute a thought.
I acquired an ultra mobile PC as the major purchase after getting the fee for last year's book, and use it to work on my new projects mainly in cafes and places like the gym (where I go daily, still, as part of my health program). It seems, ironically, easier to concentrate on the project in the busy cafe environment than at my room at home, perhaps because my routine of email processing always distracts and seems to keep me from getting started. But it has also led to some new acquaintances and some input.
All best wishes for Christmas blessings and many good things in your new year.
Theme photo by Judy Rose, Nanty Glo, December 2003