2018 – New Year, New Hope, New Challenges

Many years ago, Sam, my eldest godson, was born on the 31st day of December.  Many years earlier, my husband, Ron, was born on the first day of the year. Sam’s arrival gave his parents a welcomed tax break that year – not to mention a remarkably dear baby boy. Ron’s appearance warranted a picture in the paper for being the first baby born in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

Spilt Milk. On another new year, the new year beginning 2009, I lost my full-time job as a grant writer for a theological seminary. The board of trustees thought they would be nice and “allow us to enjoy our Christmas” before they broke the news to us. As several of the others quipped who lost their jobs that day: “had we known we were going to lose our jobs, we would have shopped differently for Christmas.”

Love and Marriage with Adventures. My husband and I had already set the date of our wedding, later that same January. I offered to let him out of the proposed marriage, and he looked at me pityingly as if I was the family idiot. He said something like, What does a paycheck have to do with my marrying you? Of course, we are getting married as planned. We got married as expected, had a wonderful honeymoon in Wyoming and oh my did we have adventures! We took some inherited money and built a jewelry studio in our house and turned my little part-time jewelry business called Uncommon Adornments into a full-time business by adding a new branch called Phos Hilarion that made pectoral crosses.  We loved what we were doing.  But changing our focus from earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that were modestly priced to much more costly crosses was not a smart move in the economy of 2009. We were making money, but not the kind of money we needed to live without being painfully frugal.

Move out West. So, when we thought we had jobs lined up in Arizona, we bit the bullet, sold my house, and moved 1942 miles across the country with our cat, Radcliffe Jellylorum, in the back seat. It took us three days. It took another week to find a rental house. It took 13 months to find a home we could afford to buy, a foreclosed house that was a tight, but doable, fit. By the time we were able to go through our boxes and move into the new house, it was too late to file a claim for all the things that happened to disappear thanks to one of several moving companies. Including, most painfully, our jewelry studio rolling mill. Looking back on it, that move was the worst decision we ever made. The jobs we thought we had waiting did not materialize, and we have been under or unemployed our entire married life. During the times we had odd jobs and even full-time jobs, we were able to chip away at accumulated debt. But our debt has not significantly diminished. I guess playing musical credit cards to buy groceries or cover bills contributes to that.

Blessings.  Look up and see that sunset picture on the blog. That is the awe-inspiring view from our back patio.  The photograph below was taken during a summer rainstorm.  We have a park behind our house – so we have unobstructed views of spectacular western sunsets. Thank you, Jesus!   We have incredibly loving friends and family. We have been fortunate to be able to regularly worship at our faithful church home. We still have financial surprises like staff bonuses, surprising Christmas gifts, and the generous purchase of two of my husband’s paintings that the buyer asked that we give as gifts to others. We also had a pleasant surprise related to this blog. On December 21 I asked this question of my facebook friends:

How can I bribe my friends, family, sparring partners, former school-mates, to take five minutes out of your day to read my blog & hit like? What will it take???? Will any of you share this?

The stats for my blog were terrific. Five friends on FB shared my blog post, the stats on my blog that day were increased by 14 percent.

A Favor – Pretty Please? Would you please help my blog to be circulated and read?  Would you also leave your feedback and likes? You can post comments on-line if you are willing to provide an email address. If you don’t want to do that, please leave comments on my Facebook page. Your comments help me to make the blog better. Your shares and likes help my readership to grow.  I am working on two books. I am acting as compiler and editor for A WWII Memoir comprised of love letters between a school teacher and an Army Master Sergeant in Patton’s third army. I am also writing a book about teaching your children to play detective and get excited by the liturgy of the church – which, surprisingly, is all about Jesus and his Father and their Spirit. The more I can grow my blog readership, the easier it will be to launch a website to build the audience for the books. Will you help me? Will you please share my blog posts on your Facebook and social media pages?

Thank You! I can’t thank you enough. To all my readers I say thanks. Over and over again we have seen tremendous blessings in our lives. Some bordering on miraculous. Thank you for being blessings to us. May 2018 be rich in blessings for all of you!

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