Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me…
Tumultuous seems a fitting word for the year. Time passes quickly and events seems to overwhelm us like those certain waves crashing down on the beach leaving us reeling, not knowing which way is up but when we come up for breath, although a little dazed, the sun is still shining.
The year started with Peter losing a job with the continued downturn in the mining industry, but fortunately, the writing there was on the wall and another opportunity had already presented itself. The couple of week gap between jobs in the end couldn’t have come at a better time with our old house needing to be prepared to transition to a rental.
Mallory started out more or less on her own having finished her studies in Albuquerque a semester early. For her too, initial employment commitments didn’t materialize as expected and other changes really turned her life upside down for a while. But undaunted, Mal simply picked up all the pieces, rearranged them and moved on powerfully and assuredly into a future no one had envisioned at Christmas. She is now working full time in Nashville, sharing an apartment with someone she met organizing a Miracle Network Dance Marathon at UNM, undertaking graduate study pursuing a Masters in Divinity, and writing. Her writing is amazing and she has been published from time to time. You can check out her web page at M.Paige
Nashville as it turns out was Spring Break for Peter and Joy… those grown children just keep tagging along, but Peter and Joy don’t mind and are glad they still like hanging out with “the parents”. Mid-week, Peter’s new boss called with a simple question: “Can you be in Romania by Monday?”. And that began a season of travel to rival most anything past. Having only limited travel experience in Europe that gap was erased spending time not only Romania, but also Germany, Serbia, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic and even popping into Hungary for part of a day. Return visits to Canada and squeezing in one more before Christmas, to Thailand, will have made it a busy year to say the least. But we are grateful for the work, and hopefully something next summer somewhere in the world will work out for Joy to join in. Hard to pick a favourite, but maybe Vienna – “Felt like a puppy in a park full of squirrels”.
Jilly completed her first year of college (university) and is rocking it. As usual having inherited her mother’s study habits she is doing very well academically earning a spot on a national athletic/academic recognitions list in the first semester and then being recognized as one of two on her (field) hockey team with perfect grades in the second. More importantly, however, she is finding her own way, making good friends, getting involved in other extracurricular activities and taking those initial small and large steps to adulthood. It is both hard to imagine that she is already 19, and that the same time that she is only 19.
Although finishing her studies last December, Mallory waited until the end of the school year in May to celebrate graduation with friends, many of whom we have gotten to know in our numerous visits to Albuquerque. Seeing a child graduate college is quite a milestone, and we are all incredibly proud of her academic and extracurricular achievements graduating Magna Cum Laude with degrees in both Communications and Spanish. Then, two weeks later, Peter and Joy were back to help Mal pack up her apartment before she and Joy set off on a road trip to the next phase of her life and new home in Nashville with a quick stop in Tulsa to see Joy’s brother, Jerry.
Peter stayed for a meeting in Albuquerque and then a familiar drive back to our old home town of Farmington. After dinner with an old friend, Peter returned a missed call from his brother to learn his father had passed away in his sleep. Talk about a day starting and ending with life change! One you work through and for good reason have well founded hope for the future, the other you don’t even know where to start or what it means to work through. Peter was able to rearrange his travel schedule and was grateful his boss was supportive in allowing him to get home to Australia for nearly a week for the funeral and much needed time with family. Hard times, good memories.
There was not a lot of rest this year, but a family summer vacation in Vail really hit the spot. A belated father’s day outing on Lake Dillon, long walks, shopping (of course), bike rides and some great meals combined with great weather made for a wonderful week. Peter and Joy also snuck away on a short 5-day getaway to Las Vegas enjoying of course a show, the High Roller observation wheel, shopping, dining (no trip to Vegas is complete without brunch at the Wicked Spoon) and even some relaxing by the pool.
Summer once again came to an end all too quickly, and it was time for Joy to deal with change. A new class every year is of course change enough, but throw into the mix a new principal and vice principal, and well, you never know what is in store. Fortunately, the change so far seems to be positive and her class is good...and Christmas break is nearly here.
After the Joy and Mallory road trip to college, it was Peter and Jillian’s turn in August with another stop in Tulsa. Despite losing a large group of seniors, for the second year in a row Jilly’s team won their conference and earned a spot in the NCAA championships. The whole family was there! The other highlight of the championship weekend was celebrating all the October/November birthdays (everyone but Joy). With Memphis and Nashville only three hours apart, this has made for a fun few months for the girls with Mallory making the trip twice and Jillian once to spend the weekend with each other. It is great to see them all grown up and enjoying each other’s company, something they may get to do even more now that Jilly will have more free time on the weekends.
Peter finds road trips kind of soothing, at least since the car stopped being full of small children. Joy doesn’t mind them either (something about not having the clutter around her feet anymore). In a year with a lot of distractions, perhaps the emerging theme of road trips made sense, so we made yet a third road trip to Tulsa to celebrate Thanksgiving with much of Joy’s family. As we now prepare to celebrate the birth Jesus, we find ourselves thinking that even in the midst of hard things and no matter where we find ourselves, at home or on the road, we have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to.
From our family to yours, a merry, peaceful and restful Christmas!
~ Peter, Joy, Mallory & Jillian ~