2012 Wrap-Up

I have to say that 2012 ended up with a mix of events here in Paris, TX.

It was tough being so far from Minda as her life turned upside down after the apt. fire destroyed all her belongings. But it was also amazing to see God’s faithfulness wrap around her and providing for her every need. Friends and family…and even strangers from across the country, it seems, were used to help raise quite a sum of money that will enable her to begin rebuilding her life, material-wise, and what a blessing that has been to see. She will be heading to her new home in our nation’s capitol in about two weeks. We of course, were anxious to spend some time with her over the holidays. She first had a scheduled visit to Phoenix to spend a few days with Lisa and Paul. She actually helped Lisa lead Christmas services over the Christmas week and took part in over a dozen services. We were pretty tickled here to be able to watch them both ‘perform’ via live stream. I recorded one song on my phone and uploaded it to youtube. I kid you not, technology never ceases to amaze me. Here’s that clip:



Minda was not due to arrive here at home until Christmas Day, late.  As it turned out this year, Kathy was scheduled to work on Christmas day, and Caralyn was working the night shift in ER on both Christmas and the day after.  Then, Lisa and Paul were not due in until the 28th.  So…..I spent my first Christmas here by myself and what a day it was.  I did get up with Kathy at 3:30 to get her off to work and then with not much else to do…and aware of an approaching storm, I gathered up my gear and drove down the road and spent an hour taking shots of an incredible lightning storm that blew in.  Can’t say I ever spent a Christmas morning doing that before.  Once the rain hit, I headed back to the house and got the fire going as we were expecting quite a change of weather that day with rain changing to snow in the forecast.  Buried in my recliner under a warm blanket and roaring fire, I pretty well spent the day reading, watching movies, and napping.  About 3:00 in the afternoon, the sound of a steady rain ceased as the temperature dropped and the sky then was filled with huge snowflakes.

Fortunately, Minda’s plan had no trouble landing that evening even though snow was sticking everywhere.  Caralyn picked her up, delivered her to Kathy at the hospital before she went in on her shift.  Thankfully, Kathy was able to take off early and brought Minda on home for what I am told was a stressful 3 hour drive over icy roads.  After nearly 3 1/2 weeks of travel and not having her own bed anymore to sleep in, there was a soothing comfort for her to be back ‘home’ for the holidays and rest she did.   Caralyn made it home the next day and then Friday, we headed in to Dallas to pick up Lisa and Paul before enjoying a late dinner out and then a late drive back home to Paris here.  But…we were finally all together and ‘did our Christmas’ on Saturday, the 29th. It really was a good long weekend for us and of course, we got the traditional family shots taken care of and will be posted here as well.

One side note….Minda thought she was getting a leg up on early shopping this year for Christmas…only to see it all go up in flames back in the apt. fire.  Oddly…the only gift that survived the fire…was the one she purchased for me.  Keep in mind, Minda LOVES to get and give gifts to others.  She also finds it to be a ‘challeng’e to shop for me…so she says (and her sisters agree…go figure).  But she really did good this year.  My inlaws were quite impressed with the gifts she got me.  I, however, never got to open them.  Seems that her bags were ‘inspected’ by TSA in Phoenix the morning she flew out.  And being unwrapped, the agents inspecting her bag must have been impressed by them as they NEVER made it here to Texas.  Yeah…yucky story there and she is filing claims and will pursue it.  Just a sad deal.  What they must have thought they got their hands on were two expensive camera lenses for my camera. In reality, they were two mugs built as identical replicas of the lenses.  I hated for  Minda to not be able to see my surprise had they arrived here safely to be opened.  But I did get to see a picture of them:

But honestly, stuff like that is quickly put in to perspective…even Minda’s apt. fire was…when on Friday, driving in to Dallas to get Lisa and Paul, I got a very sad phone call informing me that one of my 6th grade students, Cade Curry, was accidentally shot by his friend and neighbor with a .22 rifle.  The tragic event really rocked the community and it was tough being at the visitation and then the funeral which was held today.  Such a sobering reminder of how fragile and temporal this life can be.

And on a lighter, must less serious note, my web site here developed some major glitches with malware.  It was time for a major update and overhaul to a new server.  I never would have gotten it done without the help of my good friend, Mike Fioritto.  So glad to have this back up and running.

It will be good to start back to school on Monday (kids come back on Tuesday) and it will be touch and go for a few days helping the kids deal with the loss of their classmate, Cade.

I might add that teaching English this year has been a new bag of challenges…and I’m enjoying it.  Looking forward to what 2013 has in store.  I’ll save my political rants for another day/post. 🙂  Just happy to be alive, healthy, and blessed beyond measure.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Apparently there is a glitch with the youtube video of the girls singing which I will check back on later, along with posting some holiday shots that I did with all the family and exciting weather.