Posted By Ed on January 21, 2016
Dear Friends and Family,
We hope this greeting finds you well and at peace, or at least on the way there. We are here in Fletcher, living La Vida Loca. We have just enjoyed another wonderful Thanksgiving Day in Dunwoody, GA at the home of my sister-in-law’s parents, the Schneps – our tradition of 17 years now.
Luke flew in for the day from El Cerrito, CA where he lives with our three grand-chickens, Ophelia, Patricia and Carlotta. Alas, we lost Henrietta this fall from an infection she was not able to overcome. As Luke nears his thirtieth birthday he is in transition, discerning his path for the next third of life. No doubt his new concertina will figure prominently on this journey, as he and Rose have joined a Morris dancing troop in the Berkeley area.
Lucy went down the day before so that she, Aunt Jill and Cousin Peyton could run the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon – her third this year. Last Sunday her roomie, Jessica, got tickets for us to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Greenville, SC—great fun, even if the light show brought me close to seizures. Our one-eyed-pirate-grand-dog, Padfoot, narrowly escaped the reaper after he ate a bag of Hershey’s kisses (the kiss of death?) last month. Lucy continues with Thermo-Fisher Scientific gathering fun stories about customer service.
Conrad also joined us for the day, but had to get back to Boone for Black Friday. After graduating last May from Appalachian State University with Psychology BS, he and his roommates found jobs in Boone to prolong the college experience. He works in the new Verizon Wireless store, and has to beg US to pay our phone bill since we are now on HIS plan. Life is good!
After sending in our last college tuition payment in the spring Leslie “ceased work.” She did not “retire,” as people of our income status do not retire in their fifties, but she did cease working for mammon. Now she volunteers with Brother Wolf, a no-kill animal shelter, and our public library. She has also started volunteering with Heart of Horse Sense, where rescued horses and human beings who need to be rescued learn to work together. She also ministers to Rocky, our schizoid Golden mix.
I am in my fifth year as the Director of Ministries at Givens, a United Methodist Retirement Community in Asheville. The work is most fulfilling, with great colleagues and very congenial residents – many of whom have figured prominently in my life and professional development. Leslie and I celebrated our 33rd on July 4th at Bald Head Island with gracious hosts, Mark and Robin in their lovely home. We have also been thrilled to have family move to Asheville: Cousins Ann and Steve “up-sized” in retirement from Midtown Manhattan to Montford!
I attended the Junaluska Peace Conference a couple weeks ago which focused on relations between the Abrahamic traditions. There was a great spirit of togetherness among the Christians, Muslims and Jews there, even with the awful events in Beirut and Paris happening at the same time. We all shook our heads and asked, “how long?” We pledged to work harder for the peace, salaam, shalom that we all understand to be at the heart of our traditions. It starts, of course, inside each of us. May the Prince of Peace be born in us all this Holy Season, and may peace prevail on the earth.
Ed, for Leslie, Luke, Lucy and Conrad