Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
A flashback photo
The ducks go by, quack quack quack, things go up and things go down but the world goes around and around. Christmas is starting to feel pretty familiar and even routine. After all we’ve had 30-something of them. YET! It continues to serve as a yearly marker to look at the past and anticipate the future as well as to celebrate the present or presents and most of all Jesus’ presence.
This, however, has by no means been a hum drum and forgettable year. We will all remember this time for various reasons. And I can say somewhat happily that Laura, Owen and I are not so insulated from what is going on economically in our country and world.
We moved to Kalispell, Montana this year, which, coming from the cusp of California feels like moving back in time a couple of decades. There are some pluses and minuses to that. But one of my favorite things about the time warp is more simple communication styles, and more community wide acceptance if not adherence to the Bible (and hunting). There are many interests here for Owen, Laura and myself. I’ve gotten in on lots of racquetball, Laura is getting into the gym to exercise (and avoiding grizzlies) and she loves her job and Owen is meeting tons of competing rug rats. It’s funny watching Owen in a large group of static electricity generators. He looks like a kid that has been surrounded by a 1000 bowls of ice cream. In his state of comatose euphoria he is physically and cognitively paralyzed. He seems to move in slow motion if at all, his speech slows down and occasionally he focuses enough to do a turbo crawl to the next kid or toy. He doesn’t like sitting around the house and loves to be out and about. I know what you’re thinking...sounds like Nick is projecting. We’ll if you’re thinking that you’re probably wrong, Laura would agree that he is social and antsy to be on the go..
So, while there are many lessons I’ve learned from my dogs, slowly but surely Owen is providing lessons as well. The most interesting lesson so far to me is that Owen does somewhere between little and no editing of his thoughts and feelings. He seems to wear his wants and hates on his sleeve...in fact there is no guesswork to his happiness, sadness or madness. The thing I find funny about this is that the only real difference between Owen and myself and other adults is the amount of editing that happens. I look at myself and those around me as if we’re infants and translate what they’re communicating to googooing, cooing, crying or screeching with back arched. The world gets pretty funny and pretty simple with this perspective.
Laura loves her work. It is an idyllic work environment relationally. She works generally two days a week at Whitefish Animal Hospital. She’s still fixing dogs and cats. An example of the throw back here versus California is that people generally respect that when a veterinarian is on call they are not sitting in the office and often apologize for disrupting their personal life. Simply the recognition is somehow encouraging.
Cerah and Mica have a smaller universe now. We put in an invisible fence and they prefer to stay in the yard rather then get inexplicably zapped. No more wandering the neighborhood searching for coyotes to play with, or carcasses to cuddle with.
You can catch Owen’s development and cuteness and “squawk-iness” on this blog so I don’t need to say anymore about him.
And o yes, the reason for this letter.is..the season, Christmas. We continue to feel that Jesus is giving us at least a measured amount of discernment and wisdom and some blessing to boot. We were able to sell the house in Tahoe and have bought a smaller home north west of Kalispell. Going through the move has eliminated a lot of cursory distractions to our marriage and family. The result has been more reliance on one another for friendship and function.
All in all it has been a good year for us, moving from complexity and consumption towards simplicity and contentment. Note, this is the direction, we have not seemed to arrive at any particular destination just yet.
Take care and feel free to drop us a line. We love you all and miss you.
Nick, Laura, Owen, Cerah Wooly Mammoth, and Mica Shaniqua Gila Monster Rock Star.
It's hard to believe he's a year old! We celebrated with a cupcake, and opened gifts from family. Stayed indoors since it has been zero degrees and below here. He had a rough week, starting with pink eye, then getting the flu shot, spiking a fever and cutting four teeth at once. It's hard being one year old.