Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Highlights for Liz & Terry & Photos

Dear Family and Friends,

Terry and I send our greetings to you in this season for celebrating love and light. We hope this note finds you warm and snug and enjoying the holiday.

We are fortunate to have had some very good times in 2010: a wonderful visit from our son Sam’s family at the very start of the year; one day in the spring when Terry and I drove out to the Texas Hill Country into the wildflowers, a summer of Grandma Camp and family vacation in Massachusetts and Vermont and some time all year to be creative, I with my writing and Terry’s with his web work. I am going to try to post some pictures here or you can find them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizyeats/.

just after swimming

on Vermont walks we found frogs in the stream most days

we picked a great many blueberries

Terry continues to work full time, thankfully for the same company as a computer consultant where he got some well earned recognition this year, but he is beginning to think longingly of retiring as soon as that is feasible, maybe three years from now. He continues to use his gifts and experience in web design in Quaker service for Friends Meeting of Austin and South Central Yearly Meeting. He just completed a new, really spiffy interface for the member’s portion of the FMA site. Sometimes he wishes he could disconnect from the world of technology and just sit in his chair reading philosophy, poetry, religion, and smarty pants thrillers, but then he realizes he likes writing computer software, just not all the things about working in the real world that surround it.

After years of trying to clear my commitments to spend more time writing, this year I began to spend some time most days spinning yarns on several different manuscripts. What will come of it all I don’t know, but it makes me happy. My service to FCNL and my monthly and yearly meeting continue. I enjoyed facilitating a second workshop on discernment at the FGC Gathering last summer. I got a new title for my volunteer position with Quakers Uniting in Publishing. I am now “administrative facilitator” which seems to fit what I do very well. I am still passionate about supporting written communication between Friends and hope to have energy to help promote Quaker publishing, print and electronic, for a long time to come.

Our older son, Arion, remains in Bangkok, Thailand, teaching kindergarten and traveling when he has a chance. We speak to him most Sunday mornings but we miss hugging him and wish we had the funds to bring him home for a visit.

Sam’s family grew this year with the addition of Stevie, a lively, friendly love bird who spends time out of his cage each day flying from one person to another, where he perches to groom himself and eat any paper he can find. Cassie (10) and Ari (7) are both great readers and with Brennon (5) they love creating stories, songs and plays. When I arrived this summer to help out with the children (while Pandora as she finished nursing school) all three children were collaborating on writing and videoing their own Star Wars saga, complete with creating characters by sewing orange worms with googly eyes and dressing them in paper costumes. At the end of the summer they performed their version of a Star Wars song that tells the whole story but they’re still in the midst of making the movie. The best news is that Pandora graduated nursing school and passed her boards. She will return to school to begin an MA this spring.

So many times this past year I found myself pondering how profoundly grateful I am for my life right now. My dream would be that everyone would feel the love and security of friends and family that I enjoy. I wish lots of you lived closer and I wish the world was not such an awful mess. I’ll continue to work for a more sustainable world with less violence for the rest of my life. More and more I realize that means breathing deeply and living life now while seeking to love and care for those that I touch.

We send you blessings for a wonderful 2011.

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