Looking back, 2011 has been a year filled with more ups than downs. Our highlights are listed below and we give God the glory for each of them:
• Beyond our wildest dreams, our small two-person business was contracted by the U.S. Marine Corps Band to provide them with 35 of our custom music stands (see Noteworthy Music Stands). This provided excitement, confusion over government contracts, nerves and lots of attention for us.
• Our son Craig and his wife, Gigi, were able to purchase a small vacation getaway at the Oregon coast which they have graciously offered for our use from time to time. We rejoice with them that even though the economy has impacted them to some extent, they have both continued to be employed by long-term employers over the past four years.
• Connections with writers and the writing world have increased for me, and I am hopeful that this year will provide some sort of publishing experience.
• Our granddaughter Alyssa gave birth to Everett William Ellis, our second great-grandchild on November 20th and he is a wonderful and happy little guy. Big sister Kylie is coming into her own as mommy’s little helper.
On the downside, we hit some bumps that involved medical issues, including:
• Just when I thought we were going to make it through the first quarter of the year home free, I was scheduled for surgery for reconstruction of my left thumb joint. Not a horrible surgery, but an incredibly long recovery for something so simple. This effectively brought to a halt my desire to start flute lessons and to be more active in my writing. After long weeks of therapy, I was finally home free.
• In May I was hit with the worst episode of sciatica I could imagine. I hoped it would pass, and it has finally but only because of spinal fusion on December 8th. I’m glad to write that the recovery is going well but it too isn’t a fast process.
• At the same time I was suffering, my husband also was experiencing sciatica and eventually received amazing relief with a cortisone injection. I’m so glad he didn’t have to have surgery!
Even in the lows, God was ever present and has kept us strong as a couple. Through devotionals and prayers together each day, we have grown closer, even after 30 years of marriage. My work with MOPS is still going strong and I managed not to miss too many meetings in spite of the pain or surgery.
I want to thank each of you who has stopped by during the year to read something I’ve written and to leave your words of encouragement and hope. I don’t know where 2012 will take me or us, hopefully wherever and in whatever way God’s will directs us. I love writing and would like to think it is a full-time endeavor for me. However, there are many other things I love as well and must decide on some priorities. Right now I have to focus on healing and healing well, and then on regaining a fitness and healthy lifestyle that benefits me day after day.
Blessings to each of you for a grand New Year in 2012, one filled with love, joy and peace!