Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Y2K A new Millennium, a 50th Anniversary and Gratitude

Looking at the Photo card we used Christmas of 2000 I remember that we had gathered apples, and played a 4 person game of flag football.  That apple the we posed with has fallen, it was leaning badly when we moved in, but having fallen 6 or 7 years ago it still produces enough apples for our family and the bear and deer that it attracts.

Anyway, on to the next letter in the line-up.  This one came decorated by the boys.
Merry Christmas 2000

Dear Friends and Family,

Once again, I find myself trying to gather the holiday spirit around me and share a bit of the "Goode" life with you.  It isn't easy getting into thoughts of Jingle Bells and snowmen here.  Over the last week, I have watched our lawn recover from the brown dryness of summer and now it stretches, green and new, beneath the bluest sky on a day that is sure to reach 80 + .  This timeless, seasonal coastal bubble where we live is deceiving in its mildness.  Stories of blistering summers or freezing winters are mere fairy tales to a child who has never lived anywhere but Del Norte (here it rhymes with snort) county.

Thanksgiving is only four days away as I sit and write this letter, so even thoughI know you won't be reading it until after, I have to tell you that my thoughts are full of the things I have to be thankful for this year.  In fact, I want to share with you a very special couple of lists, the ones the boys wrote;

from Emerson, "I am Thankful for my mother and my father.  I am thankful for God.  I am thankful for my brother. I am thankful for our blue house."

From Austin, "I am Thankful for;
1.  God
2.  Mom and Dad
3.  Family
4.  friends
5.  life
6.  hime
7.  foods
8.  blankets
9.  yourself
10. school
11. grandpos
12. grandmas (His Spelling)

In the way that we all sometimes overlook the blessings in front of us, I saw the lists when the boys brought them home and smiled, of course, but it wasn't until Grandma Nadine pointed out to me, "Did you notice that neither one of them has one really materialistic thing on their list?"  That I once again saw how lucky Greg and I are to have these twi sensitive, yet oh, so rowdy, boys.

So I've been thinking about my own list of things to be thankful for, and I noticed right away that most of them aren't things.

This year I can't seem to look in any direction without finding something to be grateful for.  There is so much that is beautiful and so many reasons to feel rich.  First of all, I am thankful for Greg, he's the perfect friend and still the truest love of my life.  He shares the good times and pitches right in and helps through all the hard times.  He was willing to stay home and be a Daddy, and he's supportive of my volunteering in the boy's class and trying to make inroads as a writer even when it's very difficult to be the only bread winner.  Still we look at what we'd have on two incomes, furniture that isn't early American Yard Sale, vehicles with less than 150,000 miles on them, not having to count every penny.  It balances out against being able to be here when the boys aren't in school, being able to know their class mates and teachers, being able to follow a dream a bit longer.  Still it is hardest on Greg, and I am so Thankful for him.

Other items on my gratitude list, Always my Mom.  Greg's parents, Grandma Nadine, our siblings.  The true friends we have kept through the years.  Getting to be in Wyoming for the Goode's 50th Anniversary Celebration.  Seeing the kidnapper who has haunted the lives of our friends and the dreams of our children finally get sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison, and extremely thankful that Marc survived the nightmare and is still here.  Thankful that school comes fairly easily for the boys and that their soccer team was led by someone who taught teamwork and graciousness in victory and in defeat.  Thankful that the Y2K bug didn't bite any of us.

So what were the highlights of the year two thousand for us?  Emerson graduated from kindergarten and moved on to become the second student of the month in an extremely demanding first grade class.  Austin finished first grade and now is in a second grade class with a big emphasis on independent work and lots of reading.
both of them were on the Blue

storm soccer team.  Emerson has learned lot about mummies this year and Austin is getting to be a great artist with nice cursive writing.  Greg has added and added to his commitments and we never know if he is coming or going.  He teaches full time at one school (Pine Grove) and started a Junior Orchestra and Joined the Del Norte Arts Council, and is the MethodistChurch Choir Director.  We have spent time in Wyoming for the anniversary and explored a few different hot springs, and watched the Little Big-Horn battle re-enactment.  We also went camping several times and swam i a lot of rivers.  We went into the Oregon Caves and barely missed Bigfoot there.  We went to Redding and toured inside Shasta Dam.  We had a lot of days this year when the whole family was together doing little things that the four of us enjoy.  In short, for the California Branch of the Goode family, the new Millennium began with very few splitters.

As Ziggy says, "Make your Blessings Count."

or Recount your blessings to us the words of this election

Dixie, Greg, Austin and Emerson

At James es Ranch in Meeteetse

Cousins on July 3rd in Cody

At Little Big Horn

Counting Coup on Custer

Uncle Matt, Aunt Andrea and Remi in Newcastle

Lagoon by Salt Lake

Devil's Tower

Cousins and Grandparents at 50th Anniversary

Grandma Priscilla turns 61
Lance with Mammoth Jaw

Yellowstone Grizzly
50th Anniversary Picnic

Emerson in the Hot Springs

Austin at Little Big Horn

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