Hmmmmm… don’t know if there’s anything to talk about in this year’s letter… except the fun I’ve been having with Movie Maker.  Oh, and of course our 25th Anniversary.  Oh, and the new truck… and the new trailer… well, guess there IS a lot of news! 

 

*THE CHRISTMAS UPDATE from Cathie, Rej & Samuel*

 

Two groups of people made our Silver Wedding Anniversary a very special memory:  a BBQ held at Cathie’s parents’, and a surprise party thrown by our church family, at the Lahns’.  Cathie is definitely making good use of her gift from Rej (this Thinkpad), and her gift to him was a speech, calculated to embarrass him (in a good way) in front of her whole family!

 

You could also say that she gave him a gift of agreeing to test-drive a vehicle other than the mini-van she thought she so desperately wanted!  But she blames the new truck on Samuel, since he rarely says he wants something, and always sounds so practical when he’s listing all the good points about a thing.  Both father and son feel a little sorry about it when Mom talks about “mounting the horse” (climbing into it), & trying to park the monster; but after all, it does a wonderful job of pulling the new trailer that we just happened to need at the same time (you can’t even buy trailers as small as our old one was, anymore), and--it looks cool!

 

The thing that Cathie is most excited about is a computer program, which does work much better on that new computer.  She was able to make a wonderful slide show/video with over 100 pictures from the Proulx Summer Party, using three songs—we’re enclosing a copy for each of Evariste’s kids; the ‘computer-savy’ grandkids can show it for them, and burn more copies if desired.

 

Also along the line of computer stuff, we’ve started up a weblog this year.  This is like an online newsletter, but it has articles on a wide range of topics.  Samuel does a good job of looking after it, and contributes informational and editorial articles about various technological things.  Rej gives very laughable accounts of things that have actually happened to him, and Cathie writes short fiction stories, usually from the view of a cat—there will be a new Christmas story to read for each of the four weeks leading up to the 25th (Advent).  We all use nicknames of course, but it’s easy to tell who is who; you can also search for your favourites.  The link is:  http://www.interfree.ca/weblog

 

Samuel’s Recent Activities - OR - All The Minutia Too Boring To Put In A Weblog  

So, me.  Although writing is one of my passions, second only to computers, writing about myself is always a struggle.  When writing about someone or something else, I can always consult an encyclopedia or good old Google, but with my own life I'm left with little guideline other than the requisite dictionary and style reference.  If Google is to be trusted, I've apparently spent most of my life posting internally inconsistent rants on online forums, working on the weblog, yelling at people for no particularly good reason, chatting, and turning research projects into websites.  This is, of course, mostly correct.  Hey, hold on!  Curse you, Google!  In order to prove that impertinent website wrong, here's a list of things I've achieved recently:

  1. Started a weblog--at http://www.interfree.ca/weblog  (okay, score one for Google.)
  2. Started grade 12 (This just sort of happened.  Nobody asked my permission, and I still can't find anyone to yell at.)
  3. Continued to get sick regularly (This is one of my major talents.  Should I list it on my resume?)
  4. Talked mom into getting a truck she never really wanted (Her fault, not mine.  She listens to me, and that's what you get.)
  5. Got a new laptop (Ooooo!  Shiny!)
  6. Read far too many books (Why aren't we doing book reports anymore?  I wanna go back to grade 8 and do some book reports!)
  7. Saved the earth from alien invasion (No, just a computer game.  Never mind.)
  8. Started calling myself 17 even though my 17th birthday isn't, technically, until Dec. 20 of this year

See?  I've been busy!  I'm taking one extra year of high school, mostly in order to allow myself more time to slack off and have fun, so university applications don't come until next year.  This affords many wonderful opportunities for laughing at my overstressed friends who will eventually have a nervous breakdown and pulverize me with their textbooks.  What difference does one year make?  I figure the lack of stress will give me at least an extra 20 years of life in the long run, and I won't wind up visiting the men in the white coats.  If they haven't come to take me away by now, it must be because of government cutbacks.  I figure I'm safe.  If, for whatever reason, you need to contact me, my new email address is samuel@interfree.ca. 

Have an enjoyable year!

**

It occurred to me this year that we’ve probably spent more quality time with each other than most years.  Perhaps the aging process reminds us that none of us are invincible.  Maybe we’ll try to get up to Hearst again this year.

I have heard it predicted for years that over the next while we will be concerned less about physical comforts and more about family and spirituality.  I am starting to believe it to be true.  Next year, I’m told that after June 30, my job will be given to someone else.  A few years ago, I would have been concerned, but now, well I’ll just find a better position within IBM.  There is absolutely nothing that gives security other than God and family, not that this news about my job should alarm anyone, I will just retrain.  Then when I retire, I will find other little jobs and make a killing.  It really means that I will start working with those about 25 years younger than I am.  I’m sure I will learn something, but I think the reasoning is that this old dog has a lot to teach them.

 

Just to prove to you that we are getting away from the material things, we are going to get rid of our cable television and put up an antennae.  We can get about 18 stations with that, and there is never anything on worth watching anyway.  Much better off reading a book.

**

Well, its been a year full of material joys, matched by the joy of family and friends celebrating a 25-year milestone.  Pushing those aside, in the ‘hallway of memory’, something comes into view that puts perspective on it all:  The Passion of Christ.  Did the movie overdo the blood and gore?  Think about any of the gruesome things you have heard about or seen… would it be comforting to say that Christ *almost* suffered as much?  He came to suffer, but He suffered for the *joy* of having you in His Family. 

Have a *joyous* Christmas!

 

 

cat in The Hat