Editor’s note: After much difficulty getting started, I finally got something down for the Christmas letter—just a beginning. Rej wrote next, making a pretty good ‘middle’; then Sam added his, which turned out to be a perfect ending… it all seemed to “just happen”. So we move from a sort of between-the-lines sadness in mine, to a delightful laughter-piece in Rej’s, ending off with Sam’s stabilizing calm & confidence. Enjoy!
(and be sure to ‘scratch & sniff’ your Christmas card!)
Such a year!
From the excitement and joy of celebrating my parents’ 50th Anniversary in the summer, to the sadness of saying good-bye, in November, to our Pastor and his family--after 16 years of playing such an integral role in our lives; from gulping back tears at Sam’s graduation in June, to letting them flow as my parents ‘publicly’ expressed their love for each other in August; from the adventure of learning to cook & bake for a gluten-free diet last Spring, to the more recent tension of waiting for Sam to be able to eat again at all, as he recovers from his Monster Bug.
One friend from years-gone-by passed away, as well as a brother-in-law of Rej’s; two relatives had new babies. It was another year for things breaking—computers, programs for the computers, our internet library, the freezer (again!), the dishwasher… and I’m still trying to get used to cooking with a gas stove!
Wow, did all that really happen this year? It’s still happening! Will things settle down when I finally turn 50? Maybe, but they’ll certainly never be the same again…
This was one of those long years where you get up in the morning and never quite know what will happen next. Everything changed; at work, at church (I became an elder), and so many things broke.
Last Sunday, I heard a sharp rapping at the door. It was the postman delivering a package! On Sunday, I thought? What ever happened to those guys who went on strike every two years? Not only do they work on Sunday, they are highly technical now. I actually thought it was UPS, not our Canadian post office! He was delivering a birthday present I bought myself, and the post office got it right--it came on the very day. Now I can clap my hands twice, yell ‘thermostat’ and tell it to raise and lower the temperature, all from the comfort of my chair.
I was thinking about technology. Soon you’ll be telling your bedroom light to turn on before you get out of bed. You yell at the coffee pot and it will make coffee. Ask your fridge if it has your favorite jam and it will say yes or order you some. The post office can deliver the jam, yes even on Sunday, and after you sign that paperless thing they have, it will tell the postal system that the package was delivered, the post office will tell your fridge and your fridge will remind you to put it away making sure it reads the best-before date so it can remind you to throw it away and get fresh stuff. Far fetched you say? Not really, the proto-type was built by IBM 2 years ago. Now that our wives are more independent, they don’t listen to us any more, so the fridges, lights, thermostats and coffee pots will!
We have been working hard rebuilding our web site after it was involved in a credit card scam. We had to take down the Evariste family mailing list; which we will put back after the program (which our South African friends are writing for us) is delivered.
The purpose of a family mailing list is to give us news about yourselves, or talk about the next family party. In order to discourage forwarded chain mail, the new program will not allow attachments. Stay tuned, I will let you know when the list comes back up.
The rumour is that the next Proulx party is in 2008, the usual weekend. Maybe I’ll bring a sound system in case we decide to have a family dance, or at least make a little noise. We had a dance at the Roffey 50th anniversary and it was a huge success.
That’s my news for this year. The Christmas letter is way behind schedule. What seemed to be a long year suddenly came to an end before we got it started.
As I recall, I threatened, last year, to move
Graduating high school was… closure. It wasn’t as huge a deal to me as it was for friends and family; I may be through high school, but I’ve still got lots of schooling left. However, it served to bring closure and a sense of completion to a part of my life that has gone on for five years. I enjoyed the time I spent there, I got through the struggles, and now I’m done. Off to a bigger and better fishtank, as the saying goes.
The year off is a blessing; though it was taken due to unfortunate circumstances, it has reduced my stress markedly. I know I’ll be completely ready for university next year. I know where I want to go, and what I want to do. Except for my health, I am in control of my life once again, and have both feet under me. That’s an extremely good thing. The past year has been hectic and full of change; but for me, it’s the change of endings and the start of new beginnings.
What better season to reflect on those things than Christmas? Christmas marks the beginning of a new age: the one Jesus was brought into the world to create. But the beginning started with… not much: a baby boy, and 30 years of silence as he grew into fruition to realize his purpose as a man. In this busy holiday season, remember that everyone needs time to get ready for what comes next, whatever that may be. Even if it’s something as simple as another year the same as the last.