I know a lot of people make jokes about the Christmas letters they receive, tucked inside a cheerful card, but I happen to love them. I like to read the story of that family’s year–the graduations, the trips, the accomplishments, the moves. The best ones include pictures–little girls in tutus, boys in baseball uniforms, the whole family smiling broadly at the Grand Canyon or in Disneyland.
I always intend–long about September/October–to get started on just such a chronicle to send out to all the friends and family I seldom, if ever see, because we all have such busy lives. But there are always forty-three million things to do–and they all need to be done now. For the past several years, the LLM Christmas letter just hasn’t happened.
This blog-letter will, I hope, express my love and gratitude to all of you.
2008 was a wonderful year, but challenging in many ways. There was a great deal of construction, and while I’m glad to have the new barn, fenced pasture, and a house for Mary Ann and Larry to live in, the whole thing took a toll.
There was a lot of travel, too. I did a 2 week tour promoting “The Rustler”, in addition to attending BEA and RWA and flying up to Toronto for a planning meeting with my wonderful publishers. My sister Sally and I went to London and Paris together, and we had a wonderful time. I also took a tour of Civil War battlefields with my cousin, Doris and then enjoyed a few days of Southern hospitality with more of my “Rebel” cousins, Jim and Gladys Lael. Sally and I are planning another trip this year, to Prague. I’ve always wanted to visit that city.
The dogs, cats and horses are all still with us, though getting older (aren’t we all?) but my old Buckaroo seems to be winding down. It’s going to be a real hard thing, letting him go.
There’s a big Christmas tree in the living room, and although we’ve just had a record snow-storm–there hasn’t been one like it since 1950–and we were snowed in for 2 days–blessings abound. The power stayed on. There’s plenty of food. I’m still hoping daughter Wendy and future son-in-law, Jeremy, will make it here in time for a family Christmas, but there is more snow falling as I write this, and we may get as many as nine inches. Although I’d love to see them, of course, I surely don’t want them traveling on dangerous roads.
I have so much to be grateful for, and I certainly count all of you–friends I’ve met and friends I haven’t, family members–among my many blessings.
May your Christmas be joyous, and your New Year the best one ever.