On the back of our yearly Christmas update, I started to think about this coming year's - 2012.
I wondered what the year would bring.
I wondered if I would remember the things I wanted to talk about: the funny, the sad, the tragic, the happy...
I wondered if I could even remember what had happened in the previous month.
One of the best 'round robins' we had this year was from friends we had seen in the summer. So yes, we had a good idea of what had been happening in their lives. But their letter was fun. Fun because:
1. It was written on one side of A4.
2. There were a few photos - enough, but not too many.
3. Their year was divided up into months, with one. or two sentences talking about the highlights.
Good idea, I thought.
So here is January. Out of this, I hope to distil one accurate, perhaps pithy, sentence. Well, I can always hope....
January A month of beginnings and endings.
First, the end of the Christmas holidays. Jonny, home for Christmas, went back to Norwich. We miss him. He is an exuberant, lively presence. The dog misses him, too.
We went to a wedding in England. Always a bit of a mission, getting to something like that which involves a flight before we even begin a drive anywhere. Worth it, though - it was a joyous, Christ-centered, happy occasion full of lovely people. And of course, the bride, the daughter of ex- Kenya friends, was radiant. She really was.
Richard finally heard news from the CAA that he could reapply for his medical. When he did so, the doctor proclaimed him as fit as a much younger person would be. He begins work at the end of February. Praise the Lord!
The school term started at a gallop, cantering at an ever-increasing pace towards half term next week. (Phew.)
The dog was spayed. We had a few sleep-deprived nights as she recovered from the operation. Sore.
Cat came home from New Zealand, via Bradford and Norwich. What a joy to have her with us for a week. And what a bittersweet goodbye, as a heavy sadness hung on my heart, even though I rejoice that she is happy there doing a satisfying job in a culture offering all kinds of unique, fun opportunities.
I began an online Bible study on Ephesans...After two weeks, I've reached as far as Chapter 2...
And finally, this week, came the news of the end of a life. An old family friend - well into his eighties, but the news was still a shock - had died suddenly, and tragically. He collapsed while making a speech at his granddaughter's wedding. For him, it was a wonderfully rapid exit to be with Jesus, but the shock for his family was, of course, immense. Richard had known him and his wife for over 50 years...
A strange ending to the month which began the year.