Merry Christmas to all.
Change and Continuity, 2012:
Much as we might want to think otherwise, there is hardly any chance that the world will really end this December, so as we gear up for the future, here’s a review of the recent past. This year our family experienced a few changes and more continuity. As a fictional sheriff once said, “That could be good, or bad.”
The biggest change was the passing of Maria’s mother, Inga Morgan, in June. After a long wrestle with Alzheimer’s disease, her body finally succumbed. It was a struggle to the end, and we learned that dying can be hard and perplexing, even though death can be a sweet release. After years at her side at the Homestead, including almost every hour in the last weeks, her husband Keith quickly left Rexburg weather behind, returning to Oregon to live with Maria’s brother’s family and to resume his service in the temple. There was a peaceful, hope-filled funeral, as family and friends reflected on a noble life and a great plan of happiness.
A different kind of change occurred in December, when Brooke completed her undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. She has been an excellent student, and if you want to bug her, just ask, “Now what?” She’d really like to excel in family life more than professional achievement, but at present she lacks a suitor and an employer. But she does have faith, some skills (anyone need forensic linguistics?), and a creative mind. Plus she asserts more control over the ’93 minivan than her little sister.
We passed a couple of milestones without noticeable change. In April, Maria and John marked 25 years of marriage with a luxurious trip to Paris, Idaho in their Buick (also featuring stops in Soda Springs and Logan). Whew! Then in September, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Maria’s birth. We compiled some “golden plates” with the memories and observations of her friends and relatives—all about her, of course—and we had a party. I don’t even think she had to bake the cake, but I can’t remember for sure—it was all just “one mad whirl,” like every night at our house.
Hannah flirted with a bigger life-change this summer, when she accepted a marriage proposal from a fellow Cougareat employee. But the engagement was “suspended” in September—I say suspended in contrast to “broken” or “cancelled” or “shattered,” and we’ll let the two of them figure out what the future brings. Her short-term plans include a study abroad experience in Britain, though she wants to squeeze in a side-trip to Florence, Italy. Her arms and fingers bear the scars of Subway work (sandwiches, not tunnels), but she was promoted and wears a hat of a different color when the hungry crowds descend each day.
Jordan also strove for marital bliss, driving back and forth across the northern border to woo a maiden. Sadly, his efforts ultimately went unrewarded, and now he is a bitter old economist, or at least a heartsick student. Luckily he’ll be retaking a few classes next year so he can get more practice with his major. Meanwhile he continues to work at Porter’s Craft and Frame, which would seem like a good place to meet potential domestic goddesses. Time should heal his wounds, if a steady diet of Taco Bell, chicken nuggets, and Mountain Dew doesn’t kill him first. The cats appreciate the time he spends in bed.
It was a light year for travel, arts, and the other diversions we usually note. John had a sabbatical semester for research and made a research trip to Virginia (including some days in lovely ancestral Thomas lands with his parents), as well as several road trips to Utah libraries and archives. Maria stayed home for pretty much everything, but got to see some home improvements: new paint for the exterior and a remodeled laundry and bathroom (ready for guests). She continues to be a crafty queen and community contributor.
That’s a wrap on 2012. Some things change a lot, others just a little, and some things stay very much the same—most notably the reason for the season, He who is the source of everlasting hope.
Merry Christmas from the Thomas family!