Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Trip to St. Thomas

Doesn't a trip to St. Thomas sound good right now? I think so and I wish I could go. But since that's not going to happen, the second best thing is to have your neighbor get to go. Lorna and DeLoy Roberts just got back from 2 crusies; one on each side of the gulf.
Of course they got to stop off in St. Thomas and sweet Lorna bought me a St. Thomas T-shirt. Eat your heart out, all you Thomases out there. I love it and will wear it with pride ~ even if I didn't get to go there. :-) Isn't it great! I love it! Thank you Lorna!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Know It's Not Christmas Anymore, But...

Jan. 17, 2009
Dear Loved Ones,
It’s another Christmas letter~ and just when you thought Christmas was over :> Actually, I bought the paper months ago and have written a version this letter many times, usually while doing something else with my hands. But…

It’s Saturday and after we finished cleaning the church building this morning, I said to Dan, “What do we do when we don’t go to work?” I’ve almost forgotten what it is like to not be at work somewhere.

Let me explain. While many people can’t find work, I’ve been blessed to have two good jobs. Now mind you, “good” has nothing to do with salary. Obviously, neither of my jobs would qualify as “good” if it did. “Good” simply means you enjoy them and feel blessed to be there. So, I have two “good” jobs.

I’m still a Speech-Language Pathologist for the Jefferson SD in Rigby and since I start my days there at 6:45 and end them at 3:15 or so, I can also work at the Wal-Mart Pharmacy from 4-9:30 most days. All, in all, I claim about 65-70 hours a week at work thus, “What do we do when we don’t go to work?”

So, in my quandary over what to do today, I decided to clean off my desk, a greatly needed job. Well, you know that if you give a mouse a cookie, he will probably ask for a glass of milk; yaddy, yaddy. That’s what my desk is like. I paid some bills, organized the bank books, shredded the old insurance papers and ran across the stack of Christmas cards and letters.

I know, I’m embarrassed to say it, but this year they were each "lovingly stacked” on my desk. I will say that a few of them were actually opened but for the most part, yes they were stacked.

Well, today they were all opened and read and I laughed and I cried and I remembered this and I remembered that and my heart grew full of love for each one of you. I found myself absorbed in reading about your families and your adventures this past year. Oh, to have even a little while with each of you!

I think Alisha said it perfectly yesterday when I was driving her to school; something I rarely get to do. Since I didn’t have to go quite so early yesterday, I asked Alisha if she’d like me to drive her to school instead of her taking the bus. She thought that would be good so we headed off in the car together and I said to her, “I sure like being with you. I wish we could spend more time together.” She replied, “Someday”. I said, “Problem is, by the time ‘someday’ comes, you’ll be out of school and living away from home.” And then straight from her angel mouth she said, “Oh, I mean 'someday' in the next life.” So, I will look forward to “Someday” in the next life to smile and hug each one of you.

This is where you ask, “Why are you just now reading our letters and cards?” Well, between my two "good" jobs, planning for, preparing for, shopping for and wrapping for our Christmas Reunion and then an emergency trip to SL, we have had some nerve-racking and yet amazing last few months. I’m beginning to think that our blessings have come through the back door this year.

In September Dan, Alisha, James, Elizabeth and I were able to go to Germany to bring Seth from his mission . We spent 10 wonderful days seeing the sights, meeting people Seth knew, eating doners, and taking pictures of everything. We spent one day in Paris, having a “real French picnic” on the way. Wow!! What an adventure.

As winter started on, Dan became ill and had to quit his job with Target and his missionary calling at the Family History Center. He wasn’t able to eat much and became very weak and disoriented. With Tessha’s help he was admitted in the Emergency Room here in IF and as soon as I got there we determined to move him to the VA hospital in Salt Lake that very day.

That night all of our Utah family joined us at the VA hospital and before we admitted him for the second time that same day, our son-in-law, Mark gave him a blessing that he would regain his strength and remain with us.

For two years Dan had planned and helped prepare for our first-ever Dan and Sandy Thomas Family Reunion. He reserved 3 condos at West Yellowstone so all the children could come spend Christmas together for a full week. Most of the children had made plans to be with us and we were all very excited. This was a project dear to Dan’s heart and yet here in the middle of December he was being admitted to the VA hospital. The Drs. told us that night that they thought he could be released the Thursday before our reunion was to begin, but then later on they decided they needed him to stay longer and wouldn’t release him till the following Tuesday, after most of the children would be here. However, (here’s the back door part) Tessha was able to go to SL, pick him up and bring him to the reunion in time for our Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning. Finally, we were all together – Dan included!!

But then, Seth was on his way to the condos one night after working in IF when a gust of wind blew a suburban off the road just ahead of him and then caught him just right and blew him into the suburban. He was driving Tessha’s SUV and although it was totaled, Seth was not hurt at all. Another, back door blessing.

For these and all others blessing that we enjoy, I give Thanks!!! Now I know what we do when we don’t work. We enjoy our friends and families and we give Thanks!!!
PS. Elizabeth and James had a little girl this morning just after midnight. Yeah, another grandbaby and another blessing!

You’re welcome to visit all our blogspots to catch up on each of us.
We love you all and THANKS FOR THE CHRISTMAS LETTERS AND CARDS! You’re the best!!
Merry Christmas from the Thomas’s