My annual Christmas letter for this year:
Yesterday was 12-13-14. Time to get moving and write the news for two reasons: Christmas is less than two weeks away; if I want to use that date again it will an eighty-nine year wait.
Speaking of moving, this has been a year for that in the Rottinghaus family. Adam and Alia moved to Scotland (Yes, the UK) in August. Alia was accepted into a master’s program at the University of Edinburgh. Meanwhile, Adam received a fellowship from University of North Carolina which allowed him to work on his dissertation with no teaching responsibilities. In late August, Rick and Eric hooked a trailer to the pickup and moved the bulk of their possessions from Carrboro, NC to here. (We no longer have a spare bedroom in the basement.) Adam, a newly hired Advertising Professor for the University of Tampa, and Alia will move to Florida next August. I am excited and happy for them as their lives move in the direction of their goals. (I hope they’re okay with a house guest all winter.)
Kathy’s apartment, five minutes from work, became a less than ideal place to live, due to the complex changing ownership. In April, Rick, Dean and I helped her move her things into the spare bedroom of her friend’s town house. As I held the door open for the guys carrying the boxes, I sang “Movin on up, to the East side, to the deluxe apartment in the sky,” (remember the TV show, the Jeffersons in the 70’s & 80’s?) In other words, it was a great move for her. The home is beautiful; the neighborhood is inviting; and her housemate, Julianna, is a good friend. BUT, the bulk of her possessions weren’t needed so we moved it all to our basement. (I repeat – we no longer have a spare bedroom in the basement.) Her job at the preschool/daycare continues to go well for her.
Dean and Rick took a weekend road trip to Virginia in March. Meg’s mother gifted several pieces of Meg’s favorite furniture to her. So father and sons (Adam came to help pack from NC) had a male bonding weekend as they moved it to home. The duo left Dean's on Friday night, covered 2,700 miles, and unloaded an overfilled pickup on Monday night. In July Meg and Lauren, age seven, flew to Virginia to spend time with family and friends. It was a great experience for them; Lauren loved her first airplane ride. She continues to move from being a little girl toward tween.
Trela made a wonderful move in August by accepting a teaching position in their hometown. Her commute to work went from 20 minutes to two. She teaches ELP (Talented and Gifted) for grades K-12 and literacy for middle school. Yes, teaches her own kidlets. Kile, eleven, has moved in to middle school and both are ELP students. Kile has also moved from recreational to competitive soccer and Cavanaugh, eight, is trying to decide if she wants to be a veterinarian or work at Petco. Eric is currently remodeling one of his clinic to add physical therapy. Later this month both clinics--will have chiropractic, massage therapy and physical therapy care. It’s an exciting move for them. It’s delightful to watch his goals move into reality.
Rick spent the year moving boxes and furniture for his children, as well as moving tractors, combines and farm equipment through the fields or on the roads. He won the election in the fall for township trustee by write in votes. (No, we didn’t campaign; it’s a “once you have the job you never get rid of it” position.) He serves on other boards as well. I have moved from “I’m gonna write a book” to “I wrote a ‘half-a-book’.” Polishing my book proposal will move me into phase two. I tried on my guest speaker shoes several times this year, adding it to my platform (resume for writers.) I hope to move from Christmas letters to a larger audience (oh wait, my family and friends list may be close to N.Y. Times best-selling numbers.) I tried to move into part time with Mona’s Originals, but December moved me back into Head Elf position. I continue to volunteer with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness); play my guitar with the church choir; along with taking Grammie duty at every opportunity.
For my loved ones, and especially those who grieve, I send hugs and love. I try to remember life doesn’t always move in the direction we envision, but I stay on the road to keep mine moving toward my final destination – a life with Christ – the reason we have this season of great joy.