Merry Christmas 2008 from the Holwicks
I have already committed the unpardonable sin this Christmas - on December 7 we sang only one Christmas carol. I have been labeled a Baptist Grinch which is the worst Grinch of all. Maybe it is because Christmas in the Holwick household is steadily evaporating. Rebecca, Sarah and Daniel all live in Denver year-round now, and Josiah will follow in September. Celeste would fly them home for the holiday (and Thanksgiving, and Groundhog Day, and…) but Dad is too cheap. I prefer to say that I don’t practice deficit spending like the Federal government does. At any rate, Celeste is dropping leaden hints that I am rather boring so she is taking up new hobbies in anticipation of an empty nest.
Not that we lack excitement around here. On Memorial Day we took off on a month-long Road Trip with our RV. Celeste’s parents came along too. They say our RV is designed for 6 adults but you shouldn’t believe them. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our sightseeing and the company. After seeing my old elementary school in St. Louis and taking pictures of the pictorial water fountains that I remembered (the school is slated to be torn down next year) we moved on to Kansas and had a major engine failure and spent the night at a gas station. A day later it was fixed and we went on to Denver. Sarah continues as a preschool teacher but now has an apartment of her own. Becca is building her swimming lesson business (and starving occasionally) while Daniel is driving an ambulance; in the spring he will take a paramedic course so he can become a real fireman. He lives with Becca and they compete on making the most mess.
Our next stops were the Mesa Verde ruins, the Grand Canyon, Sequoia Nat. Park and San Francisco. The whole purpose of the trip was to attend nephew Thad’s wedding there. We missed the wedding by ten minutes (bad directions, not my fault). The reception was very nice though. On the way home we hit Yosemite, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone. Grandpa Triehy took lots of pictures and they both hiked miles with us. He even loved the Bad Lands of South Dakota, much to Celeste’s annoyance. A final stop was Chicago’s Rainbow Beach that I remembered so fondly with my Grandma Holwick. Alas, the snapdragon beds were paved over to make basketball courts. We ended up driving 7,700 miles with a top gas price of $4.55. Since credit cards have a $100 limit for gas, I had to repeat for a full fill-up. Yikes!
Back at home the big news has been our new church addition. We even made the front page with our groundbreaking ceremony (it was a slow-news day). $1.1 million and it will be dedicated on January 4. Then we have to pay for it. The young people will love the big gymnasium space. As part of a mission, Josiah and I went to Haiti in August to help run a VBS at a village we have worked in for years. Josiah had a great time and made a video that the mission played at their annual banquet. You can view it at http://www.youtube.com (search for "Holwick Haiti"). If it is too jerky you can download the one gigabyte version at http://www.megaupload.com/?d=E8EKRN2G. We think this will be his life-calling.
We have other changes in our family as well. Our dog Ollie died after a car accident and was soon replaced by our gray cat, Johnny. It is a she. Josiah will have to explain the name. And we had more weddings in October - I got to marry Tammy Vega on the Jersey Shore with fireworks and all the trimmings, then two weeks later niece Thais got hitched to Todd in a renovated bank in Troy, NY. Very elegant and we got all our kids together. I electroplated their lamp and got acid all over our kitchen.
November was a very spiritual month for us. Celeste and I got to attend an intimate prayer retreat in beautiful Princeton with a small group of conservative friends. Then we got to go to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. The holiday anywhere else just doesn’t feel the same. The kids even wore Indian costumes. We have a lot to be thankful for - Celeste still works up a storm and remains cancer-free. David is dumpier and grayer (and thinner on top and thicker in the middle). God has blessed us richly and we hope He has done the same for you!