Merry Christmas 2012 from the Holwicks

Dear friends,

Lately our years have been ending with a Bang.  Hurricane Sandy certainly fit that bill for us.  Celeste was in Denver visiting the kids while David experienced the howling winds.  Two big trees came down on our property (almost smooshing Nephew John Gerber’s car) and power was out for six days.  It was an interesting worship service with the music team dressed up like Nanooks of the North.  Celeste eventually found a flight home and we shared the parsonage with a church family until they got their power back on the 12th day.  We were reminded how special electricity and heat are.

Our year started out much more calmly.  In February we vacationed in Florida, seeing Grandpa and Mary Ann, and then stopped by Texas to see Celeste’s sister Sara.  It was good to see her before they succeed from the Union.  In April, Celeste and I toured the beautiful Botanic Garden in Brooklyn (a somewhat larger version of my terrarium) and we got to take Celeste’s brother Andy and his wife Lara to New York City.  It was our first tour of the Ground Zero site and the waterfall memorial.  Later in the spring I took Celeste to the “Mansions in May” tour of the Glenallyn estate.  I shouldn’t do that.  She has been watching those real estate shows on TV ever since.  Tragedy struck in May with the death of our nephew, Stewart Triehy.  Most of the family came together and it was a very beautiful service.  Stewart leaves a beautiful young wife, Ashley, a one-year-old daughter, Teagan, and a son on the way.

Our big summer trip was in June.  Our little RV took Celeste and me, Andy & Lara and their son Aaron, and Grandpa and Grandma Triehy out West.  After four flat tires, I wondered if we would ever get back.  We visited dear friends in Ohio (something we had to repeat in September for our dear friend Ron Gordon’s funeral), spent a few days with the kids in Denver and drove to the top of Mt. Evans, then headed out for Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and Canyonland, Arches, and Zion National Parks in Utah.  I can never get enough of Zion.  We even drove half a day and made a hot hike to see the Great Gallery of Indian petroglyphs.  The highlight of the vacation was Andy, Celeste and me hiking through the longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch.  It has been described as the Cathedral of the Southwest.  Fortunately it was dry throughout and gave incredible views at each turn.  On the way home we hit Santa Fe and the mesa-top Indian village of Acoma.  We got to stop at the Youghiogheny Stained Glass factory too (a slight detour).

The new job that Celeste turned down last year - she ended up taking it.  She is in charge of the afternoon shift and has to bark orders all day.  She is too conscientious and puts in many more hours than before even though her wage is fixed.  Her time off is less flexible, too.  But she does like the ability to shape the environment at her workplace.  She is very good at it.  Celeste balances her life by coming home at midnight and studying for another two hours so she can get her bachelor’s degree next autumn.

Out in Denver, Josiah graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado this month.  He and Julia have started their own company [] and have done several wedding videos and some commercials for outdoor equipment companies.  Julia also did this year's photo montage on her Mac instead of letting me cut them out and use little pieces of tape to hold it together; apparently my method is quite mockable.  We'll see how she likes being in charge of it every year now!  Dan is a paramedic in Denver and is studying toward a nursing degree.  His thrill is when FEMA ships him out to disasters like Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans.  Kara just finished up a season with AmeriCorps and loved every minute of it.  She has started a new career with Community Food Share near Boulder.  She jogs regularly and is in the peak of health.  They will be in New Jersey for Christmas!  Sarah has her own classroom now and is devoted to her Intensive Needs Preschool kids.  She also has a special friend I am not allowed to write about but it is okay to tell you she ran a half-marathon.  Becca has started a new career as a children’s rock climbing instructor and has moved to Boulder to shorten her commute.  She destroyed the rest of the family at Boggle during our recent trip to Florida for the wedding of Cousin Billy and Shannon.  Our condo-rental right on the Gulf of Mexico was a nice touch.

David continues pastoring in Ledgewood.  We have had a good year with many new families attending.  His web ministry reached 2.5 million "hits" and a pastor who uses the material actually came to visit the church.  Many awesome things are happening in our area.  There are issues, of course.   xxx xxx xxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx  xxxxx xxx xxx xxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx  xxxxx xxx xxx xxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx  xxxxx xxx xxx xxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx  xxxxx xxx xxx xxxx  xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx  xxxxx xxx xxx xxxx  xxxx Jesus is still on the throne!  May he bless each of you richly in the coming year.

David & Celeste