Isn't this beautiful? This cuckoo clock is a family heirloom from Mary and now hangs in our house, singing us into each hour and half hour, day and night. The bird's gentle song reminds us of God's gentle call to live each day in joy and generosity.
Our rooms have been filled with many coming for solitude and renewal since I last wrote. Groups have come for prayer and insight, and at Christmas friends came to celebrate with us.
December was also a time for us of dealing with life issues. Mary had serious surgery and her mother and brother-in-law came to assist, however, her mother was bit by the flu bug and was herself weakened. On the day before Christmas my brother-in-law died and I spent the holidays in Sioux Falls with my sister and family.
Advent and the new year has brought serious reminders of new beginnings-- experiences of life and after-life. As you read the rest of this letter smile with us amidst the newness of life that is here.
Callie and Co
Bringers of joy and laughter
Bundles of curiosity and play
Sheila and our new computer system
We thought you might like to have a visual image of one of the computers that your donations have helped purchase.
Sheila still sticks close to the manuals but is becoming very proficient on scanner, Typestyler, Pagemaker, Word, and Quicken! She's our resident expert.
We have had roof problems on the old trailer and the dining room. Last July we thought it was repaired, September we were sure we had it licked; however, the rains in November revealed more trouble. Each time we thought the contents would remain dry. Now in the midst of January and February rains there are no interior showers. Praise God. Let's pray that the holes are filled this time!
In mid-December we ran out of butane. We vowed it would never happen again. On January 3, after a very severe cold spell, we were in need of a re-fill. Because Columbus Butane had so many orders it took several days for the delivery man to arrive. On Saturday, the 8th, a substitute filled up the tanks. As the day warmed up, the tank by the old trailer began to spew gas. After calling the company and the distributor to no avail we called 911 [to no avail, either!]. As the weather cooled and we used more gas, the safety valve calmed down, as did we! We could have BLOWN UP had there been a smoker among the retreatants!
Ten days later, January 15 in mid-morning, all electric power went out in the old trailer. After checking all the breakers, we called an electrician. He must have sensed our worry-- little did we know how great cause we had! When he arrived two hours later and inspected the roof, he found the aluminum wiring still smoldering where it had corroded with the copper fittings and shorted out! We were informed we could have burned down that morning; in fact, he was surprised at our survival!!!
Friday, February 16, the worst wind and tornadoes in 50 years hit the Columbus-Starkville area. Thousands were without power and suffered great loss. We were at the lower edge and had only three shingles blown from the chapel. And not a tree touched!
Wash away! Blow up! Burn down! or Blow away!