Wilson Christmas 2020

A “Healthy” dose of Holiday greetings to you from Steve and Jenny!!

What can I say about 2020?  As little as possible would be my gut answer!  The world as we knew it has been totally turned upside down by everything from COVID-19 to the very corrupt and divisive national elections!  What should I expect from a year that began with a colonoscopy for me and a root canal/crown for Jenny?!  I mean, even our most basic needs have been interrupted by a toilet paper shortage!  (And no, disposable masks are not flushable…)  Jenny and I have either eaten in our car or outside on lawn chairs under the same shade tree so many times in the Hickory Courtyard By Marriott parking lot in lieu of inside seating, we should just go ahead and carve our names in the bark of the beautiful Live Oak tree and call it our own!  But I digress…

We had a great time on vacation at Surfside Beach South Carolina in

Crystal beach

June with Alison, Justin and Crystal.  Of course, we had to modify our plans to seek outdoor dining experiences and less frequented beaches due to COVID concerns, but we were able to really enjoy our time together.  One of the highlights of our vacation was going down to Charleston for a day trip, where we took a carriage ride around the city and scoped out some points of interest; definitely a place to revisit once restrictions are lifted.

Because life hadn’t been interesting enough this year, in July, Jenny fell and broke her right ankle.  After fun with an ortho boot, knee scooter, wheelchair, walker, and cane, Jenny is currently in a lace ankle brace.  Her bone was not healing after three and a half months, so we’re doing an ultrasound bone stimulation treatment every night to promote bone growth.  If this doesn’t work, Jenny is facing surgery, complete with a rod and supper filler!  Even with her limitations, Jenny found the energy to dance with Crystal, which scared both me AND Crystal!  Jenny continues to enjoy cross stitching as an outlet and produced an awesome Christmas showpiece this year that I’m sure will become a cherished heirloom to others for years to come!

I bought something this year that I thought I would never ever buy; a gun.  Actually two; a 9 mm handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun.  The last gun I owned was a 20 gauge shotgun that I traded with my oldest brother for a dinette set right before Jenny and I got married. (Ooh, a shotgun wedding!)  Later, I’m going for my conceal/carry license so that I can officially have the handgun with me when needed and that may come sooner than I think; coyotes are getting worse around here too.

Jenny and I took a very relaxing vacation in October to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, around Harrisonburg.  It was the perfect time of the year to enjoy the magnificent fall colors on the Skyline Drive as well as the Amish area around Dayton, Va.  We even got a great surprise on that Sunday when Jenny’s sister and husband stopped by to visit on their way home!  But in hindsight, we both agreed that we have areas just as beautiful around our neck of the woods and there isn’t a toll involved to see them…

Growing up!

Crystal will be six in January and is now in Kindergarten and officially a Hudson Hornet like her mama!  Until recently, she went to school four days a week and we watched her on Wednesdays, where I did the remote lessons with her among other “adventures”!  For now, she is going all five days, but I’m not holding my breath that that will soon change again.  Crystal is thriving in school and making friends, even though masks are mandatory and there are several distancing restrictions in place which makes bonding a little more challenging.  We have so enjoyed her being with us and as the COVID plans continue to change and morph, there’s a chance she’ll be back with us once again.  I think Crystal really enjoyed learning to bake with Gum Gum and doing some “exploring” with Pops!  Alison and Justin celebrated one full decade of wedded bliss in June!  Oh, and did I happen to mention that Alison was selected as Teacher of the Year for Hudson Elementary after teaching there less than a year?!  Way to go “neighbors”!

As I close this letter, I could go on and on and on about all the horrible events that have taken place here in 2020; for it has seemed like a very long Romco commercial, “But wait, there’s more!”  But instead, I’ll tell you what I’ve missed…the little things.  I’ve missed the spontaneity of going to a movie or grabbing a bite to eat without social distance restrictions.  I’ve missed not being in our church sanctuary, not receiving and/or giving a spontaneous hug when needed, a handshake, of singing in the choir.  I’ve even missed seeing mouths and noses, smiles and frowns, parts of the face that complete a person’s persona but have for now, been masked over.  We even had to cancel our Disney trip with Alison and Crystal that had been planned for early December. 

It matters not whether you think this global pandemic was used to effectively control the masses, a live test on humanity like we’ve never seen before, or just an unfortunate set of circumstances that have gotten us all to this point, we all need to learn from this experience.  We need to appreciate life, family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coworkers, rowdy kids, strangers (and even toilet paper) more, to stop taking every moment that God has freely given us for granted.  Freedom has always had a price attached to it and we’ll all see in the coming years how much we’ve sold our souls to the devil, so to speak, to feel “safe and secure” with a transitioning government IF we have a transitioning government; the jury’s still out, so to speak.  Either way, may God have mercy on our souls; this truly is a troubling time in which we live.

But there’s always hope, which is exactly why we celebrate this season.  For HOPE was born on Christmas Day, in the form of a tiny little baby who became our King of Kings and Lord of Lords; we call Him Jesus!

Love to you and yours this Christmas from Steve, Jenny and Izzy the dog!

Flamingos in the Midst—And Other Christmas Surprises

Christmas has always been a time of surprises and thus was the case at our house one Christmas season. 

One morning we awoke to find a fuchsia flock of three dozen plastic flamingos meandering around on our front lawn.  My wife has always prided herself in presenting tasteful decorations both inside and out so the sight of a potential Griswald Christmas palace sent her into a state of shock.

You see our church youth group had developed a pretty successful scheme to raise money during the holiday season.  The idea was to “flock” a family with the colorful trailer trash version of the more popular tropical birds and hold that family captive until a “ransom” of a predetermined amount was paid to the youth group.  Once the ransom was paid, the embarrassed family could then designate the next “lucky” household to be flocked.  A full two weeks after the stationary stilt legged wonders appeared, they disappeared just as mysteriously.  Our daughter sheepishly admitted to honoring us with their presence; fortunately, my wife has a great memory and we have all the time in the world for the eventual “turnabout is fair play”…

But God has always been in the surprise business, even before the first Christmas was celebrated.  For example, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was “chosen” and was going to have a child even though she was still a virgin.  Talk about a scripted dialogue as she announced to Joseph what was about to come to pass.  And of course Joseph got all bent out of shape and thought of divorcing her before “SURPRISE!”, an angel came to him in a dream and basically told him to put his big boy pants on; this was of God…straighten up and do the right thing!  And then there were the shepherds, just minding their own business as well as their sheep when “SURPRISE!”, an angel came to announce the Christ child’s birth…along with a multitude of heavenly hosts.  Talk about a “Depends” moment!

Thinking back though, it should not have been a surprise to anyone since Christ’s birth was prophesied in Isaiah about seven hundred years before the event.  John 3:16-17 NKJV says,For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  What an ultimate gift, humans!!  And yet, we go through our lives many times as if nothing had ever happened over two thousand years ago or that in our oh so near future a bigger event WILL take place.  James 5:7-9 NIV states, Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.  Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!  This doesn’t mean we need to cower down in a corner somewhere, afraid to live out the life that God has mapped out for us.  It just means, like making all the preparations for Christmas Day that we make preparations for Christ’s second and final arrival. 

Are you ready? December 25th comes around once every year and still folks scramble about as if it is a grand surprise on their calendar.  And while we keep an extra gift card tucked away just in case we have an unexpected guest, a $25.00 Big Lots gift card just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to Jesus’ triumphant return…Just sayin…So as you gather this Christmas with your own “flock” of family and friends, just remember that it is better to be surprised by the ugly sweater from aunt Betty than to be unprepared for eternity.