Wishing you a merry Christmas, happy new year, and everything else that the usual greetings entail. I decided not to send Christmas cards this year (call me lazy) and have decided instead to send my greetings through cyberspace.
Spring production 2016
Like most folks, I have had a busy year with working full time, directing and producing theatrical productions as part of my job as a Drama teacher, writing and publishing, volunteering at my church, volunteering with the local Arts Council, and being a wife, mother and grandmother.
2 new releases 2016
This summer I suffered a devastating (to me) loss of all my data when the USB stick I had everything stored on got damaged. It contained ALL of my writing. We’re talking hundreds of thousand of words, hundreds of documents, and well, pretty much my entire life’s work. Six weeks and almost a thousand dollars later, all of my data was retrieved. It was a costly lesson, both emotionally and monetarily. I now keep everything in ‘the cloud’. On the plus side I used the summer to republish the first in my NEIGHBOURS Series. It was a summer of learning new things about technology and the publishing industry and I hope to continue republishing more of my work as I get the rights back, one by one.
I had the privilege of speaking several times at various conferences in 2016 across western Canada and although I have nothing booked for 2017 yet, I hope to expand that part of my life in the coming year. I took on the position of Vice President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, a Canada wide organization for writers of Christian faith. Again, the learning curve has been steep and I’ve been extremely busy with meetings, planning conferences etc.
My husband and I were thrilled when our church got a new pastor this past June. We had been volunteering as Interim pastors for almost two years, since the summer of 2014. While rewarding, I would be lying if I didn’t say it was also very stressful. It was obviously God’s timing since during the very meeting where we asked the new candidate if he would like to come to Tumbler Ridge, Gerald, my husband, also got a phone call and got offered a job. He had been laid off for a year and a half, so this in itself felt like an answer to prayer. After working at a temporary job over the summer clearing brush on some new hiking trails, he got permanent work with ‘Peace River Hydro Project’, a new (and sometimes controversial) hydro-electric project in Fort St. john, BC. While we are grateful for the employment, it has been an adjustment for us since he is gone much of the time, living in a camp. (After 34 years of marriage, and even longer of being together, we are kind of attached to one another… Go figure…)
Brynja and Evangeline
It’s been a good year, although there have been some ups and downs as our children have had some personal struggles, health issues, etc. At this time, my eldest daughter Lydia has bought herself a new house and is pursuing her career as a musician and artist while also doing some substitute teaching at the local schools. Our two middle daughters, Priscilla and Eliza, both live in Fort St. John with their husbands. Kurtis and Dustin. They married brothers, (the ‘Benterud boys’) so when we get together for family events it is truly ‘all in the family’! Priscilla stays at home with her two kids ( our pride and joy – granddaughters, Evangeline and Brynja) while running several small businesses. (A vending machine business, battery charging business, sewing, and selling tupperware… she’s loves to keep busy!) Eliza graduated with her accounting certificate last spring (and was the valedictorian for the third time!) and also works for Peace River Hydro Project. (Where Gerald works) Our son Zachary has had some health issues this past year with a rare lung condition called ‘pulmonary alveolar proteinosis’ and spent five weeks in the spring in Vancouver hospital. He is doing much better now, though, and is also working at the same place as Gerald. (Again, all in the family!)
This summer marked an anniversary of sorts for me. After eight years in TR, it is now officially the longest I have lived in one house. Except for Mossbank, where I grew up but lived in a lot of different houses, it is the longest I have lived anywhere. I had a bit of anxiety when August 15 rolled around. (The date I moved to TR.) But I am adjusting now. Who knows? Maybe we’ll retire here? It’s actually kind of a nice place. The scenery is gorgeous, (it’s one of only two ‘GeoParks’ in North America) with multiple waterfalls within a short distance, lots of hiking and outdoor activities, friendly people, cheap housing, I have a good job, and all of our children live within a two hour radius. Can’t ask for much more.
TR Town Hall
The coming year promises a lot of new opportunities for us as a family and for me individually. So… this is me wishing YOU a very merry Christmas, happy new year, and a great 2017. God bless and keep in touch!