It was a good Greenbelt year— Jean and Judah here three weeks, game night at Beckert’s, tutoring at Shrom Hills, Poetry Plus at the library, Writers Group at the community center, proofreading for Greenbelt News Review and doing the birds-i-view article, picnics, visits, talks with family and friends, walks or jogs by the lake, swims at the fitness center, driving the Prius in the Labor Day Parade. At church Jim’s deacon term ended, mine began. I still drove Dayshare passengers sometimes plus frequent pro bono drives and did poetry/ sensory stimulation classes with the SAGE program at Collington. Jim and I were grateful for safe travels— December family reunion in the Poconos, May weekend in Chesapeake VA with Jim’s Aunt Ida and famous musical family, The Hunts, June weekend in Delaware doing a 10k Volksmarch and August Adirondack, Champlain Valley trip.
We flew to Hawaii for the October birthdays— ten dear days in Kauai with Jean and Judah. I did childcare with a Silver Spring family then eldercare closer to home with Visiting Angels. Son David joined us for Thanksgiving in Blacksburg and December Ribbens Reunion in West Virginia. Joyo appeared at church community night, played charades at family beach reunion and marched in Greenbelt Labor Day Parade. ESL tutoring continued, now with Jaime Ramos. We were back in Blacksburg for Mother’s Day, to Jersey, NYC and New England around Memorial Day, Oklahoma for brother-in-law’s funeral in June, Thurmont, Hagerstown and Blacksburg again in August. Home with Jim in Greenbelt and at WCRC I followed my writing dream to the nth degree in Bible survey and poetry including word wreaths.
I journaled my way through that year on a nine-day Spirit-fruit cycle. In marriage,(grand)parenting and teaching, on each Dayshare trip,
during each talk Love grew, boosting its eight hardy hybrids. Joy ripened as Judah whispered You’re my best friend! God’s Peace filled Dayspring, DCCRC, SSCRC and the CRCs we visited in five other states. Patience flourished, nourished by Jim and our kids. Kindness multiplied in thoughtful gifts and services from ESL students, Karen and Sung. Goodness and Mercy! Good times, good friends, new and old, good talks over good books at Earl and Terry Kepler’s. Faith bore fruit in Jim’s service as deacon and treasurer; Mom inspired me to faithful correspondence with prisoners via Crossroad Bible Institute. We celebrated the lives of Gentle Souls— John Kocisko, Richard O’Connor, Jim Bosma, Ismay Cruikshank; on 9-11 a Greenbelt church sign offered the gentle reminder We weep with those who weep. What better place than Greenbelt to foster Self Control? Walking, swimming, ping pong and tennis; gardening; picnics in our yard with family and friends; tutoring Sergey and Vitaly with Greenbelt Cares.
We got by with a little help from our kids and they soared with a little help from us. David got us online with email; Jean revved up our health and nutrition; Rhonda’s book signings inspired my writing; she and Duff rooted us in family and church. Our joint memory bank deposits grew on visits with family in Washington NH, Bethlehem PA, Hayesville NC, Blacksburg VA and Newfane NY; golden times with just the two of us included Chincoteague and Thousand Islands; we visited CRCs in four states plus our home church where I was a greeter, Jim was in my Sunday School class and we each took a turn leading Friendship Bible Study. In dawn love letters to Jesus I wrote: “Thanks for being all things to all people; teach me my limits but stretch me out of my comfort zone too; guide us in this huge and wonderful responsibility to care for Judah.”